duminică, 14 august 2011
Unul dintre membrii fondatori ai formaţiei a fost Richard Wright. Contribuţia sa la proiectul Pink Floyd este esenţială pentru evoluţia creatoare a formaţiei. The dark side of the moon, al treilea album ca vînzări al tuturor timpurilor, reprezintă dovada faptului că succesul comercial poate fi obţinut fără concesii în procesul de compoziţie. Richard Wright este compozitorul a cinci piese de pe acest album, printre care se numără titluri ca Breathe, Time, The great Gig in the Sky, Us and them, Any Colour you like.
În primii ani de existenţă a grupului, atunci cînd formaţia era condusă de Syd Barret, Wright a contribuit activ în calitate de compozitor, pianist şi organist. Printre compoziţiile sale din acea perioadă putem aminti Remember a day, See-saw, Paint Box sau It would be so nice. Anii 1968-1970 reprezintă perioada experimentării muzicale pentru Pink Floyd. În această perioadă, Wright este autorul unor compoziţii bazate pe improvizaţii de pian şi de orgă, care au contribuit la cristalizarea "sunetului psihedelic" al formaţiei. Odată cu evoluţia concepţiei muzicale a formaţiei, Wright a devenit mai puţin preocupat de compunerea pieselor şi mai mult preocupat de crearea unui nou sunet şi a unui nou stil pentru creaţii instrumentale caInterstellar Overdrive, A Saucerful of Secrets, Careful with That Axe, Eugene, One Of These Days, aria principală de interes fiind reprezentată de segmentele de orgă şi de pian.
Tot în această perioadă, Wright contribuie, împreună cu membrii grupului Pink Floyd, la compunerea coloanelor sonore a unor fime ca More, Obscured by clouds şi, bineînţeles,Zabriskie Point, regizat de Michelangelo Antonioni.
Albumele Atom Heart Mother şi Meddle reprezintă o perioadă de tranziţie în evoluţia formaţiei. Aceşti ani sînt caracterizaţi de experimentalism şi de căutarea sunetului distinct ce avea să fie numit de fani "The Pink Floyd Sound". Activitatea formaţiei este marcată de colaborarea cu Ron Geesin şi de înregistrarea împreună cu o orchestră simfonică.
Cea mai importantă contribuţie a lui Richard Wright o reprezintă însă compunerea pieselor de pe albumul The dark side of the moon. Lăsînd la o parte incredibilul succes comercial al albumului, care a consacrat pentru totdeauna formaţia, trebuie spus că apariţia sa este considerată unul dintre cele mai semnificative momente ale muzicii rock. Nu cred că am exagera dacă am spune că apariţia acestui album este pentru istoria rockului la fel de importantă ca apariţia volumului Florile răului pentru istoria poeziei.
Albumul este bazat pe sesiunile experimentale din spectacolele şi înregistrările precedente ale formaţiei. Este de la sine înţeles că Richard Wright a avut o contribuţie esenţială la realizarea acestui album, semnînd (singur sau împreună cu ceilalţi membri ai formaţiei) mai mult de jumătate din piesele de pe The dark side of the moon. Dacă Roger Waters, noul lider al formaţiei după retragerea lui Syd Barret, era responsabil pentru compunerea versurilor de pe album, o mare parte a concepţiei muzicale este datorată lui Richard Wright. Albumul a deschis drumul pentru ceea ce, în zilele noastre, este numit concept album (album-concept). Pe lîngă faptul că toate piesele de pe acest album sînt grupate în jurul cîtorva teme unificatoare, aceste compoziţii reprezintă şi rezultatul unui experimentalism muzical bine controlat, ceea ce face dinThe dark side of the moon o noutate a genului, fiind primul album de acest tip care a avut succes comercial.
Tema mare a albumul este "explorarea experienţei umane". Breathe ilustrează experienţele noi şi copilăria. Time este o meditaţie asupra îmbătrînirii şi a trecerii timpului. Us and themabordează tema conflictului, Money satirizează consumismul şi lăcomia, în timp ce The great Gig in the Sky (epitaful lui Wright) explorează spiritualitatea şi moartea. Unul dintre aspectele esenţiale ale albumului este abilitatea lui Richard Wright şi a lui David Gilmour de a cînta într-o armonie perfectă în piese ca Us and them sau Time, atît la nivel vocal, cît şi la nivel instrumental.
