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Topic: ambient guitars, best ever?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
bugular tell Offline




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Posted: June 18 2005, 16:38

hi all,
       just had a look through this forum and couldnt see a thread for this track, i have to say that it is probably my all time favorite Mike, its just so surreal but oddly calming i love it, and it goes to show that they dont make em like they used to, while over the last 33 years there has been amazing music from Mike, it seems strange to me that i like this more than anything, personal opinion i know, but the point im making is its 33 years old, all be it polished for the re-relaease, and its still an amazing peice, considering when it was written, it was written by a 19 year old self taught guitar player, where is all the natural talent now days? oh yeah in the gutter getting trodden on by manafactured pop culture and talentless wannabe's, but at least it is showing signs of fighting back, my son is 3 and id prefer for him to listen to this and decide to learn how to play an instument rather than see some take that clone on tv and think ooooooooo that's what i wanna do! i know, i know, im ranting and expressing an opinion that really is my own, but just feel that REAL music deserves a chance to inspire young minds and older ones too, but im not the majority and they all seem to like the nonsense that takes over the charts these days, fingers crossed that the icons of tomorrow are genuine music makers and not music industry puppets, or should that be muppets? thats why i admire Mike and his music, ok he may have cashed in on the TB name, but so what, we still bought it didnt we?!, after all the years he still wants to use new technology and make new music and try new things, not become a corporate slave if they had there way it'd be TBXXV by now, bastards!
;)
so anyway back to the topic, yeah i like Ambient Guitars alot! lol  :D  :D


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: June 18 2005, 17:10

There has been a lot of talk over "Ambient Guitars" on here, but they're spread over various topics. :) Me, I dislike the piece even more each time someone raves over it. Not to be rude, or anything, it's just a natural reaction. The track left me incredibly underwhelmed, considering what everyone said here. The original guitar solo on the '73 version is an immense tower of gloom and completely overshadows it to me.

You know, of course the music Mike makes is superior to mass consumption music in general, from an artistic point of view. I'm not following too much the current musical scene, but there are some excellent bands putting out excellent music right now, aside from Mike. I can name Sigur Rós off the top of my head. It's always been like this: it seems music is digging new lows every year, but there's still quality stuff out there if you look for it.


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theweightless Offline




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Posted: June 18 2005, 19:26

i like ambient guitars very much, even my friend who doesn't really like mike's music said it was good one from him, this track has that something :cool:

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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: June 18 2005, 21:17

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ June 19 2005, 06:10)
The original guitar solo on the '73 version is an immense tower of gloom and completely overshadows it to me.


When you love the original so much, it's perfectly natural to dislike the remake, infact it's almost inevitable. I was never much a fan of the original Ambient Guitars: on the CD I have the guitars are so far back in the mix that any emotional impact they may have is quite inaudable. The 2003 version is just so much clearer: the guitars are right at the front of the mix, where they can have their full impact. It's one of my favourite pieces of guitar music ever.


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moonchildhippy Offline




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Posted: June 19 2005, 19:20

Quote (raven4x4x @ June 19 2005, 02:17)
Quote (Sir Mustapha @ June 19 2005, 06:10)
The original guitar solo on the '73 version is an immense tower of gloom and completely overshadows it to me.


When you love the original so much, it's perfectly natural to dislike the remake, infact it's almost inevitable. I was never much a fan of the original Ambient Guitars: on the CD I have the guitars are so far back in the mix that any emotional impact they may have is quite inaudable. The 2003 version is just so much clearer: the guitars are right at the front of the mix, where they can have their full impact. It's one of my favourite pieces of guitar music ever.

I don't think Ambient Guitars is meant to be a gloomy piece of music at all Sir M IMHO.

I do find Ambient Guitars  strangely moving.. It's so chilled out and calming, but has at times had the ability to make me cry. I don't quite know why, I can put this down to one of two things, either it depends upon my emotions at the time of playing it, and/or I find this  a piece of beautiful music.  ( Always a lillte frivolity at the end with the Sailors Hornpipe,makes me want to dance :))

I love Ambient Guitars, I do tend to play the original TB more than the 2003 version. I guess OTB is the one I've grown up with, so thats why I prefer that version         :) .

