Posts Tagged ‘Mike Oldfield’

21st Century Progressive Rock Opus from Mark McGuire

March 3, 2014

Mark McGuire Creates 21st Century Progressive Rock Opus for Echoes CD of the Month

Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayOld fans of progressive rock and space music might be forgiven if listening to Mark McGuire’s Along the Way takes them back to about 1975, calling up music like Ash Ra Tempel’s Inventions for Electric Guitar, Popol Vuh’s Seligpreisung or Can’s Soon Over Babaluma. McGuire’s heavily layered guitars with delay-driven riffs, burning solos and expansive themes would have fit perfectly in those heady times.

McGuire was in a band called Emeralds, an electronic retro-space music trio who sound like stowaways in Tangerine Dream’s Berlin studio circa 1975. But Along the Way is something different and more personal.  McGuire has hinted at this in a series of little-heard solo recordings like Get Lost and A Young Person’s Guide, but Along the Way is the culmination of these  explorations: it’s a beautifully crafted album that shifts in mood and motion.

The intricate opening suite begins as a new age meditation of acoustic guitar, meandering synthesizer, chimes, and some Asian stringed instrument sounding like a koto or pipa. Those instruments are joined by a delayed electric guitar and before you know it, you’re washed into “Wonderland of Living Things.”  It’s a Mike Oldfield-like confluence of insistent groove, cycling melodies and increasingly insistent delayed guitar riffs.

References abound on the album, like the Popol Vuh-inspired guitar picking on “Arrival Begins the Next Departure” with a trio of guitar lines that spiral up into the ether like vapor trail minarets.  Many of McGuire’s songs are built on looping delay patterns similar to those Manuel Göttsching created on  Inventions for Electric Guitar in 1975. His intricate riffs shift subtly through a song in a minimalist sleight of hand.

PlayingIn the best progressive rock tradition, McGuire has grouped his compositions into a series of suites with titles like “To All Present in the Hall of Learning” and “The Age of Revealing.”  There’s an 11-page densely-packed existential treatise that goes along with the record, and each track of this primarily instrumental album has philosophical concepts to go along with them.  The guitarist has said:

“This story is an odyssey through the vast, unknown regions of the mind…the endless unfolding of psychological landscapes, leading to perpetual discoveries and expansions, in a genuinely emergent and infinite world of worlds.”

You may not be thinking of that during the intricate, pastoral weave of “In Search of the Miraculous” or the brain-searing crescendo of “The Instinct,” which forms like the isokinetic structure of a Hoberman sphere, slowly expanding until it explodes in a five minute electric guitar meltdown.

Playing all the instruments himself, including several kinds of guitars, mandolin, synthesizers, percussion, piano and more, McGuire’s opus recalls Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells in its ambitions.  McGuire brings that concept into the 21st century and like that album some 40 years ago, Along the Way left me breathless.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))
Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Mark McGuire’s Along the Way is our March CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.
OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Advertisements

New Music: Mike Oldfield and Daft Punk on Echoes

August 8, 2013

Hear New Music From Mike Oldfield and DaftPunk on Echoes tonight.

Mike Oldfield Tubular Noise

Daft Punk didn’t play Colbert the other night, but we have them on Echoes, at least their music andit won’t be that over-exposed “Get Lucky” but another track off of  Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. And speaking of electronic music we’ll hear Mike Oldfield Remixed. Tubular Beats takes Oldfield classics into electronic terrain.  Here you can see Mike Oldfield performing “Tubular Bells (Night of the Proms)” from his album Tubular Bells.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Find your local Echoes station or streaming options here.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card. 130528_Echoes

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

New Music: Mike Oldfield and Daft Punk on Echoes

June 5, 2013

Mike Oldfield Tubular NoiseTonight on Echoes it’s Mike Oldfield Remixed. We’ll hear something from a CD called Tubular Beats that takes Oldfield classics into electronic terrain. And speaking of electronic, we’ll hear a track off of  Daft Punk’s new CD, Random Access Memories.

