Archives

All posts for the month November, 2019

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/30/the-decade-in-review-rob-fisher/

Picking 10 releases from across a decade is no easy task. Injustices will be done! The different criteria you can use and the wide range of emphases on which you pin importance lead to all manner of selections and lists, which in turn change day after day depending on your mood!

At the outset of this exercise, if you had shown me the 10 picks below my response would have been “are you kidding?!” Yet here they are. In the end it came down to the fine line between appreciation and resonance. There are many releases over the last ten years which I appreciate, admire and enjoy as being finely crafted contemporary ‘classics’, masterpieces of musical inspiration and intelligent composition.

But in the end, this alone wasn’t enough to get them over the selection line. My final decisions came down to –
a) these albums continue to be regularly played because
b) the music has the ability to resonate on multiple levels and
c) I believe they all make an important contribution to the growth and evolution of progressive music over the last ten years.

So, without further ado, here we go. Enjoy!


Arena
The Seventh Degree of Separation – 2011

Arena - The Seventh Degree Of SeparationArena had been quiet for 6 years since the release of Pepper’s Ghost in 2005. They returned in 2011 reinvigorated with a new singer in Paul Manzi and fan favourite John Jowitt resuming duties on bass. The result is both enthralling and energising, setting the scene for a moody and deeply atmospheric concept album which bristles with creativity and adventure.

The music explores the subject of death, based on Frigyes Karinthy’s theory of Six Degrees of Separation, which the band expanded to the seventh degree, using the process to link the living to the world of the dead. The album has an intense and passionate musical focus which is vibrant and vigorous in its treatment of the 13 episodes which make up the release.

An overriding sense of drama creates a musical space which swells with inventive compositions, pressing instrumental interplays and spirited vocal harmonies that keep you happily entranced for the duration. It makes my top three because over the years it has never lost that sense of freshness and adventure which mark it out as a remarkable performance by one of the UK’s significant prog bands.

Sean Filkins
War & Peace and Other Short Stories – 2011

Sean Filkins - War and Peace and Other Short StoriesOh my goodness, where do you begin with an album like this? Unapologetically wearing its heart on its sleeve, there is a driving, dramatic, passionate energy pulsing through the life blood of music which eddies and swirls with thumping rhythms, giving way to gorgeous and wide-open melodic vistas.

You are not going to ‘get’ this on just one listen. Nor on many. There is simply too much going on here. A host of contributors including Lee Abraham, Gary Chandler, Dave Meros, John Mitchell, Gerald Mulligan, Darren Newitt and John Sammes all leave wonderfully distinctive footprints in the musical sands and fill the soundscapes with instruments played with a diverse array of tones, timbres and emphases.

At the same time strong cultural echoes and influences emerge at every point, founded on lyrical storytelling which is hugely perceptive and piercingly observant. The overall effect is an album which carries both musical gravitas as well as delight. Filkins toys, plays and experiments at each turn and it is clear that everyone involved has good fun doing so. Spend serious amounts of time with this album. It never fails to satisfy and reward in equal measure.

Mostly Autumn
The Ghost Moon Orchestra – 2012

Mostly Autumn - The Ghost Moon OrchestraFor me, The Ghost Moon Orchestra was the point at which Mostly Autumn finally showed us everything they had promised and demonstrated fully what they had it in them to be. Heather Findlay had departed after Glass Shadows (2008), the playful Go Well Diamond Heart (2010) teased with what might be on the horizon, but with Ghost Moon there is a majestic explosion of symphonic energy and progressive rock which is deeply impressive.

Olivia Sparnnen delivers a vocal performance which is truly remarkable, conveying both a penetrating clarity as well as a formidable diversity around which the album finds coherence. The band bring a consistently enjoyable driving rock-oriented intensity, brimming with delightfully crafted instrumental flourishes which show an evolving maturity and new found sense of direction.

Bryan Josh’s voice may not be the highlight of the album, but the texture he brings to the songs is beautifully well judged in contrast with Sparnnen’s and fleshes out the substance of songs which have a mythological, almost fairy-tale quality to them. Every track brings a change of direction, change of atmosphere, change of musical focus without losing the sense of the development of the plot.

It all comes together seamlessly as a creative and musical experience and will enthuse no small amounts of involuntary foot stomping and joining in as it sweeps you away. Neo-progressive symphonic folky prog at its very best.

Panic Room
Skin – 2012

Panic Room - SkinA remarkable album of striking poise, assured finesse and inspiring beauty. Ann-Marie Helder’s bewitching vocals are a sublime feast, demonstrating strength and vulnerability, commanding authority and emotional nuance. It is a virtuoso performance, held aloft on an impressive array of songs which demand no less than full range of what she has to offer.

Alun Vaughan is replaced on bass by the irrepressible Yatim Halimi who brings a new and powerfully dynamic presence to the mix since 2010’s Satellite. His mesmerising contribution to the band’s live performances confirm the exquisite and exciting touch he brings to the songs and Jonathan Edwards keyboards provide the dancing magic which both fills the soundscapes when required as well as the fragility of touch in the quitter moments.

What makes this album special are the straightforward foundations on which the enchanting simplicity of the storytelling is based, the wonderful focus of the instrumental interplays which spark and skip between the musicians and the sheer depth of musical emotion they manage to convey. The title track in particular rarely fails to bring a tear to the eye.

Fish
A Feast of Consequences – 2013

Fish - A Feast of ConsequencesI was lucky enough to see Fish during The Feast of Consequences tour and the emotive power and disturbing delicacy experienced during the gig instantly cemented in my mind the significance of this album since first hearing it.

The canvas on which he paints is huge, ranging across the various quizzical experiences of life with a biting lyrical eye that only Fish can summon. At its heart is his musical homage to the Great War, a brilliant mosaic of conflicting emotions, difficult memories, deft commentary and music which is always focused, expressive and above all, organic in the shifting segues and transitions he builds.

The song writing has a confidence and consistency which eluded some of the previous releases; the strength of the musicianship is compelling in the potent balance it brings to the soundstage and the cradle it forms around the lyrics. But what shines out most distinctly is the undeniable flair Fish can channel as a storyteller and the sheer imaginative savvy he has in being able to translate this into music which is irresistible.

Riverside
Love, Fear and the Time Machine – 2015

Riverside - Love, Fear and the Time MachineFollowing on in tone and substance from Shrine of New Generation Slaves (2013), Love, Fear and the Time Machine is, for me, close to being the ‘perfect’ album. It brings to together the direction in which Riverside had been developing and crowns it all with a musical finesse and creative artistry that makes it stand apart not only from their own catalogue but in relation to anything else released in the last decade.