Wright a lucrat şi a compus o parte din piesele de pe următoarele albume ale formaţiei. După contribuţia la realizarea albumelor Wish You Were Here şi Animals, relaţia cu Roger Waters s-adeteriorat din ce în ce mai mult, culminînd cu plecarea lui Wright din formaţie în timpul sesiunilor la albumul monumental The Wall. Artistul a debutat în cariera solo cu albumul Wet dream(1978). Lăsînd la o parte vechile neînţelegeri cu Roger Waters, a participat şi la concertul de reuniune de la Live 8 (2005).
Richard Wright nu e responsabil pentru muzica părinţilor sau a bunicilor noştri. El trăieşte de fiecare dată cînd un adolescent descoperă Us and them sau The Great Gig in the Sky. El reprezintă muzica tuturor generaţiilor.
miercuri, 15 iunie 2011
Il mai vazusem pe roger waters in concert, in 2007, la budapesta, insa am fost usor dezamagit: trupa cu care canta reproducea aproape nota cu nota solo-urile din celebrele piese pink floyd. fara geniul lui gilmour, wright si mason, desigur. concertul de la londra din acest an a fost special. waters a recreat “the wall“. fara maretia inegalabila a concertului de la berlin din 21 iulie 1990, insa cu logistica si efectele video ale secolului XXI. cele trei concerte de pe O2 arena (suplimentate cu inca doua, datorita cererii imense de bilete) au fost inregistrate si filmate pentru viitorul DVD al turneului.
O2 arena din Londra este coplesitoare. cat un stadion (23.000 de locuri), cu o instalatie de lumini formidabila si cu un sound system impecabil, locul ideal pentru “the wall“. accesul se face civilizat, fara imbulzeala, poti cumpara mancare sau bautura la tot pasul, doar ca – la fel ca in toata anglia – nu se fumeaza nicaieri. am intalnit fani pink floyd veniti din toata europa si – din imensitatea aia de sala – exact in spatele meu s-au nimerit patru romani care n-aveau habar de avertismentul organizatorilor de a nu folosi blitz-urile aparatelor foto in timpul concertului. n-am reusit sa inteleg la ce le-a folosit ca, oricum, pana la scena erau vreo 80 de metri. noroc ca nu i-au observat oamenii de ordine, care i-ar fi scos din sala.
inca de la primele note, pe scena a fost ridicat celebrul zid, pe care se proiectau apoi animatiile binecunoscute. doar de cateva ori au aparut imensele papusi cu aer cald (mama, profesorul, femeia), iar la “run like hell“, un porc imens a plutit deasupra spectatorilor.
toata sala astepta cu sufletul la gura “comfortably numb“. cu trei zile in urma, norocosii fani de la concertul de pe O2 arena au fost zdrobiti: alaturi de roger waters, la tobe a aparut nick mason, iar la chitara insusi david gilmour ! cu totii speram ca minunea sa se repete, dar – vorba lui mason – “enough is enough. we’re english, after all. we don’t do that hugging thing a lot.”
chiar si fara cei doi, show-ul “the wall” construit de roger waters merita toti banii (85 de lire sterline, un bilet intr-o zona decenta). pentru cei ca mine, care au crescut cu pink floyd si au trait cu imensul regret ca formatia s-a destramat inainte ca zidul care ne despartea de lumea civilizata sa cada, ca sa poata ajunge la un concert, este ultima ocazie de a-si implini un vis. chiar daca stim pe de rost fiecare acord din muzica formatiei, nimic nu se compara cu un concert adevarat.
organizarea concertului a fost impecabila pana la capat. intr-un sfert de ora, 23.000 de oameni au iesit din O2 arena si au plecat spre casa cu automobilele sau cu metroul, fara sa se calce in picioare, relaxati si fericiti.
luni, 9 mai 2011
A fost pentru prima dată când am cântat în faţa a douăsprezece mii de oameni, iar alte douăzeci de mii ne vedeau pe ecrane. A fost prima noastră ieşire în faţa unei audienţe de asemenea calibru şi a fost oarecum înfricoşător.
sâmbătă, 19 martie 2011
Alan would ascend to assistant engineer in the Beatles era, working on the albums Let It Be and Abbey Road, including the final “rooftop sessions” at Apple Corps. He went on to engineer the landmark 1973 Pink Floyd album, The Dark Side of the Moon, whose recording quality and originality turn heads to this day. Then, with singer and songwriter Eric Woolfson, the skills that had assured Alan’s place in history as a superlative “sound guy” would be focused on his own music in the Alan Parsons Project. Lush, wall-of-sound production was one sonic signature of the APP; another was an abundance of unique keyboard sounds. This is no less true of his recent Grammy-nominated solo release, A Valid Path.
