Greg Lake, the memorable vocalist and bassist for King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, moved away from progressive rock in the 1980s. He recorded two albums, Greg Lake (1981) and Manoeuvres (1983) that feature 1980s-style AOR rock, hard rock and pop, with the typical reverberating pounding drums of the era.
Both albums are now available, remastered, as a two-disc set. The best part of the songs on Disc 1 are the guitar solos by the great Gary Moore (who passed away in 2011). Disc 1 has three bonus tracks that feature members of popular rock band Toto.
Disc 2 includes a great progressive rock song, “I Don’t Know Why I Still Love You” that has an Emerson Lake and Palmer feel, including majestic electric organ and synths by Tommy Eyre, fretless bass by Tristram Margetts and grand percussion by Ted McKenna. This band had a great potential as a progressive rock act, but the early 1980s was a cruel era for progressive rock in the UK.
The CD booklet includes extensive liner notes and interviews with Greg Lake.
Croatian guitarist and composer Andreas Šala, who performs with bands Subscale, The Ralph and If And When We Die, has released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome.
Šala plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video. “I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again,” says Šala.
Pleasure Dome will be different from the albums Šala releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80’s/90’s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album.”
American synthesist and sound designer Robert Rich will be playing at Moogfest from Thursday May 19, 2016 11:59 p.m. through Friday May 20, 2016 8:00 a.m. at the 21c Museum Hotel, Main Ballroom, 111 N. Corcoran St, in Durham, North Carolina.
We talked to Robert briefly about this event.
What repertoire will you be performing at Moogfest?
I’ll be playing a sleep concert. That’s it. It’s a thing, one piece, which is different every time because it’s a blend of improvisations with long-duration sound design.
What equipment will you be using?
Laptop with support devices, Korg M3, lap steel guitar, PVC flutes and several loopers.
Robert Rich describes the concept of a Sleep Concert which appeared on his album Somnium: “The term “Sleep Concert” can be a bit misleading, as it implies that this music is intended to help you sleep deeply. On the contrary, when you play Somnium at night, you may find that you sleep less deeply, and wake up more often. The idea is to let the music incorporate itself into your perceptual framework during the night, to create a sonic surround, an environment for unique states of consciousness.”
The music is pointed at the foggy territory that exists in your mind when you are drifting between awake and asleep. ”When your half-sleeping mind wanders into the realm of hypnogogic images and dreamlike non-linearity. You might find that this music can act as a trigger for these flowing thoughts, and the activation of the environment around you can help you to skate around the edges of sleep, with one foot in the dream world and one foot in the room where you are sleeping.”
This concert is already full. Anyone interested in attending the performance needs to get on the waiting list.
Photo credit: Robert Rich at Nearfest – Photo by Brian Tirpack
Musicians are invited to create recordings with an installation of sounding sculptures presently on display in Museum of Arts and Design’s exhibition Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound. Every final Friday throughout the run of the exhibition, Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) invites musicians to create sound recordings with this installation. These Studio Sessions may be booked in one-hour segments, and artists must provide their own recording equipment.
Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound explores the Sonambient sculptures of Bertoia, an artist and designer whose career spanned just over thirty-five years. Known to many as the designer of the “Diamond” chair still in production today by Knoll, Bertoia was also a prolific maker of prints, jewelry and sculpture—both intimate and monumental—that grapple with properties of light, volume and sound.
Beertoia created much of his work from metal wire and rods, and toward the middle of his career, he discovered that when these strike one another, they make lush, resonant sounds. By the early 1960s, he was creating prototypes for his sounding, or tonal, sculptures—work that would eventually occupy the remaining years of his career.
These sculptures would become collectively known as Sonambient, a combination of the Latin roots of the words “sound” and “environment.” In 1968 Bertoia began to set up the 18th-century stone barn on his property in Pennsylvania to house a selection of his sounding sculptures and gongs. There he recorded 360 (known) reel-to-reel tapes of the sculptures. The barn is still standing today, with ninety-one original sounding sculptures installed inside, as Bertoia had intended them: an environment for sound.
MAD’s exhibition includes an interactive display of Sonambient sculptures created by Harry Bertoia’s son Val Bertoia.
Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Studio Sessions
May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26 | 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Free with Museum admission
To schedule a recording session, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum of Arts and Design
The Jerome and Simona Chazen Building
2 Columbus Circle, New York City
Stick Men+ featuring David Cross – Midori, Live at Billboard, Tokyo, 10 April 2015 (Moonjune Records, 2016)
This fabulous special limited edition 2-CD set contains two live performances by Stick Men+ with a guest appearance by former King Crimson violist David Cross. Midori demonstrates that progressive rock and electronics are perfect companions. The album features a mix of ambient pieces and soundscapes, improvisatory progressive rock and classic symphonic progressive rock.
King Crimson is one of the essential progressive rock bands that never sold out to pop and AOR. Midori features three musicians who have been involved with one of King Crimson’s multiple versions: Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and David Cross.