The diversity of the song writing is ambitious as well as intelligent. Michal’s keyboards build background worlds of grainy textures and uplifting horizons. Piotr’s guitar work is a master class in timing, touch and a mesmerising ability to fill the spaces with deft, nuanced interjections that supplement the more aggressive and substantial contributions. His loss to the world of music is inestimable. Piotr K’s drumming is perhaps the best it has ever been, technically skilful, driving momentum whilst also deft and subtle where required. Mariusz is absolutely astonishing with bass lines that one minute, rumble and pulsate whilst the next, delicate and playful.

It is the most ‘complete’ album I’ve heard across the decade and brings so much to the party you cannot fail to hear new layers and new elements each time you play it. Magnificent.

Southern Empire
Southern Empire – 2016

Southern Empire - Southern EmpireIt was a close call between this and second album Civilisation, but for me the debut release from this fascinating Australian band brings to the table everything that is so good about prog. Crazy levels of musical skill, complex compositions, shifting time signatures, beguiling segues and music that soars with a dazzling energy and spirit.

The lyrics are unflinching and brilliantly poignant, gently toying with our feelings of how we cope with growing up, growing old, all the things left undone and the things which can still be done. They effortlessly convey troubled feelings and disconcerting resonances which both drive and colour the mood and atmosphere of the music. The musicianship is rigorous, controlled and precise, but certainly not clinical. Talent and passion drive music which is warm, spirited and edgy, brimming with vitality and purpose.

At the time of its release I concluded that this is a significant album delivering progressive music which is psychologically perceptive, emotionally insightful and alive with melodic creativity. To this day I still believe it to be a glorious achievement and one which I thoroughly recommend.

Damian Wilson
Built For Fighting – 2016

Damian Wilson - Built For FightingI love this album. Whenever I hear it, I break out a huge cheesy grin. I don’t particularly know why – and more importantly, I’m not entirely sure I want to. As reviewers we can be guilty of analysing something to death and I’m sure as heck not going to make that mistake with this album.

In the broadest possible brush strokes, the music exudes a spirit, an attitude, and a tone which is captivating and mesmerising. The simplicity of the arrangements are exquisitely compelling and unexpectedly beautiful. Each song is a wonderful vignette of social comment and observations, descriptive story-telling and a beguiling focus which is refreshing.

Wilson’s voice brings an incredibly diverse range to the songs, from the gentle and emotionally nuanced ballads all the way through to the feisty, rugged and good old-fashioned heavy rock anthems. The vocal performance elicited by and expressed through the music is simply magnificent, a joyful master class which is a delightful privilege to hear, appreciate and enjoy.

‘Built For Fighting’ is an extraordinary achievement on so many levels. It is a gem which hides in plain sight and runs the risk of being ignored precisely because of that. It is fiercely honest, impressively direct yet for all that, expressed in and through music which is delicately sensitive, powerfully moving and strikingly touching. Sit back and enjoy it. Bloody wonderful.

Freedom to Glide
Seed – 2019

Freedom To Glide - SeedProfound musical beauty blends with profound emotional empathy and creates intellectual resonances which cross history in a wonderful act of remembrance and, in many ways, allows those who died to live again in our hearts and in our memories. It is a stunning achievement which I doubt can or will ever be bettered.

Never before have I reached for a pause button so frequently as when listening to this album. There is a gentle but disturbing sensitivity which underlies the lyrical ingenuity of this release which hits home again and again with heart-breaking poignancy and force. If you want to talk about war, if you want to come one step closer to understanding the unspeakable, unbearable horror of what people went through on the battlefields, if you want to remember them, then this is precisely how you do it.

The holistic musical experience and historical vision it offers will – and should – stop you in your tracks. It is at once devastating in the sweep of its poignant delivery whilst at the same time utterly humbling in the profound insights it enables. Flawless.

T (Thomas Thielen)
Solipsystemology – 2019

T - SolipsystemologyI sat in silence for seven minutes after listening to this album. When the music ended, I didn’t move, I didn’t stir, I just didn’t – couldn’t – do anything. Nothing prepares you for the sheer scale of Thomas Thielen’s momentous intellectual, musical and experiential tsunami which sweeps you off your feet. Subsequent listens don’t make it any better. Nothing prepares you for the way it keeps on doing it to you – again and again and again, penetrating and permeating the worlds and experiences you think you know – even though you know what to expect.

I sincerely believe Solipsystemology is a masterpiece. Thielen quite deliberately makes his listeners work hard when it comes to his music and this is no exception. What an album it is. It will whisper to your fears, echo in your darkness, nuzzle and embrace your self-doubts.

Frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered when it was released, this is without doubt a once in a life time kind of release, a work of genius which comes around only once in a generation.

Suffused with emotional turmoil, poetic lament, heart rending loss and music which dances to different rhythms, tempos, sounds, mixes – from top to bottom it exudes innovation but without sacrificing musical invention and power. Devilishly brilliant, it resonates at all levels with the captivating and unsettling music of life.


As with any list of this nature, there are casualties of decisions you wish you didn’t have to make. Some of the choices which led me to leave the following selections out were painful and all, in their own way, are equally deserving of time and attention.

Barock Project – Detachment, 2017
Flux – ShadowLines, 2016
HFMC – HFMC, 2015
Marek Arnold & Manuel Schmidt, Zeiten, 2019
Threshold – Legends of the Shires, 2017
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing, 2013
Zeelley Moon – Zelley Moon, 2017

It has been a marvellous decade of music. Here’s to the next ten years. Cheers!

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/30/rpwl-live-from-outer-space/

Earlier this year German progressive rock band RPWL toured Europe and the U.K. with their latest album, Tales from Outer Space, seemingly inspired by science fiction, although these tales shone a rather stark satirical light on earthbound issues. Towards the end of 2019, RPWL have swiftly followed it up with their latest live release, Live from Outer Space, filled with their characteristic classy and highly polished melodic rock. I witnessed RPWL’s impressive live show at the Winter’s End Festival in April, a virtually identical playlist to this release so it brings back happy memories of a fine gig.