Here you can see Mike Oldfield performing “Tubular Bells (Night of the Proms)” from his album Tubular Bells.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On Line

Rachel Zefirra - The Deserters

Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rachel Zeffira’s The Deserters. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio

Echoes Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Tubular Bells.

May 20, 2013

Interview: Mike Oldfield – the 40th Anniversary of Tubular Bells on Echoes
Hear it on-air the weekend of May 24-26
Hear the Echoes Podcast of the interview with Mike Oldfield on Tubular Bells

Tubular Bells-cvrIt was forty years ago that Mike Oldfield electrified the world with his hit album, Tubular Bells. It had one composition spanning two sides of an LP, and featured Oldfield playing almost all the instruments. We look back at this iconic work that launched Mike Oldfield’s career, Virgin Records, and hundreds of one-man-band recordings.

Here you can see Mike Oldfield performing at the 2012 London Olympics.

Further Reading:
Tubular Babes
Two Epic Birthdays: Mike Oldfield & Brian Eno
David Bedford R.I.P: Mike Oldfield Mentor Heads for the Stars

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Two Epic Birthdays: Mike Oldfield & Brian Eno.

May 15, 2013

Tubular Bells-cvrMike Oldfield & Brian Eno both share birthdays today.  Oldfield turns 60 and Eno turns 65.  Each artist has shaped the music we hear today.  Brian Eno has been the more prolific and expansive, working across genres and attaining massive popular success in each of the last 5 decades through his work with other artists like Devo, Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2, and Coldplay not to mention Roxy Music.  Along the way he created or mid-wifed genres like ambient, techno-tribal and generative music.

Brian Eno & John Diliberto from Echoes

Brian Eno & John Diliberto from Echoes

Mike Oldfield’s reputation still rests on his 1973 epic, Tubular Bells, but he’s recorded many brilliant albums since then, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn, Incantations, Songs of Distant Earth & Voyager.  His remake of Tubular Bells in 2003 was one of the few times a musician succeeded at updating his own work.

Mike Oldfield

Mike Oldfield

We’ll be featuring Mike Oldfield on May 20 when we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tubular Bells.  We’ll have interviews with Oldfield, Tom Newman, Brian Eno, The Orb and more, talking about this signature work and the artist behind it.  Sometimes I’m amazed at the young musicians we have on Echoes now, but Mike Oldfield was only 20 when the album was released and he’d started it when he was 17 while playing in Kevin Ayers Whole World.

Hear the story behind Tubular Bells on Monday, May 20 on Echoes.

Here’s a very nice video from the BBC of Mike Oldfield performing Tubular Bells live in 1973.  Pretty amazing what you can do without a single computer in sight.

Here’s Eno with Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins from their sessions for Small Craft on A Milk Sea.

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Mike Oldfield Mentor David Bedford Heads for Star’s End

October 5, 2011

Composer, keyboardist and Mike Oldfield Collaborator David Bedford Passes

I was sad to hear of the passing of David Bedford, the English composer who had a deep engagement with progressive rock in the early 1970s.  It actually started a little earlier in Kevin Ayers and The Whole World, a rollicking post-psychedelic, pre-progressive rock, musically insane band that also included a very young Mike Oldfield.  Oldfield went on to compose his magnum opus, Tubular Bells and Bedford went along, arranging The Orchestral Tubular Bells.

At a time when Virgin Records was exploring music’s outer reaches, they signed Bedford as a solo artist and his first work for the label was the expansive and explosive orchestral work, Star’s End, one of two sources for the name of the radio show Star’s End.  (The other is the original source, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy). This was at a time when, if you wanted a symphonic sound, you weren’t going to get it with a synthesizer, but needed an actual orchestra.  The album included Mike Oldfield on electric guitar.  He would guest on more of Bedford’s recordings including his impressionistic reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in 1975 followed by The Odyssey and Instructions For Angels.

The Odyssey really captured my imagination.  It was an electronic keyboard foray that also included Mike Ratledge from The Soft Machine.  I remember including it in my Top Ten that year in the Philadelphia Drummer.  In fact, it may have been #1.   Bedford albums were always in heavy rotation on WXPN’s Diaspar show and I continued to play him on Echoes occasionally.

