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24 Apr 2016

Eltonites About Superhuman

"The new album of the cellist Martin Tillman "Superhuman" it's a journey through meticulous musicals harmonies. A  experience provided by a talented musician who knows how to exploit all the possibilities of the cello. What a delight to discover that each time we hear the album,   there will always be a new and fantastic way to feel the songs. Our ears are thankful to hear  this wonderful work!" (Vera Piovezan, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Some songs are a mixed between Tubular Bells and Jean Michel Jarre. The song I like most at first sight is "The Invisible Shield Of Strings And Bows". I think this is the essence of all the cd and maybe it's the most completed ,in melodically terms, with cello and piano. Also I would remark "Wonder" and "Involuntary Midnights". But as I said before, "Invisible" makes me feel very beautiful emotions. Not long time ago, I saw a film about one man who was waiting in the train station, because his promised girl had to go to Himalaya to recovering. He had hopes, while waiting, that she would not be at time and couldn't depart. When he saw her arriving, he started to cry because it was certain he would lost her for ever most. Hugs and kisses showing all their love. But music there hasn't filled with the scene. When I heard Tillman's song I certainly remember that should be the perfect track for the film. Thanks to Mr. Tillman for fullfilled with your music that scene that captivates me (Jon Jon, Vic, Spain)

The Music of Martin Tillman is, in an instant, reminiscent of the dance era. The offerings of the music easily accommodate the "Club Scene" as well as a solo introspective time upon the warm sands of beach. This music, and each track of "SUPERHUMAN" will evoke a different emotion, thought, image, and interpretation by each who listen. Moreover are the undoubted visual images of one's mind painted as the music progresses seamlessly through its rhythms. The music found within "SUPERHUMAN" lends itself first to the ear, and then deeper towards the heart and soul of mankind. Best played in a crowd, alone, for a reason specific or none at all...It Is Just Best PLAYED! (Tommy T. Baughman, Mississippi, USA)

Martin Tillman On Music Charts

Toto XIV

Billboard N. 98 (2015)

Official charts N. 43 (2015)

Man Of Steel Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 9 (2013)

Official charts N. 20 (2013)

The Abscence 
Melody Gardot

Billboard N. 33 (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 8 (2012)

Official charts N. 19 (2012)

Pirates Of The Caribbean Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 45 (2011)

Official charts N. 82 (2011)

Angels & Demons Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 150 (2009)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 49 (2009)

The Dark Knight Soundtrack
James Newton Howard / Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 20 (2008)

Pirates Of Caribbean: At Worlds 
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 14 (2007)

Official charts N. 58 (2007)

Pirates Of Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 22 (2006)

Official charts N. 68 (2006)

Peachtree Road
Elton John

Billboard N. 17 (2004)

Official charts N.  (2004) 

Ali Soundtrack

Billboard N. 61 (2001)

Hannibal Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Official charts N. 74 (2001)

Pearl Habbor Soundtrack
Hans Zimmer

Billboard N. 14 (2001)

Official charts N. 50 (2001)

Deuces Wild
B. B. King

Billboard N. 73 (1997)

Official charts N. 86 (1997)

"Tracks on Superhuman made me run an emotional gamut"

I was honored to be asked to review Martin Tillman's new album, Superhuman.  Not being familiar with his work, I decided to do a little research.  Not only is he a world-renowned cellist and composer, I discovered that he played with Elton John and the Band for Elton's 60th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden.  What's more, Davey Johnstone plays on Superhuman.  Ok, so far so cool.

I went to SoundCloud and saw that the album was categorized as Dance/EDM (Electronic Dance Music).  Hmmmmm.  I'm not very familiar with that genre, but I put on my headphones and gave it a listen.

One word: Awestruck.

The 11 tracks on Superhuman made me run an emotional gamut. And any music that makes me feel something - whatever the emotion - has done its job. From relaxation to exhilaration...from uncertainty to uplifting…from swaying to bopping my head to even humming along at some point...I found the music very intriguing.  It was a somewhat similar experience to the first time I listened to Pnau - I thought I might not like it, but I actually liked it a lot.  Quelle surprise!

