This week’s music takes us to 1973, to a classic piece by Genesis, one of the legendary progressive rock groups of the 1970s. ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’ is included in the 1973 masterpiece Selling England by the Pound.
This music video shows Genesis during a 1973 concert. Vocalist Peter Gabriel appears dressed in costume “Britannia” which he wore during the performance of ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight.’ Selling England by the Pound is Genesis’ fifth studio album. It followed Foxtrot and became the most successful album up to then.
Genesis was one of the best and most influential progressive rock groups of all times. The classic line-up during its progressive rock era included Peter Gabriel on vocals, Steve Hackett on guitars, Tony Banks on keyboards, Mike Rutherford on bass and Phil Collins on drums. After Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett left, Genesis changed direction and became a very successful pop band.
Throughout the 1970s and in the following decades dozens of progressive rock bands were inspired by Genesis. The most notable include Marillion and IQ.
Italian bass player Alberto Rigoni makes available on Youtube the official video clip of “The Net”, a song from his new solo album Rebirth released by Nightmare Record. The short tune is based on bass harmonics that create a unique atmosphere. “I love bass harmonics. The tune is simple but hypnotic,” says Rigoni.
Alberto Rigoni is an Italian bass player and composer. Besides his solo career, Alberto is also known as member and bass player of the progressive metal band TwinSpirits and founder of the new electro pop duo Lady & the Bass.
Born in Montebelluna (Treviso, Italy) in 1981, Rigoni founded, together with drummer Enrico Buttol, a well-known progressive-metal cover band called Ascra, performing mainly songs by Dream Theater. In 2003 he joined the emerging progressive metal band Twinspirits, led by Daniele Liverani (Genius Rock Opera, Khymera, ex-Empty Tremor). The band’s debut album “The Music That Will Heal The World” was released worldwide in 2007 by Finnish label Lion Music and received remarkable feedback.
Besides Twinspirits, Rigoni followed composed a solo album titled Something Different, released by Lion Music on February 15th 2008 with worldwide distribution.
In 2011 he signed with Nightmare Records (SONY / RED Distribution) for the release of his new solo album “Rebirth.”
The Orchestrion is fascinating mix or music and technology. Guitar innovator and musical explorer Pat Metheny demonstrates his ’Orchestrionics, a term he uses to describe “a method of developing ensemble-oriented music using acoustic and acoustoelectric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled in a variety of ways, using solenoids and pneumatics.”
With this project, Pat Metheny took advantage of today’s technology and he developed his own Orchestrion, which includes a large ensemble of acoustic instruments: pianos, drum kit, marimbas, “guitar-bots,” dozens of percussion instruments and even cabinets of carefully tuned bottles. Metheny worked for several months with a talented team of scientists and engineers to develop and assemble the “New Orchestrion” for this project.
“With a guitar, pen or keyboard I am able to create a detailed compositional environment or a spontaneously developed improvisation, with the pieces on this particular recording leaning toward the compositional side of the spectrum,” adds Metheny. “On top of these layers of acoustic sound, I add my conventional electric guitar playing as an improvised component.
Pat Metheny Talks About The Orchestrion
At least for me, this takes the term “solo record” into some new and interesting areas, somewhat recontextualizing the idea of what constitutes a solo performance by a single musician. This project is the result of a lifelong dream in this area that dates back to my early youth.”
This week we present a the video Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble by Kotebel, a renowned Madrid-based progressive rock band. This is a preview of their upcoming new CD titled ‘Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble.’
Kotebel has released 5 albums since 2000, including the critically acclaimed ‘Omphalos.’ “The main body of the [[Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble]] album is formed by the four movements that comprise the ‘Concerto for Piano‘,” says keyboardist and founding member Carlos Plaza Vegas. “It is pure music; no reference to extra-musical elements. However, the other four pieces on the album are based on conceptual elements.”
The band was formed in 2000 as an eclectic project, immersed in the mainstream of progressive “art” music. Kotebel’s music is an elaborate, yet accessible blend of avant-garde symphonic rock, with a wide range of influences from classical music to jazz to world music.
Kotebel’s actual line-up includes Carlos Franco Vivas on drums and percussion; César Garcia Forero on guitars; Jaime Pascual Summers on bass; Adriana Nathalie Plaza Engelke on keyboards; and Carlos G. Plaza Vegas on keyboards.
This week’s video takes us to Cuba. Sintesis is a legendary progressive rock group that has been around since the 1970s. Síntesis was formed in 1975 as Cuba’s first progressive rock band. Their first incarnation combined influences from British progressive rock classics such as Genesis and Yes with Cuban folk music and nueva trova. Throughout the years, Sintesis changed line-up and evolved into a band that fuses progressive rock and jazz with Afro-Cuban music.
