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Topic: Tempi, Tempo variations in Incantations< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Oct. 29 2019, 12:11

Thing is I have made a habit out of running while listening to Incantations. Parts 1 and 3 and perfect, mainly because they have a consistent tempo, so that I can run "in time" with the music, and it allows me to run for 15 minutes + basically to the same beat.
Thing is I have started to wonder exactly how Incantations was recorded. At first I kind of assumed it was done to a click track from start to finish. Then I realized that the tempo DOES fluctuate. Not a lot, but it does. The last bit of part 1 (with the flute solo) is a couple of BPM faster than the mid section with the african drums and choir, and part 3 slows down a couple of BPM after the short break, where Pierre's drums come in.
Still, the beat is so steady, it doesn't sound like it would be played "free hand".
This leaves me wondering if Incantations was recorded in sections, and spliced together to form whole parts in the mix. Let's say the long part with the guitar solo in part 3 was recorded to a click, and they Mike thought up a piece to go with it, which he recorded later with Pierre holding the beat on the drums, resulting in ROUGHLY the same tempo.
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when this masterpiece was recorded. It is so well executed, and such an enduring piece of music.


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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: Oct. 29 2019, 14:31

Hi Lars - I am possibly the world expert in the tempi (?!) of Incantations, as I have pretty much all of it mapped out in Logic as part of my long-running project to do cover versions of all Parts (scheduled for completion sometime in 2035 when the kids have left home, I hope...)

Anyway, you'd be surprised at how variable it is, just opened my tempo map of Part One, and it's pretty steady 103-104bpm in the first flute section, slips down to around 101 at around 2'30", then right down to 97 in the "distant guitar" bit, back up to around 100, then down to 87-88 for the next guitar bit...

...I could go on but you get the picture; as a generalisation you are right in that it's mostly at or around 100-105bpm.

As to how it was made, well I guess in those days it would be a metronome rather than a click track, and then you've got other factors like tape stretch etc. to take into account. Undoubtedly yes it was recorded in sections and spliced together (there's a pretty clear example of this at 6'00" on Part Two where the tone totally changes)

...and yes, it is an amazing, enduring piece, almost certainly my favourite album ever (if you know a UK radio programme called "Desert Island Discs", this is the one I would rescue from the waves!)


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 29 2019, 18:48

You may not get a reply. For the last few weeks or so I've been the only one to post. You'd almost think all the posts here are written by the one person...  :O  :laugh:
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Oct. 31 2019, 03:02

I know what you mean, but Mike has been so quiet over the past few years, I think the last update was January 2017 :O We didn't hear anything even after the recent Bahamas hurricane. I don't know why there has been no news from him for so long, I take it he is still making Tubular Bells 4 but you would have thought we would have heard something new by now!!! When there is a new album to talk about this site gets busy, but I doubt it will ever get back to how busy it used to be.

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 31 2019, 07:13

GJ, it's a little known fact that EVERYONE on this forum, now and in the past, is Mike. Except me (and that story is complicated too, as you know).
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