Throughout Midori there are spectacular jams, mesmerizing soundscapes, violin and stick solos, and structured compositions showcasing the talent of the three musicians.
King Crimson fans will recognize some of the musical pieces such as the classic Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part 2 (from Larks’ Tongues in Aspic), Industry (from Three of a Perfect Pair), The Talking Drum (from Larks’ Tongues in Aspic), Breathless (from Robert Fripp’s 1979 album Exposure), and “Sartori in Tangier” (from the album Beat). Additionally, disc 2 includes a version of Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” The rest of the pieces are improvisations and new pieces composed by Stick Men.
This project came about in April of 2015. Stick Men performed four historic concerts in Japan, with special guest, iconic King Crimson violinist David Cross. Moonjune Records’ Leonardo Pavkovic coordinated the project. The live recording of the 2 Tokyo concerts was released as a double CD in Japan only, and now is available as well through MoonJune in a limited edition of 2500 copies, available only on MoonJune’s BandCamp and on Stick Men’s 2016 live shows.
The album lineup includes: Tony Levin on stick and voice; Pat Mastelotto on acoustic and electronic drums and percussion; Markus Reuter on Touch Guitars AU8, soundscaping and keyboards; and David Cross on violin and keyboard.
Midori, Live at Billboard, Tokyo, 10 April 2015 is an outstanding set of forward thinking progressive rock by one the finest acts in the current progressive music scene.
British progressive music band The Pineapple Thief has announced the release of its most ambitious studio album to date, Your Wilderness (Kscope). The album will be available on August 12.
“The new album was a joy to make. More so than any other The Pineapple Thief album before it,” says frontman Bruce Soord. “Everything came together so effortlessly and I think this comes across when you hear the record.”
For the first time, The Pineapple Thief has invited several special guest musicians. “Since our last album ‘Magnolia,’ the most eye catching change is obviously having Gavin Harrison contribute drums throughout the album,” adds Bruce Soord. “This has not only redefined our sound, but also redefined how we approached the songs as a band. Gavin’s drumming is technically brilliant, but also incredibly musical, and it inspired all of us to raise our game. I’ve also rediscovered my progressive roots in terms of songwriting and arrangement.
Added to that, we were lucky enough to have John Helliwell from Supertramp contribute some beautiful clarinet parts and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) provided a string quartet. We were also joined by a lovely four piece choir and, to cap it all off, my friend Darran Charles (Godsticks) added some jaw dropping guitar playing… You’ve never heard a The Pineapple Thief album like this one! I am convinced people will love this record as much as we do.”
Your Wilderness will be available on CD, LP, digitally and as a special deluxe hard cover book.
American ambient electronic artist Chronotope Project has announced the release of its new album, Passages. The new recording is described as a “deeply meditative immersion into an expansive and effervescent sound stream.”
The Security Project is a superband featuring members of King Crimson, Shriekback and Peter Gabriel band musicians. They have just released a live album titled Live 1 that recreates iconic Peter Gabriel songs. Once he left Genesis, Peter Gabriel drifted away from progressive rock so his solo work was primarily pop and mainstream rock songs. Security Project transforms Gabriel’s songs and delivers a mix of modern pop and progressive rock-infused arrangements.
When you hear the vocals on Live 1, you will immediately think of Peter Gabriel. Brian Cummins sounds remarkably similar Peter Gabriel. He’s a member of one of the best Genesis tribute bands called Carpet Crawlers. On the other hand, the instrumentalists are some of the finest rock virtuoso musicians in the world.
The first six songs are the most pop-oriented tracks. Well performed, but I lost interest in pop a long time ago. Naturally, I gravitated towards the songs that have a closer connection to progressive rock, which includes several of the pieces in the second half of the album. In addition to Brian Cummins’ captivating vocals, the guitarists and keyboardist deliver memorable, although brief, instrumental moments.
“Peter was always great at setting the table for us as musicians. He always got us started with great ideas,” says drummer and vocalist Jerry Marotta. “As we were creating Security we had no idea we were making something so unique… I’m proud that with Security Project we’re able to deliver the deepest of those songs, and do it with real conviction — playing them live.”
Highlights include the outstanding vocal performances of Cummins and the backing vocals in “The Rhythm of the Heat”; the beautiful keyboard and guitar work in “San Jacinto”; the fabulous transition of “Games Without Frontiers” into “Of These, Hope” which is full blown state of the art progressive rock; the epic version of “Here Comes The Flood”; progressive-era Genesis song “Back in N.Y.C.” (from the remarkable The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album).
The lineup includes Jerry Marotta on drums and percussion, backing vocals, and lead vocal on Back in NYC; Trey Gunn on touch guitar, backing vocals; Brian Cummins on lead vocals; Michael Cozzi on guitar, backing vocals; and David Jameson on keyboards, Eigenharp.