Category Archives: Music

New Symphonies

The orchestral symphonic form has been with us for several centuries, from Bach through Beethoven and Berloiz. Composers have used a long form of music to express themes and musical ideas that can range from a ten minute suite to excessive works that fill the best part of a day. Just because orchestral music has fallen from favor as popular music doesn’t mean it has been abandoned. Modern orchestral composers are now best known for film music. But the old tradition continues with other musicians……

Steve Hackett – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1997)

Steve Hackett may be a great guitar player, but the reason he is not on my ‘Guitar Gods’ list is that he is an even better composer. Through his long career, he has performed a wide range of music. From Genesis to his solo works there is always a freshness and originality that shines through.

This album is similar to ‘Bay of Kings’ from 1983. Just Steve, an acoustic guitar and musical accompaniment. Here, the small orchestra on its own could be playing anything from the romantic period. The music is lyrical and sweet (but not too much). Then, when the theme seems exhausted, the guitar enters and continues the tune. Although there are 13 tracks from two to six minutes in length, comprising just over an hour, they all merge together to form one complete work.

Anyone who likes the guitar concertos of Villa-lobos or Rodrigo will like this. It’s modern with a wonderful warmth and glow that will remind you of compositions from years ago.

 

Timeless

John Abercrombie
Timeless (1975)

This is one of the first artist’s I came across in the 1980’s during my ECM explorations. It was purchased in Christchurch’s ‘Radar Records’ in vinyl, probably the best record store in the city at the time.

It was Abercrombie’s debut album as leader, recorded in 1974 with Jan Hammer (keyboards) and Jack DeJohnette (drums). There is a bit of ‘conventional’ jazz guitar, but with Jan Hammer on early synthesizers it moves to a more European feel, closer to Schulze and the Berlin School of electronics.

The best track is the title track.

 

36

36 (pronounced three-six) is the ambient / experimental project of Dennis Huddleston from the United Kingdom.

The music draws on the history of Brian Eno and Steve Roach to create soundscapes in the void between music and random noise.

Sometimes orchestral in nature, or more like electronic static, it’s always engaging and interesting at low or high volume.

A lot of the music on his  site is free.

Time For Tea

Time For Tea
by 11 Acorn Lane (2015)

Infectious pop, jazz, funk.
Nobody combines them like this band.
The best song is ‘Lets Face it I’m Cute”
with lyrics worth repeating…….

Let’s face it
Let’s face it
Let’s face it
Let’s face it
Let’s come to terms
And embrace it
Concur admit concede and face it

I’m cute
Cute, cute, cute
I’m cute
Cute, cute, cute

Let’s embrace it
And come to terms
There you have it
I’m cute

RNZ Theme

When Kim Hill asked listeners to send in suggestions for a new theme for her Saturday Morning Show in 2002, I sent a suggestion:

Received: from [203.97.143.59] (helo=rnz01)
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for <bakern@inet.net.nz>; Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:02:18 +1200
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with Novell_GroupWise; Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:04:07 +1200
Message-Id: <scc42667.035@rnz01>
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Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:03:54 +1200
From: “Saturday Saturday” <Saturday@radionz.co.nz>
To: <bakern@inet.net.nz>
Subject: Re: Kim Hill’s Theme
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thanks – that’s taken me by surprise, must check it out. Chris Bourke

>>> “Nigel Baker” <bakern@inet.net.nz> 04/21/02 01:03 >>>

Here is my suggestion:

The opening to “People”
on the 1995 Album “Thrak” by King Crimson

Nigel Baker
Christchurch, New Zealand