Joined: Feb. 2000
||Posted: Dec. 27 2005, 22:40
Have to agree with the subtitle of this topic!
I finally could access my copy on the 25th, though it's been hanging 'round the house for weeks (thanks, kids). What fun to have been at the concert! Bee--it must have been awesome! Time machines indeed! Galadriel, I am with you (as long as we're not expected to wear stripes! )! Some random observations:
Mike is sooo focused and serious, particularly during Incantations. Among other things, it is interesting to watch him play and to count, sometimes to himself, other times with his hands for the benefit of others. He seems more relaxed during the TB portion of the show. Smiles, sunglasses. Maybe it was the paper airplanes. My oldest daughter asked if they always did that at concerts back then, and I told her that sometimes it was far worse.
Incantations: Overall, I am really enjoying it. The DVD is missing the piano at 12:49 (on the CD) that I love so much, but the way his guitar bridges parts I and II is good compensation. The flutes are awesome. The music seems a bit choppy in a couple places, e.g., around 17:49 (Part I). Re: Mike's guitar playing at 30:30 in Part II--don't remember hearing it that early—will now need to go back and listen to the other versions. Part III totally rocks--though what is happening at 33:33? At 48:35/36 during one of my favorite IV sections, either Pierre or Benoit hits a wrong note--glad it was retained! Lovely to see Pierre alive and percussing--someday I'll be able to watch without feeling such grief for a too-soon departed soul. Loved to watch Mike's fingers near the end of IV.
TB: All those paper airplanes! Glad no one tripped! Between the sight of airplanes strewn all over the stage and those sunglasses on the guitarists, I found myself laughing aloud! Blues Bros stand back! Everyone is so rocking and into the music. Again, wow, the flutes! I've always appreciated the Exposed version of Tubular Bells--it's so different and rocks--but have to admit to missing an MC. Hope if he ever does that section in concert again, he invites someone to MC the instruments. BTW, the way that Guilty provides an intermission before getting on with other tubular components reminds me of the placing of "Man in the Rain" on TBIII. Or, guess that would be vice versa, eh?
Vocals/Choir: Maddy Prior is practically perfect in every way. Her voice is so fitting for the spirit of Inc--very strong performance. I do not think there is any synching going on. She sings it a bit differently, with the way she enunciates and sustains some of the words -- most pronounced with the last word, "hea-vens." I like her arm motions in Part II--at times they actually coincide with American Indian sign language--not sure if by design or just the influence of the lyrics. She does just enough of it to enhance what she sings without it becoming overpowering (unlike Pepsi in the Berlin concert, whose motions seem distracting at times). It's great watching her leap off the stage and merrily dance down the aisle during "Sailor's Hornpipe."
Clapping: IMHO one of the funniest moments is the hand clapping during Inc IV. Mike tries so hard to get people to clap properly where they should, and to not clap where they shouldn't. He frantically waves his hands (like he might be signaling an airplane), but it seems there is always someone who doesn't get it. "Nooooooooo---don't clap--not now!!!! You anorak!!!" (No, he didn't say it, but if one could read his mind...) He scans the audience for the culprit(s). Ha ha. Many of the musicians try to help--even Maddy. Our pagan group did pretty well in that regard when I danced to that section last Feb. clanging zils, with the drummers drumming and others clapping. Those who messed up did so only on the first round, even though they had never heard the music. After that, they all "got it." Mike would have been proud. <-:
Guilty, or, I really think I could dance: Everyone seem to have a lot of fun with Guilty. Way too much fun! The vocalists are a bit hard to hear at times (some were doing more dancing that singing, perhaps! ). I'm not sure I agree with Mike when he said that if he were starting out today, he'd have to learn to dance. Maybe he'd not have to, but it would be good to incorporate dancers. If he actually tours and plays some of L + S, dancers could enhance the overall performance.
Uniforms: Regarding the attire, stripes and flesh-tone, yikes! I wonder how they decided upon such a uniform for everyone? The color, the pattern. <shudders> Note to current and future wardrobe planners: Try to go with something that stands up over time, say 20-30, 100 years down the pike. Black and white are always good; (white can be problematic, though). Solids. Go for solids. There will always be aspects that are dated, but if they had worn solid colors (baring lime green or orange ), it would have been so much better. Mike's suit doesn't look as dated as the stripes, for example. Actually, he looks very beautiful, hair and all Heh, but no matter what, I can hear it 25 years from now when L + S 2006: the DVD or pod or whatever the format is released: "Grandma....did people really dress like that back then? What kind of dancing is that????" Guess you just have to go for the good music and "are they having fun?" element--both of which are in evidence on Exposed. BTW, I had always envisioned Maddy Prior walking out onto the stage during the "Diana" reprise of part II, dressed in Native American clothing. Guess I based her attire on the back cover of the vinyl. Glad she didn't (no diatribe today...google Philip Deloria's Playing Indian or read the book if you want know why). Her dress and hair seem timeless, as well (or I just hang out with free spirited people who still dress that way).
Witchcraft: Regarding witchcraft, hmmm. IMHO, Incantations exudes magic.. Learning that it was somewhat "rescued" by a group of paganfolk who helped Mike with the chant, was very cool. (BTW--if there were any doubt that "Lumen" is also used in the chant--watch one of the singer's lips--definitely, unequivocally "lumen" at the end) . The pagan group wouldn't have merely helped him with the lyrics. When they left him that day or evening, they would have offered him personal blessings and blessings on his work; and possibly, at their next gathering in absentia, as well. Some wouldsay that most things qualify as magic--breathing in fresh air (breathing at all! ), sun rays, looking into an iguana's eyes--seeing the magic and miraculous in everyday happenings. So.......when a group of people come together to perform music--especially something as powerful as Inc or TB--there is indeed deep, profound magic going on. In the cased of Exposed, classical musicians met rock guys. Not sure in 1979 how common that was, but you can hear the concern expressed by some of the classical ones in the interview, who weren't used to playing without music in front of them. And yet, it all came together magically and worked very well. BTW....the circle(s) of singers seem to be a space-saving arrangement in what looked to be a bit crowded stage, in order to get everyone to the mic. Nonetheless such circles are lovely to see and were indeed very fitting.
Well....there is my month's quota!
"No such thing as destiny; only choices exist." From: Moongarden's "Solaris."