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Topic: I still love MOTS.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
TheMann Offline




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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.
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The Big BellEnd Offline




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Posted: Mar. 29 2009, 17:17

ditto

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I, ON THE OTHER HAND. AM A VICTIM OF YOUR CARNIVOUROUS LUNAR ACTIVITY.
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: Mar. 30 2009, 00:49

:p an excellent synopsis of mots, do any of you play parts on acoustic? i have practised over summer and play silouhette and shabda well now, hard to learn but well worth it, to play in sync with mike, deb
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TheMann Offline




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Posted: April 02 2009, 02:04

I would like to add that Mike's playing is really great and expressive this time. For one thing, listen how far-from-obvious he plays the main theme in Musica Universalis. He doesn't simply repeat the tune, he adds some chords and, I don't know how to put it, .. listen to it! It is great, it is really subtle and adds substance to the piece.

Mike always (in his best form) was formidable in expressing himself through very small elements; he adds a tone there, and another one here, and there suddenly is a miracle.

A very underestimated master on the guitar
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: April 02 2009, 03:08

I don't listen to it as often as i did when it came out but when i do i get totally into it.Although i enjoy some classical music i can't really get into it like i can this.
 I don't know what it is but i find it energising and soothing at the same time.It's a very positive sounding peice and Mike's playing is really good too.Not at all over the top,just exactly the right thing in the right moment.41 years in the game has taught him well.Even got me thinking about get a classical guitar.


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THE COMING OF THE GREAT WHITE HANDKERCHEIF IS NIGH.
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: April 02 2009, 03:21

Do get a classical guitar caveman, you already have skills on the acoustic, and whilst the chords and timing is more complex, start with one chord at a time, fingers will be sore after 1 hour, a little at a time, deb
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: April 02 2009, 07:13

That's a good point although nylon strings are a liittle easier on the fingers.The major difference is the width of the neck.A proper classical finger board is flat as a pancake and seriously wide while a regular acoustic neck is skinny by comparison.You can get guitars that are 'designed for electric players'which in fairness is what i am but i really don't see the point.If you're going to do it then do it properly i say.It's a combination of being a gluton for punishment and severe bloody mindedness.
 They tend to cost quite a bit but you can get a reasonable quality one with a pickup (absolutely essential)for around £500.There's something about the sound of a quality classical that you just cannot get from a standard acoustic.And then i'd really have to perfect the axial vibrato :laugh:

I only really listen to the live version of MOTS.Feels more human somehow.Ugo mentioned something about Mike playing a bum note a while back.That's a part of the charm.A lot of Mike's live work has mistakes in it.I have an ancient video of Mike playing Platinum from somewhere in Germany.He's playing Platinum and has headphones on which seems so wrong in front of an audience to me and he's playing so many bum notes.Still has that lovely distorted tone though.


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THE COMING OF THE GREAT WHITE HANDKERCHEIF IS NIGH.
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: April 02 2009, 16:10

:p the flat wide neck does take some getting used to,compared to the standard folk acoustic, but you will do well caveman, and mike playing bum notes? at least its not sampled or over dubbed, just pure  mike and brilliant, deb
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: April 03 2009, 02:59

Better get saving.I want a nice 12 string first and then i'll look into it.So wish i'd never sold my old 12.Same make and model as my faithfull old acoustic (Meg-i know it's sad but all my guitars have names,they're not just bits of wood)and a perfect twin,except of course for the extra 6 strings and bigger neck. :)

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




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Posted: April 07 2009, 19:36

I quite like this album, but it really doesn't knock me out. Unfortunately, any repetitive musical phrase (Harbinger) that hearkens back so obviously to Tubular Bells has go to have me asking ... why that again? Why not a completely different melody or phrase? It does improve and develop as it gets going though.

However, I am far from having made up my mind as to a definitive viewpoint regarding Music Of The Spheres and I am very pleased to see that it was riding high in the classical charts.

I've got the 2CD version with the Guggenheim performance and there is really not a lot of difference between them.

Nice cover design though...


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" ... if you feel a little glum - to Hergest Ridge you should come ... "
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ex member 419 Offline




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Posted: April 07 2009, 20:34

No matter what mike chooses to do next, and to quote the man himself he has some projects he is musing on, mots is a masterpiece, deb
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smillsoid Offline




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Posted: April 19 2009, 20:54

Quite agree.  I listened to it tonight, for the first time in a while, and was really knocked out by its beauty.  A total masterpiece.

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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: April 23 2009, 09:55

I tend to leave it for a while between listens.Listened to it almost constantly when it came out,but if you leave it a while it sound even better.Bit like Amarok in that respect.I really think it's one of his best works yet.Really intrigued to see what he'll do next after such a radical departure.

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




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Posted: April 23 2009, 13:20

The thing about Mike Oldfield......funny coming from one of his biggest fans.....You don't want to listen to his music every day. Save it. Once a month for HR. Twice a year for TB3....etc. Then savor it slowly. Like cognac. This is not Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. There we are talking Miller High Life. You're every-day cheap beer. Forgive me, I am aging, this new crap bores me. The dorm manager where I work saw fit to stock the dorm with a Yamaha MM6, the "Motif's" little $600 brother and some nice sennheizer(sp) headphones. I'm having fun with it!
Jimbo


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Harmono Offline




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Posted: April 23 2009, 14:32

Quote
The thing about Mike Oldfield......funny coming from one of his biggest fans.....You don't want to listen to his music every day.


Of course not. Who listens to Beethoven's ninth every day?

Quote
savor it slowly. Like cognac.


Exactly.

Quote
his is not Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. There we are talking Miller High Life. You're every-day cheap beer. Forgive me, I am aging, this new crap bores me.


Well you should be sorry. Don't you know how much everyone here loves Britney and Miley?
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: April 23 2009, 15:33

Uh Oh.......

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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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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: April 23 2009, 15:41

Quote (Scatterplot @ April 23 2009, 13:20)
The thing about Mike Oldfield......funny coming from one of his biggest fans.....You don't want to listen to his music every day.

Quote (Harmono @ April 23 2009, 14:32)
Of course not. Who listens to Beethoven's ninth every day?

I disagree with you guys, there. I do listen to MO (almost) every day. It's a good thing he's got such a large body of work - keeps things nicely varied. :)


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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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Harmono Offline




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Posted: April 23 2009, 16:38

Well, Sweetpea, I was just referring to MotS (and maybe to some other more solemn stuff like HR and Far Above the Clouds). But you're right, there's much to listen to. We'll never run out of great experiences, no matter how often we choose to delve into that world of MO.
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TheMann Offline




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Posted: April 28 2009, 02:52

IMHO, Mike's best albums can be played very frequently due to the complexity they display. They are like small universes, open for you to explore and interpret.

I have played MOTS extremely much without losing interest in it even the slightest. I think it is such a grand opus, such a majestetic piece, poetry ... I hope Mike stays focused on orchestral music in the future.
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RICHARDGORMLIE Offline




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Posted: May 10 2009, 21:15

i do adore music of the spheres, i was surprised that mike was doing a classical album, but again he has surprised me by doing another great album.  

i can spend 7 days a month playing mike's music and it is great to leave gaps between playing oldfield music.  and it is better than the boring crap that is out now.  at least we on this forum know and enjoy real music!
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