Ivory Tower Blue

Pop oriented, orchestral,

with electric band


Roland van Straaten is back – with more of the varied, innovative and moving masterplay that has opened the door to a whole new world of musical sound. In his second album, "ivory tower blue”, van Straaten bends the harmonica into new domains, taking the language of pop and shaping it into a new orchestral landscape.


The result is an intricate patchwork of stunning new sound: clearly derived from European tradition, yet tilting toward the mystic tones of the Orient.


Roland van Straaten’s harmonica sings like a muezzin unbound. It has the sounds of exeptional sensuality and emotional expressions.

(Phonag 1991 - CH - P 81205)

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Coral Love Dance

Oriental, acoustic,

with ethnic percussion


Roland van Straaten introduces himself with the evocative "coral love dance”, an unorthodox blend of oriental tones and Afro-American rhythms, laced with a European look of life. The music is composed and arranged by Roland van Straaten, supported by Santino Famulari on piano, Wietn Wito on bass, and Andreas Gerber on ethnic percussion.


Roland van Straaten’s music is marked by archaic expression; ostinato bass and repetitive patterns form on eastern and jazz-like chromatic scales to create wide, spacious melodies.


His development of a new harmonica playing technique has allowed him to truly open up his instrument to more freedom of modulation and an enhanced expressivity.

(Phonag 1988 - CH)

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Zurich Catania


Solo concerts in cathedrals


Recorded in cathedrals in Switzerland and Italy, "zurich catania” documents the fascinating highpoints of Roland van Straaten’s successful solo concerts. Alone on stage, he conducts a company of performers: his harmonica, his voice and his public.


The magical, almost tribal transformation that van Straaten’s audience feels through his charisma is captured alive on the CD.


The spiritual sensation, that a visitor to an ancient temple might feel, swims in the spacious tones of his instrument.
 He is probably the only one to create an evening worth of solo music with the harmonica. And the risk was well taken: This is a CD that must be heard!

(Phonag 2001- CH - P 81133)

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