After first listen, I'd have to say my favorites right now are Future Dawns, Unlocking the Locks and Translated to Beauty.  Perhaps because (to me) they sounded more like the kind of music I normally listen to - with keyboard and guitar (was that Davey?!)  vs. only synth.

As Mr. Tillman himself said, "Music lets us dream a dream a different existence, and make it our own."  Your music certainly does that for me, sir.  Thank you.

Needless to say, I will be listening to Superhuman many times over again.  Sometimes discovering new music or a new musician is like finding a new friend, which is always a good thing.

My name is Kimberlee Kemble and I'm from Boca Raton, Florida. I've been an Eltonite since almost the very beginning. I had all the albums, the singles, EJ posters plastered on my bedroom wall (my favorites were from "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player"), an EJ candle, the Time Magazine cover, Tiger Beat magazines with EJ on the cover, EJ shirts, an EJ necklace, you name it. If you've seen the video for Original Sin, that's me!

"Differents paths sometimes blend into each other" by Andrea Grasso: "Superhuman" review

The new Martin Tillman album, Superhuman, is a collection of instrumental tracks all written and arranged by the master of cello, Martin himself; helping him in this adventure are renowned musicians like Michael Landau on electric guitars, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Toto founder David Paich on keyboard, Toto occasional bass player Leland Sklar and also his friend from the Elton John Band Davey Johnstone on electric and acoustic guitars.

As it can be read in the liner notes of the album, Superhuman is a reaffirmation of the power of the human spirit and is dedicated to Martin’s wife Eva, who 8 years ago was diagnosed ill but has found the courage and strength to battle against it, and this has inspired Martin to compose the songs for this album.

The record has basically two different paths, that sometimes blend into each other: the “rock” path and the “dance” (or EDM, “Electronic Dance Music”) path. I personally prefer the rock path, who is more akin to my musical tastes, but in this case I can also appreciate the EDM tracks. My favourite tracks are obviously the rock ones, with “Future Dawns” and “Celluloid Spaces” being my favourite; Dawns has a great organ, a spacey synth, a very good piano solo and reminds me very much about a progressive rock track that could have been recorded in the 1970s, and in fact Martin himself in the liner notes clains that bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Rolling Stones were big influences on him and his musical growing. Celluloid is even more interesting since the composer declares it’s a sort of concept about the history of drugs, from the mid-60s to today, and that’s why is divided into different sections; it features once again a beautiful organ, electric guitars performed by both Johnstone and Landau, and the soul backing vocals of Dee Lewis-Clay, reminding very close something that Pink Floyd could have recorded for Dark Side of the Moon.

Another track that I like a lot is “Unlocking the Lock”, featuring again more rock guitars along with ethnic percussions, strings, and again Dee’s vocals; Tillman in the liner notes explain that he thought about this as his stadium rock piece with many musical rooms to unlock, and that’s why there are several themes and parts together.

Another favourite is “Translated to Beauty”, a very “sexy” track, with an esotic riff and an atmosphere that reminds me of the 60s; its composer in fact says that it’s something you could hear in a French or Italian movie… a quite peculiar track that demonstrates the versatility of Tillman as composer and arranger, apart the obvious one as cello player.

The final track of the album, “The Invisible Shield of Strings and Bows”, featuring the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, could be easily used as a score for a huge Hollywood movie; Tillman in fact wrote it as a tribute to the scores he played on in Los Angeles, and wanted to end the album with something “extraterrestrial” to associate with the “superhuman” feeling of the whole album.

This album is a mixture of moods, atmospheres and listening experiences that can help you relax, or make you dance, or lift your spirits; but you can also use it to meditate and travel with your mind and find your inner “superhuman” powers; Martin Tillman is just showing you the right path.

"I'm a huge Elton fan and collector from Italy, having started to follow him in 1992. I run since 2012 "Elton John Italia", an Elton John fanclub on Facebook where I share with Italian fans current news and any kind of information about Elton and his discography, which I know in every small detail, including obscure collaborations and rarities..."

