MP3 Electric Chamber Orchestra - Morning (opus one)
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11 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: New Age, JAZZ: World Fusion
In a world where instrumental music has become a commodity it is refreshing to hear something that takes you on a journey. This collection of original music based on morning themes has been described as "movie music - but you don't need the movie". Composed by UK born Australian Robert Butler and performed by some of the most highly respected musicians in Australia, the cohesive blend of influences evident in the Electric Chamber Orchestra is ideal for the listener who is open to appreciating music without genre bias. Typical fans are those "radio channel switchers" who love the structure and timbre of the classics but yearn for the drive of modern rock music, a taste of jazz, and the emotional connection of new age.
Most tracks on this CD have a musical story to tell and we recommend you turn down the lights, pour a good glass of your favourite beverage, turn up the sound and let the music do its work. We thought it might be helpful to provide some insight into the background of each track so here goes:
"Reverie". This track opens with an impression of morning mist in the forest. The violin and viola then lead an "awakening" scale sequence followed by a gentle latin-flavoured morning dance. One enthusiastic reviewer described Col Loughnan's sax solo in this piece as "cutting through like a ray of sunshine".
"Prelude". Ever noticed how young children behave on the morning of their birthday or at Christmas? Prelude attempts to put this joyful yet rather erratic scene to music with a pop jazz/rock flavour. Paul Thorne's trumpet solo work on this track is something else!
"Bul Bul". Birds can be an amazing source of inspiration. This short flute quartet was half-finished before realising that two birds performing a duet outside the kitchen window during breakfast were responsible. (For the curious - bird 1: "doodle-oodle", bird 2: "dup-dup".)
"Morning". This title track is a rather tongue-in-cheek representation of morning as experienced by the typical city commuter. The first section is a "Monty Pythonesque" representation of the waking experience after the alarm goes off. The bass and drums then introduce a somewhat plodding andante to start the daily routine. An interlude in the middle of the piece occurs as our character nods off at the desk then is jolted back to reality.
"Gigue". The opening piano motif in this track becomes the primary melody as it is extended across five bars and played by the string trio. The drive provided by a 12/8 time signature plus the sound of the flugel horn attempt to create the mood of a traditional hunting scene.
"Nocturne". A peaceful early morning mantra is established in this piece by the persistent percussion which underlays the soprano sax and later fretless bass in harmony. Those with sub-woofers will appreciate the beautiful Chinese drum in the percussion section. The piece concludes with a crescendo as dawn appears out of the darkness.
"Intermezzo". We'd be stretching the truth to call this a morning piece. We included it as a light jazz-rock intermission to provide a break from the thematic content through the rest of the CD.
"Celebration". "One a.m. at the German beer house", complete with genuine squeaky piano accordion and flute!
"Autumn Serenade". The wandering melody in this piece was inspired while watching autumn leaves make their way to the ground in the breeze.
"Rondo". The melody and accompaniment came separately for this track and seemed to overlay perfectly in a rather mathematical context, with a 4/4 bass part placed subtly across the 12/8 time signature. An octave divider is used on the pizzicato cello in the first section to provide the lower bass octave. Once the main melodic theme is established by acoustic guitar and flute, the flugel horn and violin then perform the melody upside down and backwards as the piece unfolds.
"Arietta". This piano quartet is a romantic morning piece with a sense of melancholy. It has proven to be very popular and seemed to give good closure to the CD and complete the journey.
The Electric Chamber Orchestra emerged from numerous "between take" discussions in Sydney recording studios during the late 1980's. The ambitious aim was to create a music style that was intimate, colourful, unpretentious and connected well with a live audience. It needed good structure, good feel, and great players to perform it well. The resulting 11 piece combination of violin, viola, cello, saxes/flute/clarinet, trumpet/flugel horn and a 6 piece rhythm section produced a kind of "classical new age jazz rock" sound which we thought most appropriate to call "electric chamber music". Individual credits of the diverse group who provided their time, talent and enthusiasm to record Morning (opus one) range from the London Philharmonic, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras to Frank Sinatra, Peter Allen, INXS and the film Moulin Rouge.
Morning (opus one) was originally released in Australia to great reviews and was performed at the famous "Basement" in Sydney where it received a fantastic response from the live audience. In 2004 the album was reclaimed from the record company, remastered, the tracks were shuffled around to provide a better journey for the listener, and new artwork was created.
"...an alluring album; full of strong themes, intertwined melodies, subtle musical infrastructures and superb (natural) sonics. It's not only 'fresh', but combines light classical and modern music in a relaxing and easy-to-assimilate style..." Sound & Image
"...a fine debut album from a gifted group..." Sun-Herald
"This album grows on you more each time you hear it ... it now has a permanent place in the car CD player and passes the time beautifully in commuter traffic" B.B., Sydney, Australia.
A new album "The Joker" is planned for release in 2006.
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