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Topic: Not mentioned in 'Changeling'< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
TheMann Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 04:57

Great reading, generelly speaking; all in all, successful, honest writing by Mike. Really interesting ..

But there is one thing I would have loved to find: Mike elaborating on (a) how he discovered his music (b) his personal opinions of his own works.

Concerning (a): e.g., there are some pages on Ommadawn, the recording of it, etc. Very interesting all of it. But he doesn't say a word on 'when' and 'how' the two main themes came to him. The guitar/harp theme: this is such a universal eternal structure, truly amazing stuff.
  Did he just play that at spot (one day from another), or did it evolve? What plans did he have for the theme early on? Was he himself strucked by how great it is when he had found it? (I bet he was). And the choir theme? Again classical music, worth mentioning. Yes he says something, like the guitar solo at the end of part I.
     Hergest Ridgs, the guitar and oboe part on Part I: classical, great, wow! Hi must have been unsatisfied with the oroginal mixing, since the remixed Boxed version is so different. And much better, more clarity. Great if he had said anything here ...
 He says a very interesting thing on Incantations. He had amazingly high ambitions initially, he found that extremely complex 'looong' theme (surely you know which), and seemed very motivated. Then Branson & friends appeared to make a test listnening, to make up their minds wheather to promote Mike or go all-in for the punk. Of course, one listnening doesn't give away all the secrets, so they decided on the punk, and Mike was out. And then he lost his inspiration, didn't reeally put enough heart into it, so the final result was corrupted. Think about it how Incantation could have been: I always concidered it to be among his 2-3 best works, very subtle. Would have been interesting to hear Mike saying something about what he really intended with it. And so on
 Another theme I liked to know more about is MOTS, Shabda. Not typical for Mike, however superbly moving, one of the strongest themes ever. When/how/etc?


(b) What exactly does he think about his own music? I find it unbelievable that he e.g. mentions Moonlight Shadow when he covers 1983, but fails to mention the instrumental track! Isn't much of Crisis really classical MO stuff? The beginning, with the magnificent proud main theme crying out, ..., the slow 'middle' part, and then those never ending mathematical structures ending over Simons vulcanic superb playing. Surely more interesting than a 3 min pop song? Sure Moonlight Shadow was a hugh commercial success, but isn't it enough mentioning that in one sentence, and then going on to the real stuff: the music itself independently of how much it sold?
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Tati The Sentinel Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 08:09

Quote (TheMann @ Feb. 04 2009, 07:57)
But there is one thing I would have loved to find: Mike elaborating on (a) how he discovered his music (b) his personal opinions of his own works.



Maybe those subjects Mike really didn't want to discuss more...on Changeling,he said that he feels his music is not really from him,something spiritual,stuff like that.


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"But it's always the outsider, the black sheep, that becomes the blockbuster." - Mike Oldfield, 2014

"I remember feeling that I'd been judged unfairly and that I was going to prove them wrong." - Peter Davison, 2011
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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 08:13

Great post The Mann...So many questions there that I`m sure every Mike Oldfield fan would love to hear the answers to.Well not so much the answers I guess,but just to hear him talking about all that stuff in depth.

I`m a long time fan and admirer of the band XTC(part of the flipside to your Incantations/Virgin story there oddly enough)..Anyway over the last couple of years or so a guy called Todd Bernhardt(sp) has set up a XTC fans My Space site were each week he talks with a member of the band about one song from their back catalogue..You know what was the inspiration/motivation behind the song?..The reasoning behind some of the lyrics..How was it recorded/constructed?..Other relevant stuff that might have been happening at the time etc..But it`s all done in a very relaxed easy going friendly way you know.And for a fan like myself,it`s just completely fascinating/absorbing to read it all.The idea is now to turn all these weekly talk-in`s into a book,which frankly I can`t wait for.I mean XTC did in fact do a similar kind of thing years ago with a book called Song Stories.But it was like Changeling you know,it just kind of scratched at the surface really.