Since the 1980s, Síntesis is led by singer,bassist and composer Carlos Alfonso, a former member of the legendary Cuban fusion jazz band Irakere. The current version of the band features Carlos Alfonso on bass, guitar and vocals; his wife Ele Valdés, the original singer and keyboardist from the 1970s version of Síntesis; Madonna Alfonso on vocals; composer Esteban Puebla on keyboards and guitar; Michael Olivera Garcia on Cuban percussion; and Andrei Martinez on guitars.
On the Ochimini video, Sintesis is joined by the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional of Cuba (Cuban National Folk Ensemble).
Guitarist Bruce Arnold provides a masterful demonstration of jazz rock fusion on his Music Man double neck and Asher slide guitar along with Kirk Driscoll on drums and Jerry DeVore on electric bass. The performance was part of the New York University (NYU) Summer Guitar Intensive.
Bruce Arnold was born in 1955 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. He is an author, composer, educator and guitarist residing in New York City. He explores the applications of 20th century classical theory in contemporary forms, such as Rock and Jazz, creating a unique compositional and improvisational sound. As a guest artist Arnold has toured Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
His performance and recording activities include work with a wide array of styles. He has played with such diverse musicians as Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lennie Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.
Bruce Arnold’s recording credits include over twenty five CDs and DVDs (on Muse-eek Records, MelBay Recordings, Truefire and other labels), ranging from the standard jazz repertoire to free improvisation to the reinterpretations of classical music with the ensemble Spooky Actions. His compositions are published by Muse Eek Publishing, and MelBay Productions.
Arnold’s theoretical works have explored the use of Pitch Class Set Theory within a improvisational setting. He is also written more than 60 music instruction books covering Guitar Pedagogy, Ear Training and Time Studies. He is the director of guitar studies at New York University and Princeton University as well as the creator of the New York University Summer Guitar Intensive. He has taught at New England Conservatory of Music, Dartmouth College, Berklee College of Music, New School University, and City College of New York.
He is a totally dedicated guitarist who likes to practice for at least 3 hours a day. He also likes to work with the computer program SuperCollider to achieve his various effects.
The music video of this week is Stranger In Your Soul by multinational progressive rock band Transatlantic. Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 is extracted from the Transatlantic DVD “Live In Europe.”
Transatlantic is the progressive rock supergroup formed by outstanding musicians from various countries who have performed in some of the finest progressive rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s, including Neal Morse (former Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). The band also includes Mike Portnoy of the hard rock/metal band Dream Theater.
Dutch electronic music artist Synth.nl has released a video that shows the process of making a synthesizer.
“This year I built a Wilba SammichFM DIY synthesizer kit,” says Michel van Osenbruggen, the space music artist behind Synth.nl. “It is based on the famous Yamaha OPL3 sound chip that was also used on the famous Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 and SoundBlaster 16 ASP sound cards. It is a 4 voice FM synthesizer that sounds a lot like the famous Yamaha DX series.”
Michel van Osenbruggen filmed the construction of the whole process. “This movie is an excerpt of the 4 hours total build time,” says van Osenbruggen. “I made the 3D animations myself in Cinema 4D. The music you hear in the background is the track ‘Thermosphere’ from my 2008 ‘AtmoSphere‘ album.”
Synth.nl has a new album titled Apollo which is available as a CD or MP3 download.
Pirate, a Sydney-based experimental rock band, has released a fascinating new video for their track ‘In The Balance’, taken from their debut album ‘Left Of Mind.’
Directed by Paul Cook of POP Films, it was filmed at Sydney’s Troy Horse studio, with an array of visual effects and lighting. Reflecting the minimimalist nature of the track, the video is suitably stripped-back.
Pirate have toured their fiercely experimental avante-garde rock since the release of Left Of Mind, including supports for FloatingMe, sleepmakeswaves and Sydonia, as well as featuring on both Sydney and Melbourne Progfest events and headlining their own club shows.
They will cap off the year on the Bird’s Robe label showcase tour, taking in the Annandale Hotel in Sydney on Dec 22nd and Curtin Bandroom in Melbourne on Dec 23rd, alongside sleepmakeswaves, Meniscus and Toehider.
This week’s progressive rock video takes us to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, performing a spectacular live version of Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man.’ The concert took place at Tollwood Festival in Munich (Germany) in 1997.
On this piece, Keith Emerson demonstrates why he is regarded as one of the leading keyboardists of his generation. He pioneered the use of synthesizers in modern music, combining the sounds of the traditional piano, electric organ and various generations of synthesizers.
The new arrangement of ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ was original included in Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s double album titled Works 1, released in 1977.
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond