Posts Tagged ‘synthesizer’

May Top 25 Echoes CDs

June 4, 2014

World Fusion, Dream Pop and Ambient Americana in Echoes Top 25 for May

Hidden Treasures-225The Echoes Top 25 for May continues a trend towards chilled out vocal music but the top three slots are held by three CD of the Month picks, one vocal, two instrumental.  Lyla Foy is a relatively new artist who used to record as Wall.  Her Mirrors the Sky album, the first under her own name, was a CD of the Month in March.  But surrounding her are two veteran Echoes artists, one of who goes back even further than the show.  Carl Weingarten’s beautiful chamber Americana journey, Life Under Stars is our current CD of the Month in June.   And leading the pack is Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, our May CD of the Month selection, an album of cross-cultural ecstasy.  You can read about all of those and hear tracks by following the links above.

Newcomers to the Echoes Top 25 include Stumbeleine, 9Bach, Phox, Hauschka, Ben Cosgrove and Michael Barry-Rec.  Here’s thecomplete list.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR MAY 2014

  1. Hans ChristianHidden Treasures (Allemande Music) iTunes
  2. Lyla Foy Mirrors the Sky (Subpop Records) iTunes
  3. Carl WeingartenLife Under Stars (Mutiphase Records)
  4. Tori AmosUnrepentant Geraldines (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  5. S. CareyRange of Light (Jagjaguwar) iTunes
  6. Eno & HydeSomeday World (Warp Records) iTunes
  7. 9BachTincian (Real World) iTunes
  8. BeckMorning Phase (Capital) iTUnes
  9. v/aPassages – Framed by Nova (Ultimae)
  10. StumbleineDissolver (Monotreme Records) iTUnes
  11. Ian Boddy & Erik WolloEC12 (DiN) iTunes
  12. Thus OwlsTurning Rocks (Secret City Records) iTunes
  13. Marissa Nadler July (Sacred Bones) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  14. Tom Kerstens’ G Plus EnsembleUtopia – (Real World) iTUnes
  15. Phox Phox (Partisan Records) iTUnes
  16. Erik Scott And the Earth Bleeds (Erik Scott) iTUnes
  17. HauschkaAbandoned City (Temporary Residence) iTUnes
  18. Michael Barry-RecContinuum (Michael Barry-Rec) iTUnes
  19. Ben CosgroveField Studies (Ben Cosgrove) iTUnes
  20. DeepernetImpossible Landscape (Spotted Peccary) iTUnes
  21. Ludovico EinaudiIn a Time Lapse (The Remixes) (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTUnes
  22. Jennifer ZulliGoddess Rising (Jennifer Zulli) iTunes
  23. Cinema 12 Cinema 12 (Cinema 12) iTUnes
  24. BluetechCosmic Dubs (Native State Records) iTUnes
  25. Sylvan EssoSylvan Esso (Partisan) iTUnes

 

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Juliette Commagere Talks about Being Human

May 27, 2014

Hear Singer-Songwriter Juliette Commagere Talking About her Dream Pop on Echoes

Juliette Commagere on Echoes

Juliette Commagere on Echoes

I’ve been enchanted by the voice of Juliette Commagere since I heard her singing on a Ry Cooder record, Chavez Ravine. Then came  “Gold,” the track she sang on Love on A Real Train’s debut last year was one of our favorite cuts.  Juliette recently released her third solo album, Human.  It’s a beautiful and introspective electronic song cycle.  Today, Juliette Commagere talks about her musical family and songs on the dark side.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

HumanEchoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

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.

 

 

 

 

10 Sun Ra Albums to Blow Your Mind

May 22, 2014

Calling Planet Earth: Sun Ra, the Original Space Musician:
The 100th Centenary on Echoes Tonight

StarburstTonight on Echoes, we take a side trip to a different kind of space music to celebrate the Centenary of Sun Ra.

Upon hearing Sun Ra’s “Constellation” in a blindfold test Brian Eno said, “I wish I had done it myself. I’m extremely envious that somebody else did it. I’d give that five [stars] actually.”

Guitarist Syd Barrett reputedly blew his mind to The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra before launching Pink Floyd.

Guitarist Daevid Allen was inspired by Sun Ra when he formed the Daevid Allen Trio and went on to found The Soft Machine and his long-lived space band, Gong.

SUN RA was the original space musician, although when most people think of space music, he’s probably not the artist who comes to mind. A quick list of cosmic artists might include Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Gong. But probably not Sun Ra. Music from the Hearts of Space has never played him, but Sun Ra was creating cosmic fantasies since at least 1956 when he released his first album, Jazz by Sun Ra (later called Sun Song). But, Sun Ra wasn’t “chill” or “contemplative.” He didn’t float through space, he screamed. But he was also funny, funky, and free floating.

Szwed BookSun Ra was born this day, May 22, 1914, a date which wasn’t known until the mid-1990s when author John Szwed dug it up for his excellent book, Space is the Place: The Lives & Times of Sun Ra.   Tonight on Echoes, we’ll delve into the more contemplative side of Sun Ra, on his centenary. He left the planet in 1993.

Thirty Sun Ra albums have just been released on iTunes this week so there’s a great opportunity to catch up on these masterworks. Some of the albums below are in that release.

TEN SUN RA ALBUMS TO BLOW YOUR MIND

Space is the place 1 Space Is The Place
This is a middle period Sun Ra album from 1972 and it’s related to the film of the same name, but it’s not the soundtrack. The album is centered by the side-long title track, a chanting excursion with an insistent funk groove with Danny Thompson playing the baritone riff that anchors you in a series of free blowing excursions from saxophonist John Gilmore, altoist Marshall Allen and Sun Ra while singer June Tyson chants the lyrics of freedom in space.

Heliocentric-12 The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Volume 1
This is the chamber jazz side of Sun Ra, a music that works with space of the musical kind. Using instruments like the bass marimba, Ra carves out an abstract world that’s about as serene as he gets.
Astro-Black3 Astro Black
This is probably the best example of Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism. The title track is another of Ra’s groove centered songs with heavy synthesizer washes while June Tyson unfolds Ra’s mythology

Astro Black Mythology
Astro Timeless Immortality
Astro Thought in Mystic Sound
Astro Black of Outer Space
Astro Natural of Darkest Stars
Astro Reach Beyond the Stars

It’s intoxicating music.

Solar-Myth V14 The Solar Myth Approach Volume 1
This is another one that uses a lot of space in the music, broken up by mind-fracturing improvisations. The first piece is a prototypical space work with Ra playing a trance pulse while horns drone in long sustained tones creating a mood of mystery and menace. For the flip side of sonic density, get the second volume.

End of the World5 It’s After the End of the World
If you have never seen Sun Ra live, then you really haven’t experienced him in full effect. Released in 1970, this combines two live performances from Europe and features the Arkestra at a peak of tightness and innovation.

Lanquidity6 Lanquidity
This is one of Sun Ra’s best produced albums and also his funkiest and spaciest in a more conventional sense. Among the usual Ra regulars was guest trumpeter Eddie Gale. Ra adopts a space age bachelor pad approach on tracks like “Lanquidity” and “Twin Stars of Thence” and gets downright spooky spacey on “There are Other Worlds They Have not Told your of)”

Montreux 7 Live at Montreux
This album might be overlooked, but it’s a transitional album where Sun Ra began reincorporating swing music into his repertoire. Along with tracks like “On Sound Infinity Spheres” he also plays a roaring version of “Take the ‘A’ Train.”

ra_space_soundtrack8 Soundtrack to the Film Space is the Place
This is a great place to start with Sun Ra. It’s the soundtrack to a science fiction film (what else?) he produced in the early 1970s. It features more muted versions of the title piece and “It’s After the End of the World” as well as Sun Ra themes like “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Outer Spaceways Incorporated.” This is as close as Ra gets to bite-sized.


Media Dreams9 Media Dreams
I cite this album, which I have on an original Sun Ra El Saturn Records pressing with hand-drawn artwork, for one track, the aforementioned “Constellation.” It’s one of the few times where Ra uses a drum machine, in this case a primitive one like you’d find on a home organ, but Ra amps up that groove, doubling it with baritone horns and leads it into a free-funk improvisation with a John Gilmore tenor solo that will rip your gut out.

Patch of Blue10 Impressions of a Patch of Blue by Walt Dickerson
This isn’t a Sun Ra album, proper. He’s a sideman to vibraphonist Walt Dickerson and it’s remarkable to hear him in a more restrained and supportive role, playing celeste and harpsichord against Dickerson’s melodic vibe inventions.

I’ve had a more personal relationship with Sun Ra than with most other musicians. Ra came to Philadelphia in 1968. I arrived in 1972. I saw Sun Ra dozens of times live and when I worked at WXPN I saw him in many studio performances and interviews, some of which I conducted. I produced a radio documentary on him in 1982 and in 1997 I produced another one for NPR’s Jazz Profiles, Sun Ra’s Cosmic Swing.

I’ve written liner notes for a few Sun Ra albums, including the reissue of Lanquidity on the Evidence label. In reading over those notes, I realized a lot of it was about my own personal journey with Sun Ra and probably the reason I felt compelled to do an Echoes show on Sun Ra, even though it’s not quite the sound we have on the program.

 Lanquidity Liner Notes

In the Germantown section of Philadelphia, there’s an anonymous stone rowhouse with little to distinguish it from the other rundown buildings on the block. But for 25 years, this home had an interior glow powered by a seismic engine of big band jazz, cosmic space music and intergalactic tribalism. This was the home of Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

It was an unlikely location for this “band from outer space,” but then, as Sun Ra confessed to me, “Earth is an unlikely place for me to be in the first place.”

SunRaPosterPhiladelphia is often known as a spawning ground for innovative jazz musicians, but it’s also known as a city that musicians eventually leave. John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, The Heath Brothers and countless others headed up the New Jersey Turnpike to New York as soon as they garnered any reputation at all. As far as I know, Sun Ra is the only musician to reverse that course of jazz migration, moving to Philadelphia in 1968 and remaining there until he left the planet in 1993.

Lanquidity is one result of this often overlooked chapter in the cosmic annals of Sun Ra. His Arkestra’s gestation in Chicago and pilgrimage to New York City in the glory days of the 60s avant garde are the stuff of legend, but once Ra traveled south to Philadelphia, he might as well have taken a left turn into his hallowed home of Saturn. With long stays in Europe and the west coast and constant touring, he seemed to become a musician of the world rather than a local hero.

Sun Ra arrived in Philadelphia without ceremony, taking up residence at 5626 Morton Street in the declining Germantown section of the city. He said he came because “Philadelphia was the most evil place in the country,” but likely it was because the home was rented to the Arkestra by altoist Marshall Allen’s father. It looked like all the other rowhouses in the neighborhood, except they didn’t have windows covered with tin foil and psychedelic swirls on the door. But then, in the late sixties, that kind of decor hardly warranted a second glance.

Inside the darkened living room, Sun Ra’s electronic keyboards were stacked at one end while the Arkestra piled amongst the frayed furniture and surreal paintings of aliens and Egyptian symbology. Tucked amidst this clutter was an array of cosmic and spiritual paraphernalia. Ra would pull books off the shelf and floor, usually weighty philosophical-mystical tomes like “Book of Urantia.” A garish psychedelic oil painting of Ra, done by a fan, stared from the walls while the aroma of Ra’s vegetarian “Moon Stew” wafted from the kitchen in back.   Several members of the Arkestra lived a communal existence in the house, including tenor sax giant John Gilmore and most of the reed section.

You’d think they’d create a scene with the neighbors, but aside from around-the-clock rehearsals, no one was taken aback by Ra and the multi-hued raiment of his band members. Sonny would sit on the front stoop of the house, bantering with neighbors as they walked by on a hot Philly summer afternoon. And he was listed in the Philadelphia phone book just like them, under Ra, Sun.

Across the street from the house was an empty, wooded lot. When a tree there was felled by a lightning strike, Sun Ra had James Jacson get a piece of it to create the “Thunder Drum,” a centerpiece of Ra’s performances thereafter.

If you were on the Philadelphia jazz scene from 1968 to his passing in 1993, you couldn’t miss Sun Ra’s presence. Ra played concerts on a consistently irregular basis. In the early days, you might catch the Arkestra literally falling off the stage of Geno’s Empty Foxhole, their 18 plus musicians and dancers finding scant room on a minuscule proscenium accustomed to trios. Located in the parish hall basement of St. Mary’s Church, the Empty Foxhole, gave new meaning to the term “underground.” The first two rows were ripped out bus seats, the next few were old church pews and the rest were a motley collection of folding chairs. Yet, this was the Philly stop for The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Pharoah Sanders, Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers and other luminaries of the seventies avant-garde.

Sun Ra quickly outgrew the parish hall basement of the Foxhole and moved up to the actual church itself. St. Mary’s was one of many religious venues in which Ra performed in Philadelphia and although his music may have been sanctified, these churches never had an experience like this before or after. Playing a Halloween eve show at United Calvary Methodist Church in West Philadelphia, the altar/stage was bathed in a classic 60s liquid light show from Michel Polizzi’s Quasar Lights, while the Arkestra danced through the pews in a cosmic conga line. Ra would pull unsuspecting audience members out of their seats and shout in their faces, “Will you give up your death for me?”
But Sun Ra didn’t need churches or light shows for atmosphere. He transformed every place he played into a carnival, whether it was the cramped club Grendel’s Lair on South Street, the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City or the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michel Polizzi's Quasar Lights

Michel Polizzi’s Quasar Lights

Because of Sun Ra’s residence in Philadelphia, it became the place to pick up his obscure, self-produced El Saturn sides. At Third Street Jazz & Rock, a record store at Third and Market Streets in Center City, Ra held a hallowed spot. The entire back wall was covered with John Coltrane albums, but the wall on the left was filled with the hand-painted covers of Sun Ra’s El Saturn label. Every few weeks or so, Ra baritone saxophonist and foreman Danny Thompson, would walk into the store, an armful of Sun Ra’s latest opus or two under his arms and negotiate a C.O.D. deal with store owner Jerry Gordon. Philadelphia fans heard Ra odysseys like Media Dreams and Disco 3000 that are rarities elsewhere, and classics like Live At Montreux debuted in Philadelphia on El Saturn years before they were released on “regular” commercial labels.

Ra probably never got as much radio exposure as he did in Philadelphia at this time. He appeared frequently on Temple University’s jazz station, WRTI and until the mid-1980s, Sun Ra sides were de rigeur on Blue Genesis, the nightly jazz show on the University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN. Sonny himself was a frequent guest, expounding on the universe as college DJs sat with a mixture of fear and confusion. I know. I was one of them.

“When you interviewed Ra, the questions that you asked really didn’t matter much,” remembers Russell Woessner, a DJ on WXPN and WRTI. “He’d respond with his own answers. He told me once he was an angel and that stopped me in my tracks.”

Often, Ra would bring up his books of poetry and read them on the air, as the DJ mixed in music from his albums.

I can remember more than one occasion with sixteen Arkestra members cramming into WXPN’s minuscule studio, Ra pounding on a creaky upright piano, the horns blasting and Ra dancers cavorting in the hallway while DJ/engineers Woessner, Jules Epstein and Kimberly Haas tried to wrestle the sound onto the air. After the last note had bleated away, Danny Thompson walked in the control booth and took the tapes, some eventually surfacing as Sun Ra albums like My Favorite Things.

bumperstickerAt one point, Ra tried to convince WXPN’s program director, Jules Epstein, to marshal 144,000 musicians to perform a sacred concert related to the coming biblical Armageddon. Epstein wasn’t quite persuaded, but Ra succeeded in convincing WXPN chief engineer Tom Buchler to record him for Buchler’s own fledgling Philly Jazz label, which you now hold in your hands.

Ra occasionally broke the surface of the jazz underground in Philadelphia. He performed on Philadelphia’s public TV station, WHYY and he was documented in local filmmaker Bob Mugge’s Sun Ra: Make A Joyful Noise.   Mugge couldn’t afford to bring Sun Ra to the great pyramids, so he filmed him in the Egyptian rooms of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Mellon Jazz Festival was dedicated to Sun Ra in the year 2000, although I suspect Sonny, who always liked science fiction, would’ve preferred being honored in 2001, in keeping with Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. He certainly took Philadelphia on a trip.

Although he left the planet from his childhood home in Birmingham, Alabama, Sun Ra’s life effectively ended in Philadelphia after he suffered a series of increasingly debilitating strokes.

The house at 5626 Morton is a bit quieter now and other Arkestra members, including John Gilmore and James Jacson have also moved on to other worlds. Yet, the band continues on, now under the direction of Marshall Allen. Members of the Arkestra still live in Sun Ra’s home, and if you drive by you might still catch an echo of the music created there.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WHERE & HOW TO LISTEN TO ECHOES

Echoes is on different stations, on different days and different times.
You can listen locally or stream-live from our many stations’ websites.
You can also stream it on-demand from Echoes On-line, our streaming subscription service.  You can sign up for a 1 week trial of unlimited streaming for $2.99 here.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month. You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time. You can do it all right here.
Hidden Treasures-225

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.

 

 

Natalie Merchant Giving Up Everything Video

April 11, 2014

Natalie Merchant Returns with Self-Titled Album and Haunting Video

Natalie-MerchantNatalie Merchant releases her first album of all original music this May.  Ahead of that, she’s released a simple, but powerful video for the best song on the album, “Gving Up Everything.”

 

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

Steve Roach in Echoes Podcast

April 11, 2014

Steve Roach Contemplates the Contemplation of Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast

Structures-DeluxeOver the last 25 years, Steve Roach has been one of the signature artists of Echoes.  He wrote our original theme music in 1989 and he was voted one of 20 Icons for 20 Years of Echoes.  I’ve known Roach since 1983 when I visited his small bungalow in Culver City near Los Angeles.  At the time I was recording interviews for the radio documentary, Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound.  As I recall I interviewed Michael Stearns and Kevin Braheny on that same trip.  Roach had two albums out at that point, Now and Traveler.  But he unveiled his newest release, just out on cassette at the time, called Structures from Silence. It came out the next year on Fortuna and has gone on to become a classic of space, new age and ambient music.  Four years ago, I cited Structures as the number two of Five Essential Steve Roach CDs.   Now they’ve released a triple CD edition with the original album and artwork plus two contemporary CDs which have roots in the Structures from Silence aesthetic while sounding almost nothing like it.  Steve Roach remembers days of silence in the Echoes Podcast.  Here’s something that didn’t fit in the interview.

Steve Roach: This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison.  So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates.  I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear.  I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

Steve Roach Immersion '07 (64)And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

So I played that track and ended the concert with that very gentle track, and it was amazing because it stayed quiet. I wasn’t pelted with paper balls and a lot of the the inmates came up to the stage and they were clearly vibing in the music and they were absolutely stoned [on the music].

Hear more stories about Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

30 Years of Stillness with Steve Roach

April 8, 2014

Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence Turns 30

Structures-DeluxeSteve Roach has been one of the signature artists of Echoes.  He wrote our original theme music in 1989 and he was voted one of 20 Icons for 20 Years of Echoes.  I’ve known Roach since 1983 when I visited his small bungalow in Culver City near Los Angeles.  At the time I was recording interview for the radio documentary, Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound.  He had two albums out at that point, Now and Traveler.  But he unveiled his newest release, just out on cassette at the time, called Structures from Silence. It came out the next year and has gone on to become a classic of space, new age and ambient music.  Four years ago, I cited Structures as the number two of Five Essential Steve Roach CDs.   Now they’ve released a triple CD edition with the original album and artwork plus two contemporary CDs which have roots in the Structures from Silence aesthetic while sounding almost nothing like it.  Steve Roach remembers days of silence today on Echoes.  Here’s something that didn’t fit in the interview.

Steve Roach: This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison.  So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates.  I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear.  I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

Steve Roach Immersion '07 (64)And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

So I played that track and ended the concert with that very gentle track, and it was amazing because it stayed quiet. I wasn’t pelted with paper balls and a lot of the the inmates came up to the stage and they were clearly vibing in the music and they were absolutely stoned [on the music].

Hear more stories about Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence tonight on Echoes.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

Journey to Sirius with Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

February 18, 2014
Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

Acclaimed Space Musician Vic Hennegan Play Live on Echoes

You can sort of blame me for Vic Hennegan.  He grew up in Philadephia in the 1970s listening to me spinning space music albums by Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre on WXPN back then.  That, and the fact that his mother took him to psychedelic ballrooms like the Electric Factory as a child permanently mutated Vic Hennegan’s musical DNA. Now he makes his own electronic music that emulates that sound and brings in something new.  He recently put out a download release called Journey to Sirius.   He comes into the Echoes Living Room to play music from it live.  You can also hear a long track from his set, an unreleased piece, on our album TRANSMISSIONS: THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19 (See below)

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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.

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.

Echoes Top 25 for December 2013

December 27, 2013

FoundHere’s the last Top 25 list for 2013.  And like our 25 Essential Echoes CDs and The Best of Echoes Listener Poll, it reveals just what a great year 2013 was.  There are seven Echoes CD of the Month picks on it including December’s selection, David Helpling & Jon Jenkins’ Found.  That’s unusual, but that’s because of the Best of show and the 12 CDs of the Month for 2013 show.  WinterfoldBut there’s a couple of CDs there that easily could’ve been CDs of the month, notably, Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunnings & Wendy Goodwin’s Winterfold, a wonderful album of atmospheric winter pastorals, Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales from the Grand Bazaar, a CD that get’s into a serene, ambient chamber music sound but with eastern edges and subtle dub grooves, and lamentationAzam Ali & Loga Ramin Torkian’s Lamentation of Swans, a deep dive into Persian atmospheres with a lush merging of extoci strings, throbbing percussion and synthesizer atmosphere’s all topped by the sensual wordless vocals of Azam Ali.  And next Month’s CD of teh Month is here as well, Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns. Here‘s the list.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR DECEMBER 2013

  1. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  2. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  3. Jeff Johnson Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin Winterfold (Ark Records) iTunes
  4. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music for Music Lovers) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  5. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky)
  6. Moya BrennanAn Irish Christmas (BFO Records)
  7. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  8. Tom Griesgraber and Bert LamsUnnamed Lands (Inner Knot) iTunes
  9. Divine MatrixHydrosphere (AD Music) iTunes
  10. Akara – The World Beyond (Merkaba Music) iTunes
  11. EuphoriaE4 (Instrumental) (Euphoria) iTunes
  12. HammockOblivion Hymns (Hammock Music) iTunes
  13. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  14. Ulrich SchnaussA Long Way to Fall (Ulrich Schnauss) iTunes
  15. Brad HoytFar Away from Every Day (Harp Guitar Music)
  16. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  17. Ludovico Einaudi – In a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  18. Azam Ali and Loga R TorkianLamentation of Swans (Terrestrial Lane Productions) iTunes
  19. Mary Fahl Love & Gravity (Mary Fahl) iTUnes
  20. EklipseElectric Air (The End) iTunes
  21. Frankie RoseHerein Wild (Fat Possum Records) iTunes
  22. Lotte KestnerThe Bluebird of Happiness (Saint Marie) iTunes
  23. The Piano GuysA Family Christmas (Portrait) iTunes
  24. Courtney BarnettA Sea of Split Peas (House Anxiety) iTunes
  25. GrailsBlack Tar Prophecies Vols 4-6 (Temporary Residence) iTunes

See 25 Essential Echoes CDs and The Best of Echoes Listener Poll

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  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

LRC19-250px

GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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.

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.

Last Spaceship Before Christmas: Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

December 23, 2013
Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

Vic Hennegan Live on Echoes

You can sort of blame me for Vic Hennegan.  He grew up in Philadephia in the 1970s listening to me spinning space music albums by Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre on WXPN back then.  That, and the fact that his mother took him to psychedelic ballrooms like the Electric Factory as a child permanently mutated Vic Hennegan’s musical DNA. Now he makes his own electronic music that emulates that sound and brings in something new.  He recently put out a download release called Journey to Sirius.   He comes into the Echoes Living Room to play music from it live.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  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

LRC19-250px

GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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.

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.

Forty Years Since TONTO, the first Modern Electronic Group

July 25, 2011

A thread in the Progressive Ears Forum, got me thinking again about Tonto’s Expanding Headband, the pioneering electronic band that preceded Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Schulz Klaus by a few years in creating a sequencer driven music.  It made me realize that this is the 40th Anniversary of their first album, Zero TimeSo with that in mind,  I bring you a 15 year old Echoes interview with Tonto’s Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil.  You can also read my even earlier interview with Malcolm Cecil in the book, Synth Gods.

Malcolm Cecil & Robert Margouleff with TONTO

[This is an Uncorrected Draft Script]

It has been 25 years since Tonto first took flight on the 1971 album, “Zero Time.”  you may have never heard the CD, but it’s influence reverberated throughout space music and popular music. Just look at the credits on 70s albums by Quincy Jones, The Isley Brothers, Minnie Ripperton and many others and you’ll see the names of Malcolm Cecil And Robert Margouleff, the creators of Tonto. But their most important connection remains Stevie Wonder.  Wonder’s brilliant mid-70s quartet that includes Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervision And Fullfillingness’ First Finale was mid-wifed by Malcolm Cecil And Robert Margouleff along with the Tonto synthesizer. We go  back to zero time with Tonto’s Expanding Headband.

SFX

In the Mutato Musica studios of Devo In Los Angeles, 60 year old Malcolm Cecil is negotiating a spaghetti of wires, cables and keyboards, hunched under the imposing presence of Tonto, an acronym for The Original New Timbral Orchestra.

SFX

It’s difficult to believe that this lumbering behemoth of knobs, buttons and blinking lights set off in 10 modular curved cases produced the sounds of the influential album, “Zero Time.”