I know years ago Annie Nightingale spent many an hour talking to Mike in the process of maybe writing a biogarphy on him.So despite the fact that that particular project never actualy came to any fruition in the long run.You know it`s a process he`s not entirely unfamiliar with is what I`m saying.Plus I think he was quite friendly with Annie anyway,so you know that would be part of the key I think...Just get the guy chilled out,...give him some beer and cheese and an endless supply of Amber Leaf and let him shoot the breeze I guess..

Obviously at the end of the day Mike is who he is and you`ve got to respect him for that.You have to admire him for writing Changeling all in all.I just think if he was left to just ramble on about stuff,without worry of self-editing or the why and wherefores of things(particularly the WHY`S of course)..Well I just think it would be a fascinating and exciting experience for all concerned.Maybe I`m off-base here,but I just get the impression that maybe Mike is`nt aware of how interested people would be in all of this stuff?..Or maybe the idea of fandom directed towards his good self, still kind of freaks him out a little bit?...Hmmm now where did I put my Tubular Bell Y fronts?
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basify Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 08:27

Do you have to keep your legs crossed at all time wearing your Tubular Bells Y-fronts?

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Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way...
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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 08:50

:laugh: Yeah they don`t leave much to the imagination otherwise...I did mention "shooting the breeze" earlier as well did`nt I..What an unfortunate turn of phrase/underwear.
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 09:51

Since I never read Changeling I looked on Amazon for it. Turns out some other guy in 2006 wrote Mike Oldfield: A Man and His Music by Sean Moraghan. The reviews were crappy, said it was full of contradictions and typos everywhere. Anybody have this book?

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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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Matt Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 11:13

Amazon (.com, the US one) page for Changeling is here. Reviews seem to fairly sum up the book to me. As mentioned above it doesn't have anything like as much information on his music as fans would like but I found it a fascinating read anyway.

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"I say I say I say I say, what's got three bottles and five eyes and no legs and two wheels"
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 11:37

I absolutley loved Changling.Read it several times.From what i've read Mike doesn't really like discussing his own work that much.Obviously he has to do press when a new CD is released but apparently he just doesn't much like talking about it.As Frank Zappa said "talking about music is like fishing about archtecture". :laugh:

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THE COMING OF THE GREAT WHITE HANDKERCHEIF IS NIGH.
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 14:32

Yeah. Well, I've read so many excerpts from MO's book online I feel like I know it pretty much, I just would like to own a copy. But the other book, Jesus what a stupid name. It could be "Johnny Cash: A Man And His Music" or "Insert Your Name Here: A Man And His Music". How many times has that been done??

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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 14:37

Okeedokeee, I'm at 700 posts. What are you gonna do now? Put me in the "700 club"? Heheeeeee........what you have in store for me can't be worse than 666!! Bring it on!
Jimbo


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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 14:41

Oh yeah, and Eddy(my little quadraped).

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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 14:55

Oops, Eddy might be a tetrapod. Depends on how you look at him. 702 now. Perhaps I'm out of the tubular.net prank/danger zone. But that Hergest Ridge(original version) is a hell of a good album.

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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2009, 18:36

Quote (Scatterplot @ Feb. 04 2009, 09:51)
Since I never read Changeling I looked on Amazon for it. Turns out some other guy in 2006 wrote Mike Oldfield: A Man and His Music by Sean Moraghan. The reviews were crappy, said it was full of contradictions and typos everywhere. Anybody have this book?

A man of few words but many talents with eyes and mind turned toward tommorow
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TheMann Offline




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Posted: Feb. 05 2009, 16:09

Quote (Dirk Star @ Feb. 04 2009, 08:13)
freaks him out a little bit?...

You might be right. It can probably be disturbing in all kinds of ways, but I believe some of us (many of us) are not really 'fans' in the original meaning of the word ... I wouldn't scream after Mike if I saw him on the street, you know. Respect

But if I had a possibility to chat with him, I simply would express how sincerely impressed I am with much of his output.

It is rather "great music" than "I want to be like MO".  

I wish Mike could acknowledge that, that there are many people simply being greatly fascinated of the music itself. Maybe he did, I don't know

But anyway, I think the book was pretty good, and Mike had a sympathic attitude all through.
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wiga Offline




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Posted: Feb. 07 2009, 07:04

Quote (TheMann @ Feb. 04 2009, 04:57)
(b) What exactly does he think about his own music?

