The albums featured will either be milestones in the history of progressive rock, other influential albums, or just good examples from the catalogue of a certain band. Each article is designed to offer an insight into the background of the band, the musicians, the writing and events surrounding the recordings. Not so much a review but more of an in-depth feature assessing the impact made by these particular recordings.
“Counting out Time” is a site, part of the dprp (Dutch Progressive Rock Page), which offers a collection of articles on selected Progressive Rock music albums from the sixties to the nineties. Some of the articles focus on analyzing the music (my friend Ángel will probably Continue reading Counting Out
Let’s start the second and last chapter dedicated to Portuguese singer Dulce Pontes, in which we pay attention to ten outstanding musical moments (for different reasons) of her discography. Continue reading Sweet Dulce (II): Track by track
The fado is the Portuguese music par excellence. And I should add: it´s a feeling, a way of understanding life, a deeply felt expression of the inward voice of these people. If we try to find a synonym for the word “fado”, we will be talking about homesickness, nostalgia, melancholy, etc. But all of them are terms that don´t fit into the complexity of the original one.
The fado is displayed through the music by means of the melodies, the lyrics and, above all, the performances of the musicians and singers. The voice is usually feminine. We may search for the reason in the sociocultural context: womens’ situations in Portugal have been linked to the Land (the work in the fields) and the Sea (the loneliness generated by the emigrational phenomenon). And that voice has distinguished performers throughout time. Maybe Amalia Rodrigues is the major reference in this sense.
But, how has the fado evolved? Nowadays we can Continue reading Sweet Dulce
With the exception of the wire strings, this instrument is entirely constructed out of LEGO parts(…) approximate 150 lbs. weight, and an estimated 100,000 LEGO piece count (…) It’s taken two years of theorizing, designing, collecting parts, building, testing, and rebuilding.
I first knew of the Lego Harpsichord after an article in make magazine, and have been wanting to write about it since then. From my point of view, this project stands on its own not only because of the sheer amount of Lego blocks used, but because Henry Lim has overcome the very specific problems that arise when designing and building a music instrument, plus the added challenge of making every single part of it out of Lego (well, obviously not the strings), departing with no previous knowledge on the field!
It is true that, if you Continue reading Lego of Choice: Harpsichord
When we talk about Mike Oldfield, what is the first phrase that reminds us of him? Maybe “Tubular Bells”? -Is there anyone who disagrees? Well, maybe the people who remember “Moonlight Shadow” … just kidding!-. Beyond the prolongation of the “Tubular” phenomenon (I’ve just lost count of the revisions of the classic piece), Mike Oldfield is a peculiar artist. Admired with devotion or fiercely criticized (especially in recent times), Mr. Oldfield has an enviable trajectory.
We can establish three different stages in Mike Olfield’s work. It´s very remarkable that most of his fans don’t like all the stages. They are fans of some of them. And this is my case. Continue reading Stage 1: Hergest Ridge, the great stranger
The mexican band “Maná” is one of the latin bands with more worldwide repercussion; that´s a fact. Yesterday I was listening to Maná’s “MTV Unplugged”, an album that offers an interesting song compilation, in an excellent acoustic version. But beyond its undeniable musical quality I will enhance a circumstance that never stops to amaze me in every album they bring up: The main characters of Maná’s songs Continue reading Memoirs of an aching soul
Anyone, musician or not, can instantly sound like a pro at the touch of a button. You can’t make a mistake!
A few days ago I was searching for synthesizers on ebay when I found an auction for something called “omnichord” (click here to see an auction for a similar item). After some research I found that the Suzuki Omnichord was actually a kind of “automatic music maker”. First released in 1981, it featured several rows of keys, able to play melodies or “autochords” (a chord was obtained by playing a single key). Even more, it had a touchplate that allowed you to Continue reading I Q. Do you?: The Qchord
Valentine’s Day is coming soon. If you are the kind of people who feel “obliged” to make some gifts but you don’t like it so much, then you are my kind. What do we do in these cases? Well, we sit and wait for an inspiration which often brings the form of a perfume or music. However, since you won’t be giving perfumes for your whole life, music is an option with endless possibilities. It has to be romantic, of course, because if your couple is enraptured by any theme of the album, she/he will probably turn it into “the couple song” (for some months, at least). Continue reading Music for Valentine’s Day
Many times I’ve thought about what would have been the first music I ever heard in my life. I don’t expect to find a specific answer, but I like to imagine it.
That’s one of the reasons I am fascinated by “Genesis”, the soundtrack composed by french Bruno Coulais for the homonym filmic documentary about the origin and course of Life. It illustrates what I like to call “inward music”. Continue reading Coulais’ Creation