The first half of this release demonstrates the confidence they have in the new material as they start the show with the whole of Tales from Outer Space in more or less a straightforward and faithful presentation, with the addition of an atmospheric and quasi-cinematic, ‘curtain raiser’ in News from Outer Space (not found on the studio album), featuring a monologue about aliens landing on Earth and deciding to leave very rapidly when they realise the nature of humanity on our planet! A couple of the tracks open up to an extent in a live context to showcase some of the band’s musical skills, most notably on the anthemic and U2-like Light of the World, a deceptively straightforward song which conceals an acerbic view on the materialism of modern society, reflecting Yogi Lang’s intelligent, biting lyrics, set within an ostensibly lighter sound.

This recording, from the legendary Culturpodium De Boerderij in Zoetemeer, Netherlands in April 2019, captures the power and smooth assurance of this talented and confident touring outfit. Kalle Wallner is a true star on stage, oozing cool charisma whilst rippling off expansive and sometimes Gilmour-esque guitar solos with great aplomb, particularly on the stratospheric finale to Light of the World. Similarly, the thumping, insistent Not Our Place To Be gives Markus Jehle an opportunity to stretch out on keyboards with an extended organ section which has clear echoes of Rick Wright on early Pink Floyd albums. Stand out song Give Birth to the Sun is a sparkling piece that allows the whole band a chance to shine, particularly Wallner and Jehle, interchanging and exchanging short solo bursts fluidly on guitar and keyboards. However, like the majority of Tales from Outer Space, even this sweeping ambitious piece is presented almost note-perfect to the original. Some will enjoy the precision and musicianship of a band that can so skilfully and accurately present their recorded material on stage, whilst others may feel that the attraction of live songs is the opportunity to present some unusual or even a slightly improvisational arrangements.

CD Two arguably features the more interesting section, for those already familiar with the studio albums, as it showcases songs mainly drawn from their earlier career, commencing with Hole in the Sky from their classic 2005 album World Through My Eyes, which includes some intriguing quotes from the movie Aliens, but also some majestic guitar soloing from Wallner in the closing stages. Sleep drives along powerfully and relentlessly, and the excitement levels for this gig definitely ramp up from this point. An impressive Floyd-like interpretation of Dylan’s anti-war Masters of War follows with a message that sadly seems as relevant as ever since Dylan wrote it in protest against the Vietnam War. This is an unexpected cover and it is when RPWL are less predictable that they gain more interest.

The Eastern-tinged and impactful Trying to Kiss the Sun, with Marc Turiaux thunderous on drums and Sebastian Harnack nailing it down on bass, was the very early career ‘curve ball’ song thrown in towards the end of the set, which ends with the sing-along Simple Minds-like chimes of Roses (sung on the original album by Ray Wilson of Genesis) which ends the set on an upbeat note and gives the audience the opportunity to give the cool frontman Yogi Lang a rose.

Yogi Lang being given a rose

The encore Unchain the Earth is drawn from possibly RPWL’s best album, Beyond Man and Time which ends the gig on a satisfying note.

So, is it worth getting this live album?

Well, long gone are the days when bands only released live albums every few years after several albums (such as Genesis and Yes back in the ’70s and ’80s). There is an established pattern now for many established artists, such as Steve Hackett and Marillion, which follows the familiar ‘New Album – Tour – Live Release – New Album – Tour – Live Release’ rhythm.

It is an understandable business model which keeps the income stream flowing in these days when album income is sadly a small fraction of former days. Therefore, RPWL releasing another live album seems par for the course… however, perhaps it needs pointing out that for RPWL since 2015 this is their fifth album release, of which four have been live albums (!). Admittedly, two of those were Pink Floyd themed, but even so, one has to wonder whether RPWL are drawing from the well of ‘Live Albums’ just a little too often.

Additionally, 50% of this live album is a performance very closely resembling the original Tales from Outer Space, which was only released a few months previously. On top of all that five out of the six live tracks from the second half have featured on previous live albums, so it’s not exactly filled with a wealth of rarely played material or songs which have not appeared in live versions beforehand (with the exception of Masters of War).

Bearing all that in mind, one has to conclude that this is far from essential, and maybe RPWL need to consider their release strategy as such offerings are not really designed to gain a great deal of interest beyond the most ardent of fans. I think of myself as a keen follower of RPWL, but I could not escape the feeling that this has all largely been heard before, or has literally only just been released in almost identical form – so what’s the attraction for me or other fans to get this?

The sound quality and production is as impeccable as the band’s excellent and polished live performances. For those unfamiliar with much of RPWL or the latest album, this is very much worth getting as an introduction. It’s a fine memento of some high quality gigs for those fortunate enough to see them in action…

… but perhaps RPWL need to stretch the envelope a little more in terms of exploring their extensive back catalogue and maybe be a little more adventurous in how they interpret some of those songs for future live shows and subsequent live albums.

If you don’t really know the band then give it a go as a gateway – they are a class band and it’s an entertaining set… but if you know them well then you’ve literally heard nearly all of it before.

TRACK LISTING
CD One

01. News From Outer Space (3:07)
02. A New World (10:25)
03. Welcome To The Freak Show (7:53)
04. Light Of The World (12:41)
05. Not Our Place To Be (7:53)
06. What I Really Need (5:27)
07. Give Birth To The Sun (10:11)
08. Far Away From Home (4:33)

Time – 62:10

CD Two
01. Hole In The Sky (7:14)
02. Sleep (9:15)
03. Masters Of War (Bob Dylan Cover) (5:59)
04. Trying To Kiss The Sun (5:05)
05. Roses (7:09)
06. Unchain The Earth (7:44)

Time – 42:26

Total Time – 104:36

MUSICIANS
Yogi Lang – Vocals, Keyboards
Kalle Wallner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Markus Jehle – Keyboards
Marc Turiaux – Drums
Sebastian Harnack – Bass & Bass Pedals

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Gentle Art Of Music | Soulfood
Catalogue#: GAOM063
Date of Release: 15th November 2019

DISCOGRAPHY
– God Has Failed (2000)
– Trying to Kiss the Sun (2002)
– Stock (2003)
– World Through My Eyes (2005)
– Start the Fire (Live) (2005)
– The RPWL Experience (2009)
– The RPWL Live Experience (2009)
– Nine (Live) (2009)
– The Gentle Art of Music (2010)
– Beyond Man and Time (2012)
– A Show Beyond Man and Time (2013)
– Wanted (2014)
– RPWL Plays Pink Floyd (2015)
– RPWL Plays Pink Floyd – The Man and The Journey (2016)
– A New Dawn (Live) (2017)
– Tales from Outer Space (2019)
– Live from Outer Space (2019)

LINKS
RPWL – Website | Facebook

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/29/the-floyd-effect/

The Majestic Theatre, Retford
Saturday, 16th November 2019

A century-old former silent movie cinema, Retford’s The Majestic Theatre, tonight hosted The Floyd Effect tribute show. As the ghosts of the old building reminisced fondly about the quiet good old days an audience of 50-somethings enjoyed over two hours of superb musicianship with a touch of humour thrown in, as if to reflect the music hall years of yore.