Alan took a break from making his upcoming instructional DVD series The Art and Science of Sound Recording to share studio secrets from both the Floyd and the Project.
Another Dark Side track, “The Great Gig in the Sky,” is a study in stellar rock keyboards. Clare Torry’s wordless vocal solo emerges from a plaintive piano figure and explodes over a thick bed of Hammond organ. “The piano was the Steinway concert grand in studio 1 at Abbey Road,” explains Alan, “I miked it using classical techniques: Putting nothing too close to the instrument itself, and capturing the ambience in the room. I used a pair of Neumann M50 omni mics. Compression? No! I added a little plate echo to compliment the natural ambience.
“On the Hammond, I used one mic on the Leslie’s lower drum and two on opposite sides to capture the active horn of the top pair. On Leslies I’d use Neumann KM86s as a rule. I got the best results for the horn by not getting too close, as this would result in an over-accentuated swish as the horn crossed the mic path. I panned the top mics hard left and right and kept the bottom centered. In later years, I felt I got better results by just using two mics: one top and one bottom, with a narrow stereo spread between them.”
How was a Projectron patch created? “We used only continuous sounds. For instance, we’d record ‘ahhs’ on C for as long as the singer’s breath allowed. This was on multitrack, so not only could we layer the same note for thickness, we could also record a number of notes, usually a major scale. We’d then mix each note to 1/4" tape. We had to build a 1/4" loop from some point after the singer had started singing, but before he or she had run out of breath. Sometimes we’d make a very long diagonal splice so you wouldn’t hear a glitch, or we’d record directly to a blank loop and gradually pull the tape away from the erase head, then the record head, using a pencil. Getting a seamless loop was very much a trial and error thing — we were basically trying to find a ‘zero crossing’ without a waveform display!
“When we had good 1/4" loops for each note, we recorded them back to multitrack so that each track was one note. To get ‘black notes’ not in the major scale, we’d cheat using varispeed, and individual tape tracks were triggered from notes on the Projectron keyboard. ”Some of the more interesting ‘samples’ were treble, descant, and bass recorders blown by a vacuum cleaner — you can hear this on ‘Some Other Time’ on the Pyramid album. Continuous, rapid hits of hammers on a vibraphone was a section of the title track of I Robot. Female ‘ahhs’ featured most noticeably on ‘Breakdown’ and ‘Shadow of a Lonely Man.’”
Learn from the Master
Alan Parsons’ The Art & Science Of Sound Recording DVD series, produced by Keyfax New Media, covers everything from recording live drums and guitars to the inner workings of mics, preamps and compression — all as it relates to cutting-edge, DAWbased music creation. Details are at www.artandscienceofsound.com.
vineri, 25 februarie 2011
joi, 24 februarie 2011
Rick Wakeman has had a fascinating career that has spanned 4 decades and shows little sign of slowing up anytime soon. Perhaps he is best known as the master of the Moog synthesizer for the bands The Strawbs and Yes, but he is also a very, very accomplished solo musician. Over the past couple of months he has released two DVD’s, while widely divergent in intention they are both delightful, and should be part of everyone’s collection. I had the opportunity to chat with Rick recently, and what an engaging guy he is. Oh, and Rick, my address is on its way for that Christmas card!
I loved the concept of “Amazing Grace”, take some well known Hymn tunes and rearrange them for the grand piano. How did this project come about? Where did the inspiration come from?
It started quite a few years ago when someone was talking to me about ‘The day thou gavest’ which I had used on the end of Anne Boleyn on the Six Wives album. They asked me why I had used the hymn. I explained that the music was not the hymn, but simply a tune that church ministers used, amongst many others, to fit the stanzas of the hymns that had been written by various writers. No tunes were actually written at that time with the specific purpose of use for a specific hymn. Amazing Grace is a classic example. The words by John Newton must have had at least 20 tunes used before the excellent tune we all know today came along.
It is ironic that it was used in the William Wilberforce film called Amazing Grace, as it had not even been written at the time… Oh well… that’s ignorant film makers for you!
