Category Archives: Music Videos

Video of the Week: The Orchestrion by Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny
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.”

Video of the Week: Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble by Kotebel

Kotebel
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.

To pre-order Kotebel’s ‘Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble’ CD go to
www.kotebel.com/e-store/concerto.php

Video of the Week: Ochimini by Sintesis

Sintesis
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).

Ochimini appears on the album Trilogía Ancestros Vol. III and also on Yoruba Celebration.

As an added bonus, watch the live version of the song Itewere which features (brief) superb keyboard work by Esteban Puebla.

CD

Digital version

Music Video: Bruce Arnold Plays Runway on Double Neck

Bruce Arnold
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.

Bruce Arnold plays “Runway.” from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

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.

His latest CD is Heavy Mental (Muse-eek Records, 2010)

Video of the week: Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 by Transatlantic

Transatlantic
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.

Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 was taken from the band’s 2001 album titled Bridge Across Forever.

Electronica Artist Synth.nl releases Video About Synthesizer Making

Michel van Osenbruggen at his studio
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.

Australian Experimental Rock Band Releases In The Balance Music Video

Pirate
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.

CD (North America):

Digital download (North America):

Europe:

Progressive Rock Video of the Week: Fanfare for the Common Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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.

Video of the Week: Gentle Giant BBC 1978 – Free Hand

Gentle Giant in the 1970s
This week’s music video is a live performance by Gentle Giant, one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all time.

Gentle Giant was founded in 1970 by the brothers Shulman. Derek was the lead vocalist and played alto sax and bass, Ray sang and played bass & violin, and Phil handled the saxophone and added vocals. The rest of the band included Kerry Minnear, on keyboards, who came straight from the Royal Academy of Music. Gary Green, a musician with a blues background, became the guitarist. Martin Smith was on drums.

Gentle Giant’s use of complex classical chord and time patterns, together with rock, blues, jazz and medieval melodies and themes, set them apart from other progressive rock groups of their time.