"Cyberpunk Meets Pop" by John Kwok: "Superhuman" review

Cyberpunk meets pop, rock and classical in cellist/composer Martin Tillman’s superb new album “Superhuman”. Tillman cleverly plays with and merges different musical genres, ranging from industrial techno-pop to what sounds like a futuristic homage to Byzantine or Medieval Roman Catholic sacred music on “Involuntary Midnights” sung by renowned contemporary music vocal ensemble Anonymous 4. It’s Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gyorgy Ligeti merged seamlessly together by a Brian Eno-like musical wizard familiar with William Gibson’s near future cyberspace landscape. Tillman has assembled a superb assortment of some of the finest studio musicians residing primarily in the Los Angeles area, ranging from long-time Elton John collaborator – now musical director of the Elton John Band - guitarist Davey Johnstone,  guitarist Graham Russell (“Air Supply”), David Paich (long-time “Toto” keyboardist), drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (best known for his work with Frank Zappa, Sting, and Joni Mitchell, also an in demand studio musician featured on most of the songs on Sara Bareilles’ “Kaleidoscope Heart” album), and bassist Leland Sklar, with orchestral arrangements performed by the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra. 

“Superhuman” sounds like a vast, epic-like, soundtrack for a yet to be made fast-paced Hollywood thriller science fiction film, like the forthcoming sequel to Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”, especially the album’s last track, “The Invisible Shield of Strings and Bows”. It’s an extremely memorable, compellingly listenable, album that should draw ample interest from a diverse range of musical audiences, not just those familiar with instrumental techno-pop music or long-time admirers of Tillman’s exceptional skills as a superb classically-trained cellist and composer. Among my favorite pieces are “Wonder”, a fast-paced ode to techno-pop music, the previously mentioned “Involuntary Midnights”, “Cracked Diamond”, a riveting musical dialogue between solo cello and an entire orchestra, “Celluloid Spaces”, noteworthy for its brilliant playing by Davey Johnstone on acoustic and electric guitars, “Zero Gravity”, which I regard as Tillman’s 21st Century reimagining of Gustav Holst’s “Neptune, the Mystic” from “The Planets” suite, and last, but not least, the “The Invisible Shield of Strings and Bows”.

Long-time Elton John fan John Kwok is a freelance writer, speculative fiction writer and photographer, whose classical and contemporary musical tastes range from J. S. Bach, J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart, L. Beethoven, F.  Schubert and F. Chopin to J. Brahms, C. Debussy, G. Mahler, M. Ravel, R. Strauss, A. Schoenberg, I. Stravinsky, A. Copland, S. Barber, G. Ligeti, O. Neuwirth, D. Felsenfeld and M. V. Waller.

23 Apr 2016

Superhuman aka superwoman

"Superhuman is a reaffirmation of the power of the human spirit" reads the liner notes of the cd. Soon it is explained what it consists: "Superhuman is dedicated to Martin’s wife Eva who 8 years ago was diagnosed with MS. Eva’s courage and strength to live with and battle against the degenerative disease inspired Martin to compose the album. And also in extension, those who everyday summon up the superhuman strength to battle physical and mental obstacles. Martin hopes his music will give audiences wings to rise above their challenges and open their mind’s eye." While he is adding: “Music lets us dream a different existence, and make it our own,” Tillman concludes. “It’s that spirit that’s now let me find a new, powerful way to express myself with ‘Superhuman.’”

His wife Eva’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2007 gradually changed Tillman’s career focus, at first in a bleak direction before he found new creative purpose in realizing his most ambitious work with “Superhuman.” “It was just super stressful and I came to a conclusion I couldn’t continue life as it was,” Tillman says. “I thought that the only way we’d survive was if I went into my studio and started writing music. Not music for other people, but music for us that would create a drive for survival and inspiration. Then in 2010, Eva told me that her birthday wish was for me to write her a happy melody, as opposed to the kind of melancholy us Europeans tend to have. That was basically the beginning of “Superhuman,” a title that was all about good energy, which is so powerful for Eva and me, while being able to touch other people in the same way.

Martin remarks the concept of the album: "We exist in a world contrary to our true nature, having to endure war, politics, technology and greed. Yet despite these by-products of civilization, our pure primal drive endures. The fear of extinction fueled our very existence and called upon everything within our power to hunt, eat and procreate. Then, somewhere along the evolutionary line, a power far greater than anything imaginable emerged: LOVE. Love gave us newfound purpose, taking us beyond our animal instincts into new, profound dimensions. A force that could only be described as magical. (...) More than any other form of art, music transports us from the physical plane to a realm of reflection, dreams and excitement. Yet at the same time, we find ourselves swaying to the melody, if not dancing wildly to its rhythms (...) It’s that spirit that’s now let me find a new, powerful way to express myself with ‘Superhuman."

About the recording process, Martin is joined with the most rellevant names of the music panorama, all together mixed with the splendorous job of one of bests mixers around: "My mixer Jeff Biggers created the album’s expansive sound. Because he had this tremendous experience recording and mixing big scores, his talent allowed me to treat ‘Superhuman’ as a soundtrack for the audience. So to just call this an EDM or a rock and roll project would be way to narrow a focus for this album" added Tillman.

11 tracks for one hour in extension album. Quite difficult to remark some in particular. "Involuntary midnights” paid my attention first: "It is a choral a cappella track I heard while driving and was immediately captured by its beauty, performed by the amazing vocal group Anonymous 4. It’s a part of a project called the Legends of St Nichlolas composed by an anonymous composer in the 16th century. Here is a bit of the legend: Long ago, in a far off land known today as Turkey, there was a boy named Nicholas. Nicholas was a person who created numerous miracles and accomplished many good deeds. As a teenager, Nicholas inherited a vast fortune, but he had no idea what to do with it. Wanting to help those less fortunate than himself, Nicholas set out to make the wishes of others come true. While Nicholas knew the townspeople needed his help, he was also aware that they were very proud people, so Nicholas decided to help his friends secretly". Then a more literal approximation of musical space travel lifts off in “Zero Gravity,” as sonar and solar wind-like effects introduce a gentle melody carried along with synths, strings and piano. It’s a lyrical theme, with a poignant sense of striving to touch a greater power, much like the experimentation that brought together the track. “I heard it at first as a ’love theme’ for the album, one that had no rhythm as such, but drifted in free time,” Tillman says. “But I felt that if strings could come in and out of it, growing each time, then it would infuse a strong life into the music. And when I heard those strings played live in Prague, I knew that this track had truly been born with a truly human feeling to it.”

“I’m happy that Martin discover this new happy side of himself in a way that also helped him escape from our own problems,” Eva Tillman says and concludes: “Superhuman’ was a way of dreaming a difference existence for Martin and myself. His music let me travel with my mind to the places I could no longer experience with my body. In that way, creativity can change anyone’s outlook. Music might not physically heal you, but it certainly can heal the relationships, and the soul. So it’s very gratifying to have people relate to Martin’s music in that way, because love is the driving force in making people rise above their challenges, and truly become superhuman. That transcendental spirit that music gives us is what this album is dedicated to.”

More info:

Read the excellent notes by Daniel Schweiger on:


Unforgettable People (LII): Martin Tillman

"On the show, a very special guest. From Zurich, Switzerland. On cello, an incredible musician... Mr. Martin Tillman!!!" Elton proudly said on the 60th Anniversary special concert. Davey Johnstone explained he met Tillman "working on a movie score (An Everlasting Piece movie, by Barry Levinson) with Hans Zimmer in 2000, I used him (Martin) on Elton's 60th at MSG, on Nigel Olsson's solo japanese album that I produced with Guy Babylon" while adding "He is a dear friend and amazing musician". No discussion. In fact, this talented musician is considered the creator of a revolutionary sound by extending the traditional boundaries of the cello. He has also established himself in the motion picture and recording world as one of the most sought after talents of experimental acoustic and electric cello. Tillman, also has credits on "Peachtree Road", Elton's 2004 self produced album.

"To be asked to be a special musical guest for his 60ties birthday was incredible. Madison gardens was an unforgettable moment" reminds Tillman. Sure it was. Since arriving in US in 1988, he developed his studies with the internationally celebrated cellist, Lynn Harrell, receiving his Masters Degree in Performance from the University of Southern California, in 1989. Harrell, for the ones doesn't know, is one of the world's finest cellists, a live legend at the Aspen Music Festival, where he has spent his summers performing and teaching for nearly 50 years. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Piatigorsky Award, and the Ford Foundation Concert Artists' Award. "He was the best teacher with the the most amazing sound!" added Tillman.

In his career, Tillman has collaborated with other rellevant and well known musicians related to Elton: James Newton-Howard and Hans Zimmer. Precisely, about his skills, Zimmer explained the challenge, for the soundtrack "The Dark Knight", to represent The Joker character by an only single note played on the cello: "You know within one note that it’s him. I really wanted to do the whole thing just with one note". Only one could get it: Martin Tillman, the one "who’s studied his whole life to make a gorgeous sound out of the cello". This is one of the most fruitful collaborations started when he recorded with Hans Zimmer on the Tony Scott movie The Fan. Since then, Tillman has been given the chance to compose and perform for scores such as the last three Batman movies, Total Recall, Bullet to the Head, The Oscars 2012, Life in a Day, Cowboys and Aliens, Angels and Demons, Prince of Persia, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4, Black Hawk Down, Da Vinci code, The Pledge, Everlasting Piece, Mission Impossible 2, Hannibal, The Ring parts one and two… the list is endless.

"Martin Tillman is quite simply the most gifted musician I have ever had the privileged to record with. In our recordings his extraordinary performances elevated my music I only heard in my dreams..." explained to AllSongsList the greatest Michael Hoppe when he was asked to collaborate on the Weekend.  Tillman performed cello solos on The Poet, composed by Michael Hoppe, and Afterglow composed and performed by Michael Hoppe, Tim Wheater, plus Tillman. "Martin is in a class by himself" concludes. Also Adam Chester agreed to collaborate on the weekend, explaining: "He's a joy to work with. We've done some composing in the studio for a movie that didn't come to be. But the music we wrote is very special and I hope to find a home for it one day", and adds near this: "Well, If I may paraphrase a lyric from a song by America, "No Oz never did give nothing to Mar-tin man, that he didn't, didn't already have." Martin is a not only a whiz at playing cello. He's a beautiful soul who's cello merely manifests what he feels inside. Does that make sense? Corny, I'm sure, but I love that guy. I love Eva too!" The wonderful Eva Tillman, apart from being Martin's wife, helps on the website and social networks.

Tillman has been invited to perform with many renowned recording artists including, apart from Elton John, Sting, T Bone Burnett, Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, Beck, BB King, Air Supply and Tracy Chapman, among many others. Asking about Elton, he says: "I had several chances to meet him (Elton). In the studio recording strings .... I believe it was in Hollywood. I am surprised at his incredible power on stage ..... unstoppable". Oh, and if you had to choose one of Elton's songs, what do you said? My favourite Elton's track? "Levon".

Davey Johnstone, Elton's guitarrist and musical director, remarks "Martin is a phenomenal player and a very spiritual guy" while explaining they met each other "We had lunch in Malibu a few weeks ago and he gave me a few CDs of Superhuman. It's rocking!". Tillman has been focusing his creative energy on his own compositions and recording projects, and the result is his last cd, Superhuman, dedicated to Eva "to the love of my life". Previous albums by Martin Tillman were Eastern Twin (Rounders) and Cinematic Volunteer composed and produced by Martin Tillman and Tom Vedvik. His previous solo Cd was a very well received solo cello/piano album “A Year in Zurich” in where he both performs cello and piano.