Cambridge based (where else?) and performing since 2007, this is a band that is of the highest calibre, and with being copycats of one of the planet’s most famous names, they probably have to work harder than any other type of act, and boy do they pull it off!

The Floyd Effect

Gilmour/Waters impersonator Mark Horgan also plays the clever guitar bits and must be the best-kept secret in rock. Former David Bowie live technician and second guitarist/vocalist John Lovegrove’s decision to join was cemented when he noticed that at his audition he was offered chocolate Hobnobs rather than digestives. An excellent choice of biscuit and player. Gordon Reid is master of ceremonies as well as playing Richard Wright’s parts, and they are spot-on, whilst bassist Gary Tyrell morphs seamlessly between Waters and Pratt (Roger and Guy that is) as The Floyd Effect requires. His work on One of These Days physically caused cracks in the ornate plasterwork. Drummer Kerry Howes plays like Nick Mason’s clone with saxophonist and third guitarist Gerard McDonald’s soulful playing making sense as he used to play with The Drifters. His interpretation on Us and Them was jaw-droppingly good.

Gerard’s partner, Fiona Ford, is also one of the backing singers, the other being Tiffany Lovegrove. Both tackled The Great Gig in the Sky with aplomb and the crowd cheered loudly at its conclusion, accompanying a very touching hug of happiness between them. As Alan Partridge might tangle on Mid-Morning Matters, “The addition of backing singers is the icing on an already well-iced sponge of a cake that already had icing on it”…They were great!

This, of course, was all during the second half where the Moon of Darkness was played in its entirety. The event is called “The Wall around the Moon” and the concert ends with Comfortably Numb (yes, with that solo) and a rousingly danceable Run Like Hell concluding what seriously must be one of the best live experiences out there. This will not make naysayers of tribute music very happy, but you can’t argue with 600 Northerners…

The Floyd Effect

But “If yer don’t eat yer meat yer can’t have any pudding”, so back to the entrée.

Straight into a well-done fillet for the concert opener, and parts one to five of Shine On You Crazy Diamond are played, and off the bat special mention should go to the two chaps from Audio Plus who were responsible for the sound, lighting, projections, and kill-o-zap lasers. All this was on a backdrop that not only had a full-width screen but the iconic circular one in the middle which truly transformed this small venue into a stadium experience, which was as impressive as anything Mr.Pink did in his heyday. (Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink…?)

The aforementioned One of These Days was a surprise as Gordon told the excited wrinklies that they would be playing mid-period Floyd, and this piece of homicidal lunacy is from their earlier LP Meddle. The most up to date song was One Slip (fresh from 1987) but this was no Momentary Lapse of Reason as Floyd has just released The Later Years 1987–2019 box set where said album this track appears on has been remixed with new drums and keyboards. Let’s hope it’s as good as tonight’s rendition! The electric piano and bass guitar intro complete with Wooly McLamby on the screen brought forth a superb version of Sheep, with all three guitars shearing up the funky ending.

The Floyd Effect

Wish You Were Here dusted off the 12 and 6-string acoustics with the singing from Mark Horgan being uncanny, but not as much as when a little angry reverb was added to his mic and a slight raising of his pitch turned him into the laughing boy himself for nearly all of side one of The Wall, bellowing from the stage to an amazed auditorium.

All eight members effectively bring the Floyd Effect into the heart of this timeless music and it will genuinely affect anyone who has witnessed these players. Catch them while you can.

The Floyd Effect

SETLIST
FIRST SET

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5
One of These Days
One Slip
Sheep
Wish You Were Here
In the Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1
The Happiest Days of our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2
Mother
Empty Spaces
Young Lust
One of my Turns Coming On
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3
Goodbye Cruel World

SECOND SET
Speak to Me/Breathe
On the Run
Time
The Great Gig in the Sky
Money
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Comfortably Numb
Run Like Hell

MUSICIANS
Mark Horgan – Vocals, Guitar
John Lovegrove – Vocals, Guitar
Gordon Reid – Keyboards
Gary Tyrell – Bass
Kerry Howes – Drums
Gerard McDonald – Saxophone, Guitar
Fiona Ford – Backing Vocals
Tiffany Lovegrove – Backing Vocals

LINKS
The Floyd Effect – Website | Tour Page | Facebook | Twitter

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/29/the-floyd-effect/

The Majestic Theatre, Retford
Saturday, 16th November 2019

A century-old former silent movie cinema, Retford’s The Majestic Theatre, tonight hosted The Floyd Effect tribute show. As the ghosts of the old building reminisced fondly about the quiet good old days an audience of 50-somethings enjoyed over two hours of superb musicianship with a touch of humour thrown in, as if to reflect the music hall years of yore.

Cambridge based (where else?) and performing since 2007, this is a band that is of the highest calibre, and with being copycats of one of the planet’s most famous names, they probably have to work harder than any other type of act, and boy do they pull it off!

The Floyd Effect

Gilmour/Waters impersonator Mark Horgan also plays the clever guitar bits and must be the best-kept secret in rock. Former David Bowie live technician and second guitarist/vocalist John Lovegrove’s decision to join was cemented when he noticed that at his audition he was offered chocolate Hobnobs rather than digestives. An excellent choice of biscuit and player. Gordon Reid is master of ceremonies as well as playing Richard Wright’s parts, and they are spot-on, whilst bassist Gary Tyrell morphs seamlessly between Waters and Pratt (Roger and Guy that is) as The Floyd Effect requires. His work on One of These Days physically caused cracks in the ornate plasterwork. Drummer Kerry Howes plays like Nick Mason’s clone with saxophonist and third guitarist Gerard McDonald’s soulful playing making sense as he used to play with The Drifters. His interpretation on Us and Them was jaw-droppingly good.

Gerard’s partner, Fiona Ford, is also one of the backing singers, the other being Tiffany Lovegrove. Both tackled The Great Gig in the Sky with aplomb and the crowd cheered loudly at its conclusion, accompanying a very touching hug of happiness between them. As Alan Partridge might tangle on Mid-Morning Matters, “The addition of backing singers is the icing on an already well-iced sponge of a cake that already had icing on it”…They were great!