MUSIK Cybernaut

British born Malcolm Cecil was a classical trained bass player, turned jazz musician turned studio engineer. Robert Margouleff was a lapsed operatic tenor turned film producer.  When he needed music for his self-produced movie, Ciao Manhattan, he bought a Moog synthesizer and became the house synthesist at Media Sound Studios in New York where he met the house engineer, Malcolm Cecil. They began working together and slowly began acquiring electronic modules.  The Moog synthesizer was still a novelty in 1971, and Margouleff And Cecil, coming from straight music backgrounds, weren’t sure their first piece was even music.

MC: Yeah. Originally Aurora was 27 minutes long and it’s one of the pieces that Bob was working on when we met

RM: I said to him , Malcolm, I’m not even sure if this is music.

MC: It turned out to be a really, I suppose a very sort of primal piece. It’s sort of ageless.

After getting a label deal, Robert Margouleff And Malcolm Cecil began composing the music for Zero Time.  By now, their synthesizer had a name:  The Original New Timbral Orchestra or TONTO.  And that spawned the name of the group, Tonto’s Expanding Headband.  It was a reflection on the psychedelic culture at the time.

MC: Oh definitely. It was, that’s where the expanding headband concept was. I mean the play on words and that was the right out of the silver 60s. We were totally in to the psychedelic culture.

Musik

TONTO

Many of the elements we take for granted with synthesizers today, took painstaking and circuitous paths to accomplish with tonto.  Both Margouleff And Cecil would play the instrument simultaneously, one performing the melody, while another shaped the notes. Firing up TONTO, Malcolm Cecil gets Echoes producer Jeff Towne to play a bongo that is electronically linked to the synthesizer, while Cecil plays a keyboard.

DEMO, TALKS So [31:55 plays]. Very Tontosish I should say.

This is a rough and ready demo, but a more precise example can be heard on the piece “riversong” on which Cecil And Margouleff synthesized a voice.

MC: It was our attempt at voice synthesis where the, see Bob is trained as a tenor. He’s an operatic tenor. And he, so he has all the understanding of the vocal. The melodic lines were, I was playing on the keyboard and Bob was creating the words and we worked together to create the sound that ended up being the vocal which is somewhat unintelligible but it was sort of like, but we had terrible difficulty making consonants and Ks and the one thing that still irks me to this day that I’ve always wanted to fix was the line in there which is the whole major line of the whole thing. It says I’m the river, I’m the river, but I’m not the current. And, it comes out I am the errant. [Laughs]

MUSIK

TONTO would probably be a tiny foot note in modern music if one day, Steve Wonder hadn’t walked into the studio after bass player named Ronnie Blanco played Zero Time for him.

MC: He played the album to Stevie and who, he told Stevie that this was a keyboard instrument that he needed to check out….. Anyway, there was a ring at the bell and it turns out to be Ronnie Blanco. He says, come down here I’ve got somebody who wants to check out Tonto…. And anyway so we went into the studio and who walks in on Ronnie Blanco’s arm with our album on the other arm is Stevie. And he came into the studio.  And that first weekend we put down 17 songs.

MUSIK

Robert Margouleff And Malcolm Cecil would produce and play on the four quintessential Stevie Wonder albums, “Music Of My Mind,” “Talking Book,” “Innervision” And “Fullfingness First Finale.” They went on to produce hit albums for The Isley Brothers And  Minnie Ripperton, and then Margouleff went on to produce Devo’s “Freedom Of Choice” and Shadowfaxes “The Odd Get Even”.  Cecil had a longtime producing relationship with Gil Scott Heron.

Now they’re firing up TONTO again, trying to capitalize on the techno sound that they helped inspire.  Malcolm Cecil And Robert Margouleff are well abreast of contemporary technology, but they still think, 25 years later, there’s something special in TONTO.

RM: It’s an instrument, okay? And it’s one kind of an instrument. There’s no other instrument like it. It has its own process and its own thing and after all, there’s a few things you can say about instrument that was designed on a tablecloth, you know? It has its own kind of magic.

The first Tonto’s Expanding Headband album, Zero Time was re-released in its entirety along with tracks from a second album that came out in europe.  The collection is called “Tonto Rides Again” On Viceroy Records.

MUSIK OUT

Wikipedia also has a very good entry on TONTO.  Look for a Tribute To TONTO in the fall on Echoes

John Diliberto ((( Echoes )))


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