I got the impression in the book that he was satisfied on completion of an album - ("that it was good") - and that he seems to go about his work humble minded, devoid of any conceit or puffing up.

Makes me realize that perhaps we all have special talent in some area - and that that skill would be hampered if the focus became -" am I good or am I fcuking good? " Maybe that's the key to being good at what you're good at - the focus being on the job at hand as opposed to the constant "good"/"bad" self-appraisal.

What was missing in the book for me was - relationships. There was no mention of how he did relationships in adulthood, - they were only mentioned in the briefest of terms. That made the autobiography one-dimensional to me.


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Barn's burnt down - now I can see the moon.
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 10 2009, 21:20

Quote (Dirk Star @ Feb. 04 2009, 08:50)
:laugh: Yeah they don`t leave much to the imagination otherwise...I did mention "shooting the breeze" earlier as well did`nt I..What an unfortunate turn of phrase/underwear.

A bit like the berlei bra for us gals eh! hope they dont lift and separate too much, protect the family jewels dirk! i am such a shameless cougar at times, deb
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: Feb. 11 2009, 08:10

@TheMann.Damn good point about the distiction between fans who would 'scream' and those of us who are just fascinated by the music.I would love to talk to Mike about his music and his guitar technique (as a guitarist Mike is IMHO unequalled but he does have a really unorthodox technique).I certainly would go all stupid about it if i did meet him.I wouldn't want to be like him though.He comes across as a nice guy but he's had so many problems and by his own admission is not a very sociable person.I'm not really and i hate crowds but Mike seems to have spent a lot of years being very insular.Not that this is his fault in any way.he also had problems with playing live for a long time.I love it.I'm very shy around large groups of people but i love the buzz of playing live.Thank god Mike got over it or i would never have had the chance to see him in concert.THE best gig i have ever seen.

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THE COMING OF THE GREAT WHITE HANDKERCHEIF IS NIGH.
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Silver Negus Offline




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Posted: Feb. 25 2009, 09:30

I think it would have been nice to see a bit more information about how his parents viewed his music.  I think they no doubt would have been very proud all in all.  :)
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Feb. 25 2009, 13:26

Quote (wiga @ Feb. 07 2009, 07:04)
I got the impression in the book that he was satisfied on completion of an album - ("that it was good") - and that he seems to go about his work humble minded, devoid of any conceit or puffing up.

I recall that he mentioned he felt Amarok and The Songs of Distant Earth were some of the best works he'd done. Also that he didn't understand why TSODE wasn't better recognized. of course, I may be misremembering, as it's been a while since I read Changeling. But I agree that he didn't go on and on about his achievements or his disappointments - though I wouldn't have minded if he'd elaborated. I was particularly thrilled, though, with what Mike shared regarding Ommadawn. Perhaps some of it was old news to fans-in-the-know, but I found it fascinating.


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"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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TubularBelle Offline




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Posted: Feb. 25 2009, 21:01

I think the whole purpose of Mikes book was for him to talk about his early life and how it affected him resulting in what he created. I think he feels that explaining all of his emotions and struggles at that time, explains the creation of the music. He was never musically trained, he may not even know how to explain it in more 'musical' terminology. No doubt his book could have been twice as long, and a book written about him by another person would be completely different again and perhaps cover more of the stuff that the people who are really just into the music, would have liked to have read. Mikes book was about Mike the Man, not the Musician. I was very grateful for the very personal read and I felt it explained a lot as to why those first four albums are by far and will always be his best work. Amarok and SODE were conceived under happier times for Mike it seems and therefore may be freer and truer records of his musical style and preferences, but even though none of us want to admit it, his personal suffering is what created the genius of Mike and it is a sad fact that many artists do their best works during their worst times. I wouldn't mind Mike doing a second book elaborating more on the music and how the albums were conceived, but don't forget, it was a long time ago and he consumed a lot of drugs and alcohol, he probably can't even remember!

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I hate getting up early. I didn't even realise there were two 6 o'clocks in one day!
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