Thanks Raven I'll have to dig out all of my versions of TB OTB( LP), Boxed TB(LP), HDCD of TB, and CD of TB2003, and drive everyone nuts listening out for differences in the mix, (sad anorak I am :/ ???)

I agree Burgular Tell about the state of most chart music today,  it's coming to something when a stupid annoying ringtone even charts, let alone makes  it to the no.1 spot and stays there for three weeks    :O . I guess that being about 3 weeks away from my 34th birthday makes me a grumpy old woman :laugh: .


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: June 19 2005, 20:57

It's true that, maybe, Tubular Bells wasn't meant to be anything in special. But to me, the guitar solo is extremely tense, dark and sad, right before exploding into childishness on The Sailor's Hornpipe. And given the conditions and circumstances in which the album was made, nobody can convince me that the solo is calming and relaxed. TB2003 loses me completely because it's meant to be calming and relaxed.

Okay, right now, I'm listening to it for the first time in months. Geez, Mike truly wants me to identify every single note that he plays, doesn't he? I can understand bringing the guitars more to the front, but...


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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: June 20 2005, 00:07

So you prefer the subtlety of the original Sir M? Strangely enough, I've never found Ambient Guitars calming or relaxing. I honestly can't describe the emotions it gives me: even as I listen to it now I can't find the words. I certainly wouldn't use the words 'calming' or 'relaxing' though.

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Alan D Offline




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Posted: June 20 2005, 04:17

Quote (raven4x4x @ June 20 2005, 05:07)
Strangely enough, I've never found Ambient Guitars calming or relaxing. I honestly can't describe the emotions it gives me: even as I listen to it now I can't find the words. I certainly wouldn't use the words 'calming' or 'relaxing' though.

Neither would I. There is indeed a sense of calmness about it - but in the same way as a great Sung dynasty Chinese bowl seems to stand in a reservoir of calm. It's a positive, not a negative quality. It's the vital calmness of unanswerable beauty, not the deadening calmness of dropping out.

The original version is spoiled for me by the general murkiness of the sound, the erratic tempo, and the tendency for the guitars (which sometimes seem out of tune) to sound like rubber bands stretched over a shoe-box. (I exaggerate of course - I'm trying to describe the tendency of the sound.) If we're talking architecture, it makes me think not so much of a tower of gloom but rather of a dingy wooden hut. By contrast, the 2003 version gets me out of the buildings altogether and into the free air.

As far as what Mike intended to be the mood of the piece is concerned, I can do no better than recommend anyone to see the use to which he puts it in Maestro. It's heard three times. On each occasion the viewer is flying gently through the night air in the company of irridescent acrobats who tumble and dance against the rich purple-blackness of the sky. These are three of the greatest moments in MVR. Once you've seen it, Ambient Guitars may take on a whole new dimension of meaning and beauty.

[I've never managed to get a good screenshot of the acrobats. There's an image here, but it conveys almost nothing of the actual musical-visual experience.]
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moonchildhippy Offline




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Posted: June 20 2005, 05:55

Quote (Alan D @ June 20 2005, 09:17)
There is indeed a sense of calmness about it - but in the same way as a great Sung dynasty Chinese bowl seems to stand in a reservoir of calm. It's a positive, not a negative quality. It's the vital calmness of unanswerable beauty, not the deadening calmness of dropping out.

As far as what Mike intended to be the mood of the piece is concerned, I can do no better than recommend anyone to see the use to which he puts it in Maestro. It's heard three times. On each occasion the viewer is flying gently through the night air in the company of irridescent acrobats who tumble and dance against the rich purple-blackness of the sky. These are three of the greatest moments in MVR. Once you've seen it, Ambient Guitars may take on a whole new dimension of meaning and beauty.

I agree Alan there is definite beauty about Ambient Guitars.
What I'm saying is after the madness of the "Bagpipe Guitars" and "Piltdown Man"  section, Ambient Guitars is calm in comparison, then it makes way for the frivolity of the Sailors Hornpipe     :) .  Whenever I play the Sailors Hornpipe (especially the "Boxed" version, I seem to have this image of Mike, Viv Stanshall, and Tom Newman staggering around The Manor in a rather drunk/stoned state :).

