by Heath Andrews

Living and moving from one end of North America to another, keyboardist and composer Carlos Schwarz embraced a rich, multi-cultural upbringing.  Born and raised in Mexico to a German ancestry father and then later having moved to Canada, Schwarz’s musical growth mirrored that diversity as he learned traditional accordion playing before then moving onto the piano.  Now being an award nominated musician, having become one of the top three finalists in the 2010 Roland Synth competition, Schwarz has turned his skills towards the genre of new age music.  Many of the myriad influences through his life have found their way onto his 2012 album,
Sea to Sky.  Schwarz incorporates Celtic, Middle Eastern, and Asian instrumentation into his music, producing distinct texture.

Schwarz aptly shows his talent for arrangement on the lead-off track, “Farewell.”  Strings are a prominent instrumental theme throughout the album proper, and that all starts here.  The strings are very gentle and warm, but not so gentle that they become mere ambiance.  There’s also a large driving force in the vocals.

The ending also demonstrates again why Schwarz is a talented composer.  The piano and strings blend together beautifully to create that perfect new age sound.  It should also be noted that the way he structures his songs is in a far more condensed version as opposed to other new age artists.  Many of Schwarz’s songs are in the range of four to five minutes, which in the scheme of this genre, is relatively short.  This should be especially appealing to new comers or more casual listeners, as the album has a great flow to it thanks to the unique feel to each song that seldom overstay its welcome.

In terms of uniqueness, compare something like “Farewell” to the song, “The River.”  Instead of the strings on the former, the latter is initially pushed along by a haunting piano melody.  Later it becomes joined by the deep, resonating sound of the cello.  This continues until suddenly, the strings lighten in mood and are joined by a quickly picked guitar part, under which the strings grow more and more lush.  The song alternates between these two different sounding passages until it reaches its end; but each iteration of the melody is warm, peaceful, and engaging on a relaxing level.

With music like this, subtle touches can make or break the quality of a song.  On “Walk of Life,” the guitar line and how that picks up in the second half of the track against the strings and piano is entertaining enough, but the unique percussion beat adds a tremendous amount of flavor.  It’s a programmed, electronic drum beat, but the pacing of it and the way it pulses through the song works strongly with the rest of the arrangement.  Contrast this against “Memoirs” where the simplistic yet sublime guitar melody and unwavering warmth from the backing strings carries this song through one of the best arrangements on the record.

Sea to Sky shows a great deal of talent and potential for Carlos Schwarz.  When the various cultural sounds that he utilizes blend together that well, the effect is sublime.  Certain traces of this can be heard on “Our World” and “Reunion,” songs that very much channel the music of India and the Middle East.

Heath Andrews,


 “Love the elegance and balance, so primitive and pure.
Shannon Roley, solo artist

 “This is gorgeous.
— Sarah Gurr, vocalist Luminous Flight

“Carlos has a very unique endowment of composing this type of music, it makes the listener to think, relax, and dream at the same time, it's quite extraordinary.
George, Fan

“Love the song Farewell, nicely done and accomplished.
Jagraj, ReverbNation Fan

“Enjoyed listening to yopur music; very well crafted and performed.
— Kerry Leigh, ReverbNation Fan

“I love your music.
— Simon Allan
ReverbNation Fan


What the critics are saying:

"Sea to Sky shows a great deal of talent and potential for Carlos Schwarz.  When the various cultural sounds blend together that well, the effect is sublime" READ FULL REVIEW

Nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2012 New Age/Ambient category.

Top 3 finalist at the Roland Synth Contest 2010.  


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