Kevin Bartlett (musician)
Kevin Bartlett (born 1952) is a composer/performer who specializes in complex, multi-layered electronic symphonic compositions influenced by both classical and progressive rock styles. He was born in Albany, New York.
Released on his own label, Aural Gratification, Bartlett's 2003 Near Life Experience was selected as one of Echoes staff's Top 25 albums of that year. Backroads Music listed NLE as one of the Top 5 Albums that "Matter Most" in 2003. Musical Starstreams chose NLE as #6 of the Top 20 albums of 2003. 2008's Glow in the Dark, embraced by progressive music fans as well as ambient music lovers, also won critical acclaim, making Echoes' top 25 lists for both staff and listeners. Music from the album is also featured in documentary with an expected release date of 2009.
In 2010, Bartlett released the first album of songs featuring his own vocals. "Songs for the Big Kablooey", released first as a five song EP, was named "best regional release of the year" by critics in publications like Greg Haymes at Nippertown.com ("After years of electro-symphonic ambient-oriented instrumental music, the Woodstock musical maverick headed back into David Bowie-meets-Pink Floyd glam-pop with glorious results"_and David Malachowski for the Daily Freeman ("Bartlett usually leans towards more ethereal work, here’s he’s put out a great pure rock album. That it’s not what he’s known for, makes it even better").
2011 saw the release of the full length "Songs for the Big Kablooey", featuring a title track with vocals by Bartlett and Sting/Pink Floyd/Hiroshima veteran singer Machan Taylor. Michael Eck at the Albany Times Union wrote, "The sounds, not surprisingly, are impressive, but the real treat here is the singing. It's Bartlett's first time showing off his vocals on record, and it's wonderful. The anchor for the sound is David Bowie's "Five Years," and why would you hide that from the public?"
Bartlett's label released nine albums by singer/songwriter Happy Rhodes. Bartlett played guitar both on the albums and on the live performances supporting them. His playing style has been described as "Gilmour-esque", but he also lists Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and Peter Hammill as influences.
Bartlett, in his youth, played in several bar bands in Albany and Rochester, New York, ran a lighting design and stage management company and managed a record store. His experience also includes booking and concert promotion and theatrical scoring. He scored the world premiere of Toni Morrison's play Dreaming Emmett, as well as creating scores for New York's Circle Rep, the Nikolais Dance Theatre Company, and the Empire State Youth Theatre Institute. He wrote and performed the soundtrack for Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, an internationally released documentary on Christa McAuliffe and the space shuttle Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, as well as thousands of commercials. Bartlett even scored the numbers and alphabet for Sesame Street.
Bartlett's music is featured in Tribe of Heart's Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, created and edited by Jenny Stein and James LaVeck, along with music by Joy Askew. Music from his 2008 recording Glow in the Dark is featured in the film.
Bartlett is founder and president of Aural Gratification, a record label which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008 and the name of the company under which he does commercial work.
He has won numerous Communicator and Telly Awards for music composed for commercials with clients from academia to government and food to fashion. He has composed for MTV, VH1, Sesame Street and many others.
The son of a former radio newsman and a member of the legendary Rothschild family, Bartlett has one sister, Elizabeth. Raised in Albany, New York, he moved to the Catskills in the early 90s. Sidelined by an accident in 2002, he spent a year undergoing surgery and doing physical therapy to restore function to his crushed shoulder. He records at his home studio in Woodstock, New York.
- 1983 Rhinebeck Variations
- 1984 Deviations
- 1984 Automations
- 1985 Aberrations
- 1985 Incantations
- 1986 Evocations
- 1987 Breadfeet
- 1988 7
- 1989 Spatial Thanx
- 1990 Thing Thang
- 1991 Warpaint - Happy Rhodes
- 1992 Equipoise - Happy Rhodes
- 1993 Rhodesongs - Happy Rhodes
- 1994 Building the Colossus - Happy Rhodes
- 1994 The Muse of Intent - Mitch Elrod's Swim Team
- 1995 Live at the World Cafe Vol 1
- 1995 Album Network Adult Rock
- 1995 Aural Gratification Vol 1
- 1997 Aural Gratification Vol 2
- 1996 The Keep - Happy Rhodes
- 1996 Echoes Livingroom Concerts Vol 2
- 1996 Puddleskin Waving - Mike Bassett
- 1998 Sleepy Hollow 25th Anniversary
- 1998 Many Worlds Are Born Tonight - Happy Rhodes
- 1999 Echoes Livingroom Concerts Vol 5
- 2003 Near-Life Experience
- 2005 Self Portrait - Barbara Lombardo
- 2006 Parachute - Bar Scott
- 2008 Glow in the Dark
- 2010 "Songs for the Big Kablooey" EP
- 2011 "Songs for the Big Kablooey"