I wish I could get the demo version of Maestro to work on my computer. I have asked my husband's friend whose a computer whizz kid to have a look, but I'm still waiting.  As some of you may know my husband is severely disabled with MS, Tubular.net is my equivalent of going out to meet people. I seem to spend too much time on the computer, according to my husband,and some of his friends,  so I don't know how easy it will be to get  the software added so that I can play Maestro. Not only that but as Alan said I'll gain more pleasure from listening to Tr3s Lunas, if I play Maestro too.

I'm going to play through my four different versions of Tubular Bells, see what feelings Ambient Guitars stirs up, I'll report back here with my findings :) .


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I'm going slightly mad,
It finally happened, I'm slightly mad , just very slightly mad

If you feel a little glum to Hergest Ridge you should come.


I'm challenging  taboos surrounding mental health


"Part time hippy"

I'M SUPPORTING OUR SOLDIERS

BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW!!
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: June 20 2005, 12:37

Quote (Alan D @ June 20 2005, 04:17)
If we're talking architecture, it makes me think not so much of a tower of gloom but rather of a dingy wooden hut.

That's the magic of it. Tubular Bells is teenagehood. If you're not willing to accept the unstability and clumsiness of it all, you're really not going to get the point of the album. You may not necessarily enjoy the album as it is, but if you take the murkiness of the album as a part of it, you may have a better idea of what the album truly represents.

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Check out http://ferniecanto.com.br for all my music, including my latest albums: Don't Stay in the City, Making Amends and Builders of Worlds.
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Chicular Offline




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Posted: June 21 2005, 03:46

It's a great piece of Music, however i love the version on the orchestral Tubular Bells.  to hear Mike pull off that riff on a Spanish Guitar is amazing.
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Alan D Offline




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Posted: June 21 2005, 04:09

Arron, you're right (see below). I've removed my reply.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: June 21 2005, 11:41

Oh God not again. Live and let live?  :/

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Everyone's interpretation is different, and everyone has a right to that opinion. There is no "right" one, I am adding this post to communicate my thoughts to share them with like-minded souls who will be able to comment in good nature.

(insert the last 5 mins of Crises here)
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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: June 21 2005, 12:00

I'm more with "Sir" on this one. Most of my listening to TB1 is originally from a 90 minute tape I made from my LP. TB1 is just too long to fit on one side, so something had to give. It was the section known then as "Spanish Guitar" and now as "Ambient Guitars". Then, I judged it to be expendible as a very weak part of the album. Every time I have heard it since, nothing has changed my view on it. When discussing TB1, I tend to forget the section entirely.

I do, however, love the "Exposed" take on it, which speeds it up a lot.


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: June 21 2005, 12:11

Quote (moonchildhippy @ June 20 2005, 05:55)
I seem to have this image of Mike, Viv Stanshall, and Tom Newman staggering around The Manor in a rather drunk/stoned state :).

I've always wanted to see an Oldfield tribute band named "Recently Revived Members of the Public". Either that, or "Renaissance Greengrocers" would be a great name for a band.

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"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: June 19 2007, 16:49

I like this "Ambient Guitars" a lot, too, bugular tell. I'm actually really struck by how gorgeous all of TB2003 is.

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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Dec. 28 2008, 17:05

I used to think "Peace" was my favorite part but, these days, it's "Ambient Guitars". To be honest, I don't listen to Tubular Bells 2003 very often (though certainly more often than the original recording). When I play this album, now, I am mostly conscious of the beauty of the guitar playing throughout. And, when it gets to "Ambient Guitars", beauty becomes sublimity. I am in awe of this piece.

PS: I think I can understand how some would see it as calming but, for me, it's the type of calm that's in "Wild Goose Flaps Its Wings". And perhaps "calm" isn't even the best term for it. But, as in "WGFIW", there is an edge as well - something that feels sorrowful or painful. And this makes listening to it a bit harrowing.


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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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Jesse Offline




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Posted: June 25 2009, 12:04

I think i both love TB for the reasons Mustapha points out. But I also love TB as a piece of music. So TB2003 is fine for me, since I love to hear every note being played nice and clear.

I just see them as two versions that make perfect sense. Sometimes I want the original (or 2009 v), sometimes the 2003 version.
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