Currently, he is planning some fun shows next year, in Europe, with the Superhuman Band, 30 cellos, and a multimedia show with a ballerina and a breakdancer. Other formats of the show are available with just a five piece rock band, with the inclusion of beautiful soul voices and dancers or solo with a DJ, for all kind of venues. Entertainment is guaranteed.

More info:

official website
on twitter @martincello
on instagram martin_tillman
on facebook martintillmanmusic

Special agreement to Adam Chester and Michael Hoppe who agreed to collaborate on the weekend. Yours are very touchful words for a genious we all love. Thanks for being here (Miquel)

Photo by Dennis Mukai

Welcome to Martin Tillman's Weekend!!!

This is a very special weekend for the site. We have one of best cellist players of our time. He is one person related to Elton, because he collaborated with him live and in the studio, a very good friend of Davey Johnstone (Davey is so proud of this magician of cello) and seeing him playing live is just MAGICAL. The reason to dedicate a Weekend to him is to celebrate the release of his last album: "Superhuman". If you had "A Year in Zurich" album, you understand what I mean. But this album transcends everything. Eltonites, that is not only an album of music. Martin's first sentence it is an statement of his intentions: "Superhuman (is composed) to trigger the spirit’s quest to elevate our endeavors and realize our superhuman strengths". Too mysthical? But no, life itself. When you understand the reason behind this source of creation, this powerful creation, you understand everything. No one could write like him, no one could play like him (magnificients Two Cellos', Hauser and Sulik, are fans too), but no many had seen the hardest part of life to go through when a very close familiar is suffering. Eva is behind one of bests works of Tillman for being a source of inspiration. Eva is Martin's wife who is suffering an unjustice illness. Pain? Yes and no. Eva is LOVE, is MAGIC. No regrets. A lesson of life for the ones who don't appreciate life as the most precious thing we have. Eva is powerful, Eva is stronger, Eva is admiration. And Martin recollect all of this is his album. Every song is a masterpiece on its own. Along with his cello, with the piano, he delivers a touchful performance counting with best session players around, big names of the scene, playing with most top artists of our world. All together in one solid project well executed live. If you had the chance they were close to your town, just go. Prefer intimate sessions? then Solo (with a wonderful session of lights). Prefer a rock band? 5 musicians and, as Martin is a perfeccionist and multitalented artist, you have dancers and singers. A complete piece orchestra? You got it! To my loving eltonites who love soundtracks and cinema, in extension, count how many albums Martin has credits. An endless list growing. Well, could't explain you more for now, just join AllSongsList to celebrate the Weekend, dedicated to a greatest artist of our time, and to celebrate the magnificient team the Tillmans are. Martin and Eva, my love and respect for you. Hope you enjoy as much as me doing this. Eltonites, thanks for being there and a big thank you to the ones who kindly collaborate to focus this two days on this.

Jack Rabbit

12 Feb 2016

"Wonderful Crazy Night" Across The World: The Official Charts

United States
N. 8 (4 Weeks)
Position: 8 - 67- 157 -115

United Kingdom
N. 6 (5 Weeks)
Position: 6 - 18 - 38 - 63 - 88

N. 18 (1 Weeks)

N. 11 (2 Weeks)
Position: 11 - 31 

New Zealand
N. 11 (3 Weeks)
Position: 11 - 23 - 34

N. 35 (2Weeks)
Position: 35 - 96

N. 10 (3 Weeks)
Position: 10 - 

N. 8 (3 Weeks)
Position: 8 - 31 - 65

N. 26 VL(4 Weeks)N. 26 WA(5 Weeks)
Position: 26 - 76 - 70 - 172 (VL) / 26 - 47 - 78 - 79 - 83 (WA)

N. 7 (5 Weeks)
Position: 7 - 21 - 39 - 44 - 73

N. 43 (1 Weeks)

N. 41 (1 Week)

N. 15 (5 Weeks)
Position: 15 - 29 - 59 - 81 - 70

N. 32 (3 Weeks)
Position: 32 - 58 - 81

N. 17 (1 Weeks)

N. 15 (1 Weeks)