This, of course, was all during the second half where the Moon of Darkness was played in its entirety. The event is called “The Wall around the Moon” and the concert ends with Comfortably Numb (yes, with that solo) and a rousingly danceable Run Like Hell concluding what seriously must be one of the best live experiences out there. This will not make naysayers of tribute music very happy, but you can’t argue with 600 Northerners…

The Floyd Effect

But “If yer don’t eat yer meat yer can’t have any pudding”, so back to the entrée.

Straight into a well-done fillet for the concert opener, and parts one to five of Shine On You Crazy Diamond are played, and off the bat special mention should go to the two chaps from Audio Plus who were responsible for the sound, lighting, projections, and kill-o-zap lasers. All this was on a backdrop that not only had a full-width screen but the iconic circular one in the middle which truly transformed this small venue into a stadium experience, which was as impressive as anything Mr.Pink did in his heyday. (Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink…?)

The aforementioned One of These Days was a surprise as Gordon told the excited wrinklies that they would be playing mid-period Floyd, and this piece of homicidal lunacy is from their earlier LP Meddle. The most up to date song was One Slip (fresh from 1987) but this was no Momentary Lapse of Reason as Floyd has just released The Later Years 1987–2019 box set where said album this track appears on has been remixed with new drums and keyboards. Let’s hope it’s as good as tonight’s rendition! The electric piano and bass guitar intro complete with Wooly McLamby on the screen brought forth a superb version of Sheep, with all three guitars shearing up the funky ending.

The Floyd Effect

Wish You Were Here dusted off the 12 and 6-string acoustics with the singing from Mark Horgan being uncanny, but not as much as when a little angry reverb was added to his mic and a slight raising of his pitch turned him into the laughing boy himself for nearly all of side one of The Wall, bellowing from the stage to an amazed auditorium.

All eight members effectively bring the Floyd Effect into the heart of this timeless music and it will genuinely affect anyone who has witnessed these players. Catch them while you can.

The Floyd Effect

SETLIST
FIRST SET

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5
One of These Days
One Slip
Sheep
Wish You Were Here
In the Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1
The Happiest Days of our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2
Mother
Empty Spaces
Young Lust
One of my Turns Coming On
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 3
Goodbye Cruel World

SECOND SET
Speak to Me/Breathe
On the Run
Time
The Great Gig in the Sky
Money
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Hey You
Is There Anybody Out There?
Comfortably Numb
Run Like Hell

MUSICIANS
Mark Horgan – Vocals, Guitar
John Lovegrove – Vocals, Guitar
Gordon Reid – Keyboards
Gary Tyrell – Bass
Kerry Howes – Drums
Gerard McDonald – Saxophone, Guitar
Fiona Ford – Backing Vocals
Tiffany Lovegrove – Backing Vocals

LINKS
The Floyd Effect – Website | Tour Page | Facebook | Twitter

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/28/steve-hackett-9/

Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Monday, 18th November 2019

There is so much love for the music of Genesis from the years 1970 to 1977, and Steve Hackett, guitarist with the band during that period, has revitalised that affection with his live Genesis Revisited tours. Following the magnificent orchestral tour of 2018, Hackett and band have returned to perform the classic Selling England by the Pound album in its entirety on the latest tour, Steve Hackett’s most successful to date.

The first set was devoted to Hackett solo material, and with 2019 marking the 40th anniversary of Spectral Mornings, one of Hackett’s most popular solo albums, it was with the first track Every Day that he opened the show. This was an early opportunity for Hackett to harmonise with vocalist Nad Sylvan and then demonstrate his sublime guitar technique with a soaring solo.

Nad Sylvan and Steve Hackett

Hackett was superbly supported by his regular touring band of Rob Townsend (flute, sax, keyboard, percussion), Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals, percussion), Jonas Reingold (bass), together with renowned drummer Craig Blundell (Frost*, Steven Wilson) making his tour debut with the band.

Knowing that the faithful had assembled in anticipation of hearing Selling England in full, Hackett joked that they would have to listen to some modern stuff first. Three tracks from his latest album At the Edge of Light followed, including Under the Eye of the Sun. Hackett has already declared his pride in this piece which will, no doubt, become a concert favourite for years to come.

Returning to Spectral Mornings, Hackett was joined by brother John on flute for the gentle, acoustic folk melody of The Virgin and the Gypsy. Tigermoth, inspired by war-time pilot memoirs, is a much more aggressive piece for Hackett to get his teeth into and he switches styles from delicate patterns to hard-edged riffs to soaring solos with such ease.

John & Steve Hackett

John Hackett returns to duet with Steve on the pretty, oriental The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere. The tone switches and Clocks – The Angel of Mons paints a brutal image of the First World War battle, a golden opportunity for Blundell to introduce his skills with an extended exploration of his drum kit.

The eagerly-anticipated second set featured Selling England and a cheer greeted the first sight of Nad Sylvan, shrouded in mist and cutting a Dickensian figure, bedecked in crumpled topper and overcoat, as he delivered the iconic opening lines of Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. Filling Peter Gabriel’s shoes for Selling England is a huge ask but Sylvan, whose tones are not dissimilar to Gabriel’s, excelled. He created his own theatrical character, a chance to ‘stamp and shout’ as he made these songs his own.

Nad Sylvan's Dickensian outfit

Sylvan remained in character for an extended I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) which included a free-form jazz interlude from Rob Townsend’s sax of and a guitar solo from Hackett. There are so many opportunities within Selling England for the band to display their individual talents and Firth of Firth was the first for Roger King on keys, ahead of one of Hackett’s most celebrated solos.

Each track concluded to a round of rapturous applause. Selling England is Hackett’s favourite outing with Genesis and highly regarded among the fans, so it was a delight to hear three songs rarely, if ever, performed live. More Fool Me is a tender ballad, sensitively delivered by Sylvan with Hackett on acoustic guitar, while The Battle of Epping Forest was Genesis at their most playful, an epic tale of gangland rivalry with a host of unsavoury characters – Liquid Len, Bob the Nob, Harold Demure, etc. – for Sylvan to animate.