 I was able to interview Bedford in the mid-1980s for Totally Wired.  He lived in a modest row home in the outskirts of London and had only one keyboard in his den where he composed.  He had that English ability to be self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating at the same time, although his humility usually won out.  He was already in his late 40s and had the look of a man much older.

He has continued to compose and perform, working in films and arranging for the likes of Elvis Costello and Roy Harper.  He continued composing up until the end, moving between electronic and orchestral worlds, pop and classical and wherever else he wanted to land.

David Bedford was an artist between worlds, born into the classical tradition but constantly leaving those constraints behind.  He was as likely to play free jazz with the late-Lol Coxhill as wax avant-garde with 80 voices and 27 plastic twirlers on “Some Bright Stars for Queen’s College.”   He could write lyrical tone poems to angels and sci-fi epics for Rigel 9.   Now he’s traveled to one of the mythical lands he loved to employ for musical inspiration.

Like too many artists from his generation, including Bert Jansch who passed today, David Bedofrd died from lung cancer, likely due to smoking.  He was 74.

Although Mike Oldfield was the star, David Bedford  shined the light.

There’s a very good obituary in the Guardian.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news like this.

Tubular Babes-Mike Oldfield Revamped.

March 13, 2011

Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells performed by Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra

This is kind of a gas.  The Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra is a group of over 20 different NYC female keyboardists playing Tubular Bells on keyboards vintage and new at Joe McGinty’s Carousel Studio in Brooklyn, NY.   They vamp it up on the main themes from TB and it’s a lot of fun, especially if you’re a gearhead.  Could be an Echoes Living Room Concert in there.

Thanks to Dangerous Minds for the pointer.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echo Location: Tangled up in Strings-California Guitar Trio & David Pritchard

July 10, 2008

The California Guitar Trio and David Pritchard are acoustic fingerstyle players who aren’t taking the lonley solo route. 

You can also hear an Audio version of this Echo Location, with music.

If you think one acoustic guitar is good, there are some musicians who think 2, 3 or 4 is even better. The California Guitar Trio has embraced this concept. As the name suggests, there are three of them, Paul Richards, Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya, but despite the name, none of them live in California. They’re graduates of Robert Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists and for seventeen years they’ve been making music that sounds like one musician, with 30 fingers. Their new album is a CD of cover tunes called Echoes. Echoes

They cover Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Lynard Skynard‘s “Freebird” (probably in response to smart-assed requests from the audience), and something from a guy named Ludwig Van Beethoven.
CGT write some beautiful original tunes, but they’ve always done a lot of covers in their music, creating unlikely adaptations like this for their 3 guitars. They expand a little bit with a few other musicians and really stand out on remakes of Pink Floyd‘s “Echoes” and Mike Oldfield‘s “Tubular Bells.”
CGT haven’t been acoustic purists for a while. They amp up their acoustics so they sound like
electrics at times and aren’t wary of using some electronic processing and a few other musicians to obtain the sound they want.
Unlike the California Guitar Trio, David Pritchard actually lives in the Golden State. He started doing the multiple guitar thing just before CGT in 1990 with his album, Air Patterns. Air Patterns Sometimes he plays one guitar. Sometimes he plays five. He’s a jazz guitarist with classical chops composing a lush minimalist music for multiple guitar players, although sometimes they are all named David Pritchard.

On the title track to his new album, Vertical Eden, he overdubs himself playing 5 acoustic guitars. But he brings in four other guitarists when he plays live. Like the California Guitar Trio, he’s expanded his palette on CD with other musicians, but multiple guitars, contrapuntal arrangements and what Guitar Player magazine once called “arpeggios from hell,” remain the cornerstone of his music.
You can get tangled up in strings with David Pritchard’s Vertical Eden and the California Guitar Trio’s Echoes.

You can also hear an Audio version of this Echo Location, soundings for new music.

John Diliberto July, 2008
(((echoes)))


%d bloggers like this: