Blue Landscapes

The musical partnership of pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic did not follow an obvious musical path but was borne out of friendship and a desire to find common musical ground and expression. Robert Thies, an active concert pianist by day, has always longed to explore a musical outlet which involved spontaneous creative expression. Damjan, born in Croatia, is a musician of eclectic styles whose background spans jazz, Latin jazz, and classical training, with additional strong ties to the folk music of Eastern Europe. He already boasts a large discography of six albums as composer and leader.

Their first meeting of musical minds came together for Damjan’s crossover album of compositions for a 2006 album, Difference. Over the coming years, Damjan and Robert continued to improvise together and eventually found a common ground, music rooted in genuine and natural expressivity. Damjan explains: “I have always felt a deep connection to lyrical expression, regardless of musical genre – an urge to express emotion from within that simultaneously feels as if it is connected to all else.”

Eventually they came to the realization that they should document some of these sessions. Robert tells us: “When we got together to record, we had nothing composed, no agenda in mind, no pre-conceived objectives or constraints. The music, therefore, came from a place of honest and open expression, and we did not concern ourselves with how people might react. The emotion behind the music is a direct response to life experiences, some of which inevitably would be more melancholy than others. It wasn’t until we finished recording for five days that we discovered a common thread to much of this music and an album eventually emerged.”

Subtitled Music from a Quieter Place, Blue Landscapes is music to quiet the mind and nurture the soul. It is deeply meditative and evokes beautiful natural landscapes where one can experience inner peace and tranquility. The music is quiet and reflective with splashes of vivid colors over a transparent musical veil. Melodies rise from the moods that the musical backdrop inspires, allowing more active listeners to fill in the musical spaces with their imagination. Others may be swept up by the undulating grooves or find themselves in a contemplative and peaceful mood. The acoustic nature of the music gives it an earthly and human quality. All percussive sounds and colors in the music were created either on the flute or piano. “The music of Blue Landscapes is inspired and grounded by our love for Earth’s beauty and all of her natural wonders. It is important to us that the music sounds and feels natural, and so we have avoided the use of electronics.”

“The improvisatory and delicate nature of these albums is the perfect vehicle for such honest and natural expression, void of stylistic expectations or the need to impress.” The ambience created here is rich, introspective, subdued, wistful, peaceful, and inspirational.

The music of Blue Landscapes is the result of improvisatory sessions marked by the influence of such composers as Ravel, Satie, and Debussy, and the nature-evoking, spiritual, and improvisatory music of artists like Mark Isham, Tim Story, Will Ackerman, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, Paul Winter, and Vangelis.

Blue Landscapes captured the attention of the record label, Real Music, and Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers will be released under their label in November 2019. Eager to share the music with a wider audience, Damjan and Robert have presented concerts in the greater Los Angeles area in venues like the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga and the Boston Court in Pasadena. Future performances are being planned for venues overseas in Croatia, Slovenia, and England.

Albums by artist

BLIII Frontiers Cover