After The Ordeal, of Epping Forest, we are treated to what Hackett describes as a ‘pallet-cleanser’, a delightful instrumental and one of Hackett’s finest, yet understated moments. Selling England has so many obvious highlights, it is easy to overlook just how many guitar passages and solos link the whole, weaving their magic, almost anonymously, through the fabric of the album. Watching Hackett standing centre stage, leading this celebration of Genesis at their theatrical best, I was struck by the beauty of another sublime yet measured guitar solo. Back in Gabriel’s day Hackett would be seated, to the left, quietly delivering the goods almost unnoticed. His contribution to this treasured era of Genesis’s catalogue was immense, and to Selling England in particular. It is easy to see why he loves this album so, and it is fitting that he is now getting the recognition for his contribution and for keeping this music alive.

  • Hackett Gallery_01
  • Hackett Gallery_03
  • Hackett Gallery_02
  • Hackett Gallery_04
  • Hackett Gallery_05
  • Hackett Gallery_06
  • Hackett Gallery_09
  • Hackett Gallery_07
  • Hackett Gallery_08
  • Hackett Gallery_10

The Cinema Show has always been a live staple, again magnificently delivered by all, and time to mention the fantastic light show, a kaleidoscope of colour throughout. The Dickensian Sylvan returned for the finale, the pun-laden Aisle of Plenty, and a special treat: Deja Vu, rehearsed by the band but never completed and left off the album, “is something Pete brought to the band,” says Hackett, “but not finished until hundreds of years later! Nad sings this beautifully,” he added.

To close the evening, Dance On A Volcano was greeted with a standing ovation demanding the obligatory encore, the signature Los Endos embellished with passages from Hackett’s Myopia and Slogans. John Hackett rejoined the band on stage as they gathered to salute the audience, a truly memorable night.

Steve Hackett UK Tour 2019 - Curtain call

SETLIST
Every Day
Under the Eye of the Sun
Fallen Walls and Pedestals
Beasts of Our Time
The Virgin and the Gypsy
Tiger Moth
Spectral Mornings
The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere
Clocks – Angel of Mons
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle of Epping Forest
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle of Plenty
Deja Vu
Dance On A Volcano
~ Encore:
Myopia / Los Endos / Slogans / Los Endos

MUSICIANS
Steve Hackett – Guitar, Vocals
Rob Townsend – Flute, Sax, Keyboard, Percussion
Roger King – Keyboards
Nad Sylvan – Vocals, Percussion
Jonas Reingold – Bass
Craig Blundell – Drums & Percussion
~ With:
John Hackett – Flute

LINKS
Steve Hackett – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Geoff Ford (Photojournalist) – Website

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/11/28/steve-hackett-9/

Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Monday, 18th November 2019

There is so much love for the music of Genesis from the years 1970 to 1977, and Steve Hackett, guitarist with the band during that period, has revitalised that affection with his live Genesis Revisited tours. Following the magnificent orchestral tour of 2018, Hackett and band have returned to perform the classic Selling England by the Pound album in its entirety on the latest tour, Steve Hackett’s most successful to date.

The first set was devoted to Hackett solo material, and with 2019 marking the 40th anniversary of Spectral Mornings, one of Hackett’s most popular solo albums, it was with the first track Every Day that he opened the show. This was an early opportunity for Hackett to harmonise with vocalist Nad Sylvan and then demonstrate his sublime guitar technique with a soaring solo.

Nad Sylvan and Steve Hackett

Hackett was superbly supported by his regular touring band of Rob Townsend (flute, sax, keyboard, percussion), Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals, percussion), Jonas Reingold (bass), together with renowned drummer Craig Blundell (Frost*, Steven Wilson) making his tour debut with the band.

Knowing that the faithful had assembled in anticipation of hearing Selling England in full, Hackett joked that they would have to listen to some modern stuff first. Three tracks from his latest album At the Edge of Light followed, including Under the Eye of the Sun. Hackett has already declared his pride in this piece which will, no doubt, become a concert favourite for years to come.

Returning to Spectral Mornings, Hackett was joined by brother John on flute for the gentle, acoustic folk melody of The Virgin and the Gypsy. Tigermoth, inspired by war-time pilot memoirs, is a much more aggressive piece for Hackett to get his teeth into and he switches styles from delicate patterns to hard-edged riffs to soaring solos with such ease.

John & Steve Hackett

John Hackett returns to duet with Steve on the pretty, oriental The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere. The tone switches and Clocks – The Angel of Mons paints a brutal image of the First World War battle, a golden opportunity for Blundell to introduce his skills with an extended exploration of his drum kit.

The eagerly-anticipated second set featured Selling England and a cheer greeted the first sight of Nad Sylvan, shrouded in mist and cutting a Dickensian figure, bedecked in crumpled topper and overcoat, as he delivered the iconic opening lines of Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. Filling Peter Gabriel’s shoes for Selling England is a huge ask but Sylvan, whose tones are not dissimilar to Gabriel’s, excelled. He created his own theatrical character, a chance to ‘stamp and shout’ as he made these songs his own.

Nad Sylvan's Dickensian outfit

Sylvan remained in character for an extended I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) which included a free-form jazz interlude from Rob Townsend’s sax of and a guitar solo from Hackett. There are so many opportunities within Selling England for the band to display their individual talents and Firth of Firth was the first for Roger King on keys, ahead of one of Hackett’s most celebrated solos.

Each track concluded to a round of rapturous applause. Selling England is Hackett’s favourite outing with Genesis and highly regarded among the fans, so it was a delight to hear three songs rarely, if ever, performed live. More Fool Me is a tender ballad, sensitively delivered by Sylvan with Hackett on acoustic guitar, while The Battle of Epping Forest was Genesis at their most playful, an epic tale of gangland rivalry with a host of unsavoury characters – Liquid Len, Bob the Nob, Harold Demure, etc. – for Sylvan to animate.

After The Ordeal, of Epping Forest, we are treated to what Hackett describes as a ‘pallet-cleanser’, a delightful instrumental and one of Hackett’s finest, yet understated moments. Selling England has so many obvious highlights, it is easy to overlook just how many guitar passages and solos link the whole, weaving their magic, almost anonymously, through the fabric of the album. Watching Hackett standing centre stage, leading this celebration of Genesis at their theatrical best, I was struck by the beauty of another sublime yet measured guitar solo. Back in Gabriel’s day Hackett would be seated, to the left, quietly delivering the goods almost unnoticed. His contribution to this treasured era of Genesis’s catalogue was immense, and to Selling England in particular. It is easy to see why he loves this album so, and it is fitting that he is now getting the recognition for his contribution and for keeping this music alive.