Anyway, I just thought it would be nice to take some of the more well known tunes that had been used for hymns and had become synonymous with them and literally perform them as instrumental variations
I first did this with a CD called ‘Morning has Broken’ and when that ceased to be available I thought it would be a nice idea to re-mix, add new hymns. And make visuals to go with the music, and so Amazing Grace was born.
Your daughter sings on the title track, and a very fine musician she is. Do you plan on working with her more in the future?
We’ve done a few things together. She sang on both my retro albums, and has a band of her own. She’s a beautiful piano player too… I’d love to do more with all the kids… they’re all great players in their own right. But I don’t think I can afford them anymore!
The videography on the DVD is nothing short of stunning. The use of time lapse captures the mood of the music so well. Can you tell us a little about where the ideas behind that came from, and what your involvement was?
I have to be totally honest here and own up that all of the visuals were the brainchild of Robert Garofalo. I left that side of things to him because of his expertise. I am absolutely thrilled with what he did. Choices of footage I would never dreamed of, such as the Pan Am disaster.
I must say that I was delighted that you included “All things bright and Beautiful”, it was my late fathers favorite hymn, and your version I know would have pleased him greatly. Do you have any personal favorites in this collection?
To be honest the hymn you mention is a personal favorite because it’s probably the first hymn I ever learned as a young kid. It is indeed bright and beautiful and timeless too. I really do love hymn tunes as they are in general so melodic and so adaptable.
You have had an outstanding career spanning 4 decades, and I know that in my collection I still have ‘Antiques and Curios’, which I believe was one of your first recordings. Looking back at the many, many projects you have worked on, is there a pet one?
Political answer here.. There isn’t a favorite to be honest. They all mean something to me, although admittedly some more than others. Some of the more obscure I am fond of too, such as A Suite Of Gods which I did with the operatic tenor Ramon Redios, Classical Variations on the President label was fun too. Return To The Centre Of The Earth was a milestone for me, as were the early albums from the 70’s.
Following on the heels of ‘Amazing Grace’ you released The Other Side Of, which I think is very entertaining. Was it a hard decision to try the comedy format?
I’ve been doing it for such a long time now, since the 70’s really, but the comedy side of things really took off in the 80’s when I appeared on the Danny Baker Show and told a few anecdotes. The national press gave the show rave reviews and my double life started! I’m a comedy freak and just love laughter, and so I combine the two wherever possible. Hosting 8 years of The Comedy Show Live at Jongleurs didn’t do any harm either! I am also part of a huge TV series here called Grumpy Old Men. I’m as well known in the UK for being a TV comic as I am a musician these days!
The stories came across as very unscripted, and in my opinion that was part of the charm. Were they as ‘off the cuff’ as they appeared?
Oh very much so. When I tell them on other occasions they are never the same, I always seem to go off on tangents.
‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘The Other Side Of’ are certainly a far cry from the world of Progressive Rock, but I was wondering if you still keep in touch with that genre. I reviewed a couple of DVD’s recently by, Neo and Pendragon, they share the same keyboardist Clive Nolan, not only does he look like the Rick Wakeman of the 70’s and 80’s he plays like him! Have you seen any of his work?
Bits and pieces, as he worked with my eldest son Oliver on a couple of projects. I still keep the Prog Rock flame alive with concerts with the English Rock Ensemble (ERE) here and there. This year we have played Norway and Canada very successfully, and the last two albums have been very much Prog Rock (Retro and Retro 2).
A question just for fun. Who is the better Moog player, you or Keith Emerson?
That’s like asking if a football player is better than a baseball player, we are so totally different. Keith does stuff I couldn’t do and I think the same applies the other way round. I have the utmost respect for Keith in all he has done and all he is doing.
I understand that you have recently completed the music score for a movie about Aleister Crowley, can you give us some clues about the soundtrack, when will we in North America be hearing it?
It is very much a soundtrack where musically I try to follow the film and the story.. and an amazing story it is too. Very fascinating how evil one man can be. The film is called Aleister Crowley – In Search Of The Great Beast 666. The official movie site is: www.aleister-crowley-666.com
What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently involved in a stage musical, two other films and a stage juggling show! I’m doing a lot of television as well, and have a short tour starting in the UK in October called Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Picture Show, and I’m pleased to report that tickets are flying out of the box office. It’s a very busy period, and already I am booked for Brazil next August to perform King Arthur with a symphony orchestra and choir.