Joined: June 2004
||Posted: Mar. 29 2009, 15:54
It is now about a year since I first listened to Music of the Spheres. Then, I was stunned by how ambitious this work really is, and I quickly felt in complete love with this masterpiece.
A year later, nothing has changed for me: I find nothing in Mikes output as emotional as this full-length, far-reaching orchester piece. Quite remarkable words, having in mind that Mike wrote (many) other eternal masterpieces, e.g., Ommadawn. Now, lets not argue what work is his finest; its all down to taste (although musically talent and IQ are factors when discussing Mikes complex long instrumentals).
In my point-of-view, MOTS is a very balanced cocktail of the most inspired aspects of Mikes entire career. Most obvious are those mathematical tubular-bells-similar figures all over the place. But as I see it, they enrich the rest of the material and defines which musical universe the work originates from (Bach is Bach, he has his style, and so has Mike); I don't consider MOTS to be some kind of remake of Tubular Bells. It is so much more than that! MOTS even ends in a well-known form, again similar in stucture to TB. But what makes all the difference this time is that the most fundamental musical ideas in MOTS are original, beutiful and meaningful; recently composed by Mike. Written with uttermost care, highly inspired and moving.
The most stunning material are all the variations derived from the Shabda theme, I think. Deep beutiful mysterious music, from a genious. My God how I love this!
MOTS feels so pure, so fragile in parts, elaborate and balanced, so detailed, and still so dramatic at places. I must confess: I fight against starting to cry (every time! ) when the loooong majestaetic horns takes over Tempest; this breath-taking contrast between the atomic-level mathematical process expressed in the strings/piano myriad, set against this galaxy-sized horn theme... so simple, so powerful, so incredible in magnitude ..
There are so many other moving moments in MOTS. I feel like a child hearing music for the first time when the piano is introduced in the finale, Musica Universalis; this, my friends, is an ultimate, superb theme if you ask me. I can listen to it a billion times! It is such a proof of Mikes unlimited ability to suprise us again and again; play it loud, and ponder about the fact that he saved this superb tune to the very end of MOTS! This fantastic melody could have been extraced at many places, but he saved it as a final gift to us ...
I always thought about MOTS as a composition in two parts (1-7, 8-14), and I still do; and I didn't change my mind that the 2nd part is even more moving than the first one. I love it all, but the 2nd is so heavenly wonderful. So pure, filled to the top of extremely strong material, not trying to entertain in any way, it seems so honest to me .. I don't find the words ..
Mike is amazingly good at making very simple material work, as in Prophecy; those 'circular' piano structures (really spheres, arn't they?), how can they work really? They do, they fit perfect, are really a bit mysterios, .. and then .. they are suddenly interrupt by this fantastic brass fanfar (again, great composition, and only used here! ), then again a sudden change to silent breathing shabda-sounding material .. and we are in heaven. This is soooo good all of it following from here ..
Although I always was a big fan of Mikes powerful electric guitar, I think it was entirely correct to stay acoustic this time. The purity in the classical guitar, it is perfect. Absolutely brilliant, Mike. Crystal clear all the way. 100% Mike!
I really love MOTS. It means a lot to me.