  • Hackett Gallery_01
  • Hackett Gallery_03
  • Hackett Gallery_02
  • Hackett Gallery_04
  • Hackett Gallery_05
  • Hackett Gallery_06
  • Hackett Gallery_09
  • Hackett Gallery_07
  • Hackett Gallery_08
  • Hackett Gallery_10

The Cinema Show has always been a live staple, again magnificently delivered by all, and time to mention the fantastic light show, a kaleidoscope of colour throughout. The Dickensian Sylvan returned for the finale, the pun-laden Aisle of Plenty, and a special treat: Deja Vu, rehearsed by the band but never completed and left off the album, “is something Pete brought to the band,” says Hackett, “but not finished until hundreds of years later! Nad sings this beautifully,” he added.

To close the evening, Dance On A Volcano was greeted with a standing ovation demanding the obligatory encore, the signature Los Endos embellished with passages from Hackett’s Myopia and Slogans. John Hackett rejoined the band on stage as they gathered to salute the audience, a truly memorable night.

Steve Hackett UK Tour 2019 - Curtain call

SETLIST
Every Day
Under the Eye of the Sun
Fallen Walls and Pedestals
Beasts of Our Time
The Virgin and the Gypsy
Tiger Moth
Spectral Mornings
The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere
Clocks – Angel of Mons
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle of Epping Forest
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle of Plenty
Deja Vu
Dance On A Volcano
~ Encore:
Myopia / Los Endos / Slogans / Los Endos

MUSICIANS
Steve Hackett – Guitar, Vocals
Rob Townsend – Flute, Sax, Keyboard, Percussion
Roger King – Keyboards
Nad Sylvan – Vocals, Percussion
Jonas Reingold – Bass
Craig Blundell – Drums & Percussion
~ With:
John Hackett – Flute

LINKS
Steve Hackett – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Geoff Ford (Photojournalist) – Website

Northern Star 27th November 2019.

Tyme Machine GS!

Theme Pallas – Northern Star

  • King crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
  • SAHB – Faith Healer
  • Jimmie Spheeris – The Nest
  • BOC -Flaming Telepaths/Astronomy
  • Yes -Starship Trooper
  • Mahavishnu Orchestra – Dance of the Maya
  • T-Rex – Jeepster
  • Focus – Hocus pocus
  • Horslips – dearg Doom
  • Black Sabbath – Supernaut
  • James Brown – The Big Payback
  • Moody Blues – Are You Sitting Comfortably
  • Cat Stevens – Freezing Steel
  • Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
  • David Bowie – Panic in Detroit
  • Led Zeppelin – No Quarter
  • Queen – Liar
  • ELP – Trilogy
  • Pink Floyd – Money
  • Jethro Tull – My God
  • Deep Purple – Lazy
  • Rush – Bastille Day
  • Traffic – Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

http://tunein.com/radio/Progzilla-Radio-s242911/

www.progzilla.com/listen

Direct stream: http://stream1.hippynet.co.uk:8005/live

Repeat Shows Tuesdays 00.00 am GMT  & 1.00pm GMT

Subscribe to the show here

http://www.progzilla.com/category/podcast/northern-star/feed/

Podcasts of all the shows are available here

http://www.progzilla.com/shows/northern-star/

If you have a requests or ideas about shows or anything else for that matter?

Contact me on Emma@progzilla.com

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/euphoria-station-interview/

Progressive rock act Euphoria Station returned in September with the release of their sophomore album ‘The Reverie Suite.’ Vocalist Saskia Binder opens up for Prog Sphere about the creative process behind the new record, its message, and more.

Define the mission of Euphoria Station.

We love to create music. Our dream would be for The Reverie Suite to be heard and have people feel something from it. I started singing in hopes that people who hear the music would be moved by it. I personally have my favorite songs that have been very meaningful to me in one way or another. Being moved by music is not new. And if the people from our audience are touched by our music…I am happy.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your new, sophomore album “The Reverie Suite” and the themes it captures.

I would give Hoyt requests such as “ I want to feel like I walked into a hoedown in the middle of the forest” or “I want to look through window into childhood, with my best friend on the most perfect day lying on the ground, cloud watching.” These two suggestions influence the songs Reverie with its orchestral section and Seasons’ outro hoedown. Another spark of creativity was places in New Mexico and South Dakota that we visited that have a lot of Native American influence. Songs like Seasons, Remind Me, Prelude/ She’s Calling, Content and Queen of Hearts have sections of Native drumming, shakers and flute. These are some of my favorite moments and make me feel like I’m in an old town at the dance square with Natives and Settlers comingling.

What is the message you are trying to give with “The Reverie Suite”?

Some of the songs on the album have a very happy, uplifting sound and a lyrically joyful, playful kind of interpretation. Then songs like “On My Way” is about leaving my hometown as a child (Sacramento) and moving far away south (Los Angeles). I was devastated to leave a place I knew as home only to go to an unknown new home. That anticipation of what’s around the corner as well as leaving my best friend had emotions flying. Conveying a message through this album would be…roll with the changes! I know it’s the name of a song (which I love!), but it’s true. From childhood to adulthood, life is what you make it. L.A. is my home now and has been for a long time, but I embrace all I went through and am excited about the next adventure!

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Many of the ideas came while we were in nature or on our way to nature. The song Seasons, for example, came about when we were waiting on the side of the road in Sequoia that was blocked with some debris. While waiting for it be cleared, Hoyt experimented with an alternate tuning, feeling the high altitude and being in the moment and began rhythmically tapping the verse chords. I began humming some ideas and we immediately grabbed the handheld tape recorder that we travel with!

The Reverie Suite

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes, the music and the lyrics flow from past to present. There are motifs that appear throughout with some acting as memories and others as anticipations of things to come.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

The number one goal was to have all real instruments. There are no synthesized or virtual instruments on this record. Just real humans making real music. That’s also why our keyboardist Ronald Van Deurzen does not use any synthetic sounds, sticking instead to piano and organ, reaffirming the organic direction we went for on our album.

How long was “The Reverie Suite” in the making?

