This is Day Five! I’ll tell what album I chose in a minute. Look here for my intro.
Don’t know this challenge? Here is the basic idea (which I’ll semi-ignore):
Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (will do, well album, not song)
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional) (nope – instrumental)
Post the name of the song and a video. (will do – a song from the album)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Well…, All of you)
(I was “volunteered” to do the challenge by Sue Vincent ;) )
In my teen years I continued my search for electronic music, but I also got drawn deeper into the world of harder rock. I soon began to listen to what would later be called “Progressive Rock ” – the name existed back then but had a very different meaning. I liked Genesis, but my favorite was Yes. And yet, these bands just didn’t go far enough into pure electronics…
At the fringes of Prog-Rock was a blues based band that didn’t push as deep into the classical or into the bombastic. They didn’t show off their skills just to show off. Back then I heard this band described as a Heavy Mental band (notice, ‘mental”, not “metal”), but usually not a “progressive rock” band. But they created one of the best electronic rock albums of all times.
Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here.
Yes, that is two Pink Floyd albums out of five meaningful “songs” (See Atom Heart Mother). And the funny thing is, I never considered Pink Floyd as my favorite band! But they were, by far, the most influential in the long run, and Wish You were Here, Shine on You Crazy Diamond in in particular, has had a place deeper in my psyche than about any other music. Listen to most of the music that I have posted. Do you hear it? A lot of music I haven’t posted comes even closer (see the videos at the bottom of the page!).
The album has two major themes. One is the band’s bad experience with record companies. Welcome to the Machine is a great example, but listen to the lyrics of Have a Cigar, and how angrily they are sung/shouted. The other theme was their ex-band mate and Floyd’s founder Syd Barrett. You can hear this in the title track, Wish You Were Here, but even more so in by far the band’s greatest achievement, Shine on You Crazy Diamond. The drone at the beginning, made up of layers of synthesizers and wine glasses, yes, the ringing, singing tone of wine glasses being rubbed!, makes for a totally ethereal sound that I’ve attempted to capture on about 75% of the music I’ve created.
The music is very, very simple. Atom Heart Mother, simple compared to some Prog-Rock, is much, much more complex. And yet it is effective for what it is doing. And it fits together better than almost any other super long rock song. At the end, if you didn’t know it was about Syd, Richard Wright plays See Emily Play, one of Syd Barrett’s early Floyd tunes, to end the massive song.
You can hear all nine parts of Shine on You Crazy Diamond here, even though the audio isn’t as good as you may want (listen to a CD on a top end system, not an mp3 (mp3s ruin music like this) if you want the true effect).
As I said, I’ve recorded many things that are influenced by this, but few as plainly as Lost Star. This music is my best modular analog synth record so far and was recorded as a homage to my favorite electronic musicians and keyboardists of the 70s. Of course Shine on You Crazy Diamond has a place of honor.
If you notice, there are sounds influenced by some of Vangelis’ early music, Rick Wakeman/Yes music, Tomita’s music, and even Steve Miller (Book of Dreams) and others in here. And yes, I like my animation, particularly later when sped up ;)
I have many other better examples, but I want to put up a “live” jam version of Lost Star, since it is more Pink Floyd and less the other influences.
And that ends number five! Because of the way this journey unfolded, I’m going to do a quick recap later today.