Almost Infinite Preview by Thomson

Video

Hey Guys,
This is a preview to my Instrumental Guitar EP “Almost Infinite,” where this is the title track. I tried tipping my hat to the great Guthrie Govan. Leave me a comment on what you think because I am always up for criticism. Hope you enjoy!

Check out my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ThomsonMusicOfficial

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Brian Eno – 40 Years of Changing Music

Brian Eno is undoubtedly a unique and experimental artist. His influence as an artist includes the following: R&B, Rock n’ Roll, Progressive Rock, Punk, New Wave, African/Middle Easter/Oriental Styles, minimalism, post-Cage-avant-garde ideas, and electronic music. Not only does Brian Eno do music, but he also delved into visual art in the form of video and sculptures, and is an author. It is safe to say that Brian Eno comes at music with a very experimental and diverse mind set.

Two of Brian Eno’s personal albums/work that stick out to me are Discreet Music, and Here Come the Warm Jets. Discreet Music is a very unique album. The first thirty minutes of the album is just an ambient song, the title track, which consists of ambient sounding chords, and haunting melodies, which pulls the listener into a trance mood, which captivates your mind into being opened up into a state of relaxation. On the second side of the record there are three variations on Pachelbel’s Canon in D (commonly heard song at weddings). This part of the album is so very beautiful because it includes beautiful melodies and wondrous arranging. The ambiences factor is still in place and it can make a listener be at an easy state of mind. Here Come the Warm Jets is different and similar in many ways. It is different in the fact that it has more songs; the album isn’t completely instrumental, it is not an ambient album, and it has a very David Bowie/Rock and Roll sound. The similarities to it are that it has beautiful instrumentations and the melodies are so well done it feels as if the band that recorded this with him was orchestrated. There are some elements of the ambient synths used to create lush harmony and melodies, but it is still infused with the energy of the band. This makes it different in the fact that Discreet Music is to relaxation, where as Here Come the Warm Jets is to less relaxation and more energy driven.

Brian Eno’s projects are very different than most artists’ projects. Besides the fact that Brian Eno is a musical genius and takes influences from such strange genres and types of music, he still can make a song sound naturally made; meaning that even though he might have different cultural influences and genres not related to one another in the same song, the song still sounds like it’s identity is original and to me, that is the most different characteristic about his music. I also enjoy the fact that he doesn’t just do vocal and “rock band” based music, but delves into experimental and ambient instrumental music with weird clashing of instruments and paired harmonic content that may not be “main stream” when it comes to music being written at that time. Brian Eno’s projects also boast creative uses of the studio. He used the studio as an instrument, like the Beatles and Brian Wilson. This led to parts of his music being very different and unique because these effects that took place during some of his songs, can only be created within a studio/computer.

To me, Brian Eno’s whole experimental/mind-trip approach to the arts is pretentious to me because it feels like he tries hard to be something different, which isn’t a bad thing, but I enjoy music when it is naturally spewing from someone and not brought out by use of uncommon elements. I cannot deny that Brian Eno’s Discreet Music album is very beautiful and to me I would consider it a captivating song. I wouldn’t say Brian Eno is my favorite artist, but Discreet Music is my favorite project of his.

Peer Comment

(To Jack Street’s Blog about Revolver)

Hey Jack,

I really enjoyed your blog about the Beatles and their album Revolver. You proved very factual information and included interesting facts that some may not know of. I like how you said that the Beatles used drugs as a non musical influence but specifically LSD on the Revolver Album. Not too many people know that the Beatles partook in a wide variety of drugs, and you were knowledgeable enough to take note of that. One thing of concern was when you said India Culture. This isn’t wrong but the I would have said Indian or Hindu culture. It is like say America Culture rather than American Culture, that way you are referring to the culture of the people from that Country. I can also agree with you about how you felt towards the album. There was much work put into this album and it is good that people recognize that a great song takes a great amount of creativity and effort. Very well done.

Best,
Robert Syvret

About Marvin Gaye’s album, What’s Going On.