It is quite interesting to me how the music turned out. That old adage how the music speaks for itself and how it tells us what it should sound like…so to say, actually has merit. There have been quite a few times for me when I would hear something over and over and be happy with it, only to have Hoyt change it. It was a feeling and I knew in my gut, it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Although I do look forward for our next album to not take so long : )

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

The Allman Brothers and The Doobie Brothers, but this release was less influenced by bands than it was America’s scenery, folk music and Native culture. In our travels from Northern California with its amazing Sequoia trees to New Mexico’s enchanting plateaus and Utah’s heavenly formations, we’ve seen the beautiful land that exists as it once did minus the Natives who live freely in it. Seeing nature in all its glory reminds me of a time when we were more spiritually connected, and music was the vehicle for that connection.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is unavoidable these days. On one hand I admire where music came from in that it was in the moment and served a purpose in communities. It served multiple purposes – spiritual, ceremonies, celebrations and mourning. A lot of these element s have been lost over time due to technology, but without electricity there’d be no rock or the album as an art form, so I embrace technology. There is a point where everything becomes too stale and robotic and that is my only beef with technology. You must keep the human element. Without it, I’m not sure what the point is.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

The Reverie Suite has a story to tell. It invokes feelings of joy and bliss, sadness, adventure, memories, childhood, experiences, best friends. There is something very tangible for me because the story is real. The beauty of feeling so many different emotions that come in the form of music is an absolute treat that lasts forever! I can always put on a cd or You-tube or whatever is in and play it at any point in life and re-create that feeling! I do it all the time. Music is very special.

What are your plans for the future?

Our plans are to get The Reverie Suite out to the world. We have been very humbled by the responses and look forward to promoting the album live as well. We are looking forward to bringing our music where it takes us : ) I am that dog with my tongue hanging out with my head out the window of a car going down the highway thoroughly enjoying the moment! THANK YOU!

For more about Euphoria Station visit their website.

The post EUPHORIA STATION: Love for Music Creation appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/euphoria-station-interview/

Progressive rock act Euphoria Station returned in September with the release of their sophomore album ‘The Reverie Suite.’ Vocalist Saskia Binder opens up for Prog Sphere about the creative process behind the new record, its message, and more.

Define the mission of Euphoria Station.

We love to create music. Our dream would be for The Reverie Suite to be heard and have people feel something from it. I started singing in hopes that people who hear the music would be moved by it. I personally have my favorite songs that have been very meaningful to me in one way or another. Being moved by music is not new. And if the people from our audience are touched by our music…I am happy.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your new, sophomore album “The Reverie Suite” and the themes it captures.

I would give Hoyt requests such as “ I want to feel like I walked into a hoedown in the middle of the forest” or “I want to look through window into childhood, with my best friend on the most perfect day lying on the ground, cloud watching.” These two suggestions influence the songs Reverie with its orchestral section and Seasons’ outro hoedown. Another spark of creativity was places in New Mexico and South Dakota that we visited that have a lot of Native American influence. Songs like Seasons, Remind Me, Prelude/ She’s Calling, Content and Queen of Hearts have sections of Native drumming, shakers and flute. These are some of my favorite moments and make me feel like I’m in an old town at the dance square with Natives and Settlers comingling.

What is the message you are trying to give with “The Reverie Suite”?

Some of the songs on the album have a very happy, uplifting sound and a lyrically joyful, playful kind of interpretation. Then songs like “On My Way” is about leaving my hometown as a child (Sacramento) and moving far away south (Los Angeles). I was devastated to leave a place I knew as home only to go to an unknown new home. That anticipation of what’s around the corner as well as leaving my best friend had emotions flying. Conveying a message through this album would be…roll with the changes! I know it’s the name of a song (which I love!), but it’s true. From childhood to adulthood, life is what you make it. L.A. is my home now and has been for a long time, but I embrace all I went through and am excited about the next adventure!

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Many of the ideas came while we were in nature or on our way to nature. The song Seasons, for example, came about when we were waiting on the side of the road in Sequoia that was blocked with some debris. While waiting for it be cleared, Hoyt experimented with an alternate tuning, feeling the high altitude and being in the moment and began rhythmically tapping the verse chords. I began humming some ideas and we immediately grabbed the handheld tape recorder that we travel with!

The Reverie Suite

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes, the music and the lyrics flow from past to present. There are motifs that appear throughout with some acting as memories and others as anticipations of things to come.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

The number one goal was to have all real instruments. There are no synthesized or virtual instruments on this record. Just real humans making real music. That’s also why our keyboardist Ronald Van Deurzen does not use any synthetic sounds, sticking instead to piano and organ, reaffirming the organic direction we went for on our album.

How long was “The Reverie Suite” in the making?

It is quite interesting to me how the music turned out. That old adage how the music speaks for itself and how it tells us what it should sound like…so to say, actually has merit. There have been quite a few times for me when I would hear something over and over and be happy with it, only to have Hoyt change it. It was a feeling and I knew in my gut, it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Although I do look forward for our next album to not take so long : )

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

The Allman Brothers and The Doobie Brothers, but this release was less influenced by bands than it was America’s scenery, folk music and Native culture. In our travels from Northern California with its amazing Sequoia trees to New Mexico’s enchanting plateaus and Utah’s heavenly formations, we’ve seen the beautiful land that exists as it once did minus the Natives who live freely in it. Seeing nature in all its glory reminds me of a time when we were more spiritually connected, and music was the vehicle for that connection.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is unavoidable these days. On one hand I admire where music came from in that it was in the moment and served a purpose in communities. It served multiple purposes – spiritual, ceremonies, celebrations and mourning. A lot of these element s have been lost over time due to technology, but without electricity there’d be no rock or the album as an art form, so I embrace technology. There is a point where everything becomes too stale and robotic and that is my only beef with technology. You must keep the human element. Without it, I’m not sure what the point is.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

The Reverie Suite has a story to tell. It invokes feelings of joy and bliss, sadness, adventure, memories, childhood, experiences, best friends. There is something very tangible for me because the story is real. The beauty of feeling so many different emotions that come in the form of music is an absolute treat that lasts forever! I can always put on a cd or You-tube or whatever is in and play it at any point in life and re-create that feeling! I do it all the time. Music is very special.

What are your plans for the future?

Our plans are to get The Reverie Suite out to the world. We have been very humbled by the responses and look forward to promoting the album live as well. We are looking forward to bringing our music where it takes us : ) I am that dog with my tongue hanging out with my head out the window of a car going down the highway thoroughly enjoying the moment! THANK YOU!

For more about Euphoria Station visit their website.

The post EUPHORIA STATION: Love for Music Creation appeared first on Prog Sphere.

 

This week’s Prog-Watch is an entire show dedicated to prog rock classic tracks! I’m spinning tunes by Genesis, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, King Crimson, Kansas, The Alan Parson Project, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Electric Light Orchestra, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and Caravan! Our friend and resident reviewer, Dr. Rob Fisher, is also doing a Progressive Discoveries segment on a classic album… Breathless by Camel! Come along as Prog-Watch goes “old school”!

648: Classix, Vol. 1