     It is safe to say that Marvin Gaye is a very talented musician/artist.  Before his arguably best album, What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye was easily noted as a Motown/R&B artist. His lyrics were happy and good feelings, his music was upbeat and had that classic Motown/R&B sound, and he infused the Pop melodies with old traditions in music such as the Doo-Wop based progressions, and Gospel vocal runs. You can hear these sounds on his albums: The Soulful Mood of Marvin Gaye, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow, How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You, Moods of Marvin Gaye, and many more.

     When it came to What’s Going On, the inspiration behind the album and the title track is depressing and shameful. One of the men who wrote the title track What’s Going On was named Renaldo Benson. He saw how the police were brutally attacking civilians, and the violence towards the anti-war protestors. Benson thought, “What’s going on?”

     When he presented the song to Marvin Gaye, he knew Marvin would be the perfect fit. Marvin also shared the same views, such as being anti-war due to his brother Frankie serving years in the military and at Vietnam. Marvin was also around the time of MLK Jr. and JFK assassination and just really disliked the violence in the world and felt there should be a change.

     Though the world was having its problems, so did Marvin when trying to release the album. Berry Gordy, the man in charge of releasing the album, said that the record was the worst thing he had ever heard. So to get the record released, Marvin had to pull a childish move and held his breath/left the label until Berry Gordy released the album. With Marvin Gaye out of the label Berry tried his best to get him back but in the end, the record was released without Berry’s knowledge. So in the end, Marvin’s plan worked, and he got to be a professionally trained football player.

     What’s Going On was very unique and different compared to the other Motown/Soul records released in that time. What’s Going On had a very Jazz based instrumentation, including 7th chords and extension chords. There was also the, later known as Smooth Jazz, Rhythm section with the Bongos, Congas, Shakers, etc. that provided an extra Jazzy feel to the songs and harmony. The other element that made it stick out compared to other albums was the lyrical content. The record labels did not want protest songs because they believed they wouldn’t sell, and it just wasn’t part of the “norm” for that genre of music. The What’s Going On album was almost based purely on Protest, but still had that feeling of love in it, which made the Protest more sincere and pleading than aggressive and pushing.

     This album gives me such joy when I listen to it because I am a huge fan of Marvin Gaye and I believe he is an incredible vocalist and musician/songwriter. Every time I hear it I can picture the way people viewed the problems that were happening at the time, so it paints a picture in my mind of what really was going on.

The Beatles and Revolver

The Beatles image and music before Revolver was very Pop/Pop-Rock sounding. Their “British Invasion” sound, and the look that they portrayed, which was the iconic “Boy Band,” had young and old people (specifically girls) loved them for it (Simone & Schuster, 2001). When it came to Revolver, the Beatles were beginning to use hallucinogens and Acid based drugs, i.e. LSD, to help with their song writing creativity and add some of their songs to the rising Psychedelic Rock era. “Revolver can be seen as a transitional period for the band. The Beatles haven’t necessarily left their Pop-rock sound, and they’re just beginning to explore the limits of their musical potential (Campbell, 2012).”

Like I previously stated, the use of non-musical influences, such as drugs, helped them with their song writing and musical creativity. Not only did they use drugs for music creating, they also did it for performance based side effects. Ringo Starr said this in an interview, “This was the point of our lives when we found pills, uppers. That’s the only way we could continue playing for so long. They were called Preludin, and you could buy them over the counter (The Beatles Bible, 2009).” On the Everything Was Right podcast, the song “Tomorrow Never Know,” you can hear a psychedelic sound and lyrics, which was influenced by LSD and an ancient Tibetan book. “The first song recorded for Revolver was the psychedelic “Tomorrow Never Knows,” featured lyrics adapted from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s 1964 book The Psychedelic Experience, itself a modern reworking of the ancient Tibetan Book of the Dead (The Beatles Bible, 2009).”

When it came to recording Revolver, the Beatles used the studio as an instrument for their recording. They used different studio techniques such as reversing, slowing and speeding up the tape, tape flange, and many more techniques which helped with the psychedelic vibe that normal instruments couldn’t accomplish (Lewisohn, 1988).

If you listen to song, “I’m Only Sleeping,” you will hear this example with the instrumentation. “…It exudes a very dreary expression and a unique sound of reversed guitar arrangements that gives it a very hypnotic vibe (Campbell, 2012).” There is no way back then to reverse a guitar sound without the use of the studio. In the song “Tomorrow Never Knows,” if you were to listen to the song you could hear the sped up tape loops that were used for the psychedelic vibe. Another example of innovations used by the Beatles off Revolver was the sampling of a Sousa March in “Yellow Submarine” (Lewisohn, 1988).

When I listen to Revolver I will always get attracted to the catchy melodies, and exciting elements that make the psychedelic and unique sound that the Beatles sculpted into their image. As an industry professional I love the different studio techniques and weird elements that the Beatles included into their music but they still make the songs catchy and very easy listening.

The Beach Boys and “Pet Sounds”

The music of the Beach Boys before Pet Sounds was very Surf-Rock/Bee-Bop sounding. The pounding drums with the duhduh-duh-duhduh-duh snare, the twangy guitars, and the vocal harmonies all gave their songs this classic original sound; when heard is related to surfing, or surf-rock. Songs like Surfin’, Surfin USA, 409, and many more released in 1962-1963, gave the image of the Beach Boys and their home state California. Their music was about surfing, cars, and romance, which gave them the image of these “cool” guys singing about “good-feeling” things (such as what I listed before).

“One of the undisputed geniuses in popular music, Brian demonstrated an uncanny gift for harmonic invention and complex vocal and instrumental arrangements (Hall of Fame, 2013).” Even though he is the front man of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson is always considered the main songwriter in the Beach Boys because he did complex arrangements, heavy producing, and engineering tricks. He also takes the groups songwriting and album making very serious, to the point where he will make sacrifices to further their success. “On December 23, 1964, Brian Wilson decided to stop touring with the band and focus on studio productions (Cherry, 2002).”

Brian Wilson wrote and recorded Pet Sounds because of the Beatles. “It was upon hearing the 1965 Beatles album Rubber Soul that Wilson felt compelled to produce a work of uniform quality that would stand comparison (Stevens, 2007).”

What made Pet Sounds stand out was the fact that almost every song on the album had a unique characteristic to it, which made it different than most music that was being recorded and released at that time. One of the songs, “God Only Knows,” was unique in the name and instrumentation. “The track notes for ‘God Only Knows’ offer some interesting tidbits, including anxiety over the decision to include the word ‘God’ in the title.” The instrumentation was also different in the fact that the song includes many unusual (unusual for 60’s pop era) instruments. “The instrumental group was large by 60s pop performance standards, including standard guitar, bass and drums, but also including several orchestral instruments – orchestral strings, French horn, percussion, piano and harpsichord (Ewer, 2011).”

Another unique aspect of the Pet Sounds album was that they used unique production when it came to the recording process. The album has a stereo and a mono mix because a producer named Phil Spector influenced Brian Wilson, and that is what Phil did with his records. This made a unique release with each version of the album having a different sound due to the Mono Mix and Stereo Mix.

The impression the Pet Sounds had on me, as a listener, was that the melodies were catchy and the music and instrumentation was very well done. As an industry professional I thought the different recording and mixing tricks done to the record was very interesting and I certainly learned a few tricks here and there just from researching it.

Welcome Entry

Hey Guys,

My name is Robert Syvret, I am a 19 year old musician, and more specifically a guitarist. Being a guitarist isn’t very original in music nowadays, therefore I try to experiment with many different kinds of genre of music when writing. I do this so that I can stand out as a musician and my music is approached from different point of views. I have only been playing guitar for 6 years and have loved music ever since I first started. Over the years my taste in music expanded and now there is no genre of music I can’t listen to. I loved music so much I went to a Performing Arts High School where I was part of the 2 out of 200 musicians that auditioned at the school. I have played in countless cover bands (usually with older folks) and I have always tried to surround myself with musicians so that I could grow better as a musician. My musical interests would be anything Classic Rock/Country/Fusion/Jazz/Classical/Hard Rock/Indie Rock/Progressive Rock/Instrumental Rock. What my primary focus in this industry is to be a Session Musician for Country Artists. I love  Country music and the scene is so nice and musically developed. I love the Audio Engineering industry but I will always have my heart set on being a Session Musician. The guitarist of Toto, Steve Lukather, was a session musician for more than 500 different albums/songs, so I found that inspiring to me and so I wanted to be like him ever since. Thanks for reading about me and I hope you enjoy any future posts.

 

Thanks,

Robert Syvret