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Topic: my thoughts, one of the few who LIKE this album< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
EeToN Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 10:15

I think that literature is a better analogy for music than paintings as paintings doesn't have extension in time.

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If I were music, I would be Enigmatism.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 10:18

Extension, EeToN? Do you mean reference point, coda?

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Arron J Eagling

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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EeToN Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 10:45

I might use inproper word there... I meant that paintings show only one moment while music and e.g. novels have structure in time. A painting is like a single sound texture, basically. Of course we could say also movies instead of novels.

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If I were music, I would be Enigmatism.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 11:26

I get you. Yes I agree, literature is a lot like music in that way, because the experience entirely depends upon the user's interpretation.

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Arron J Eagling

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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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 12:26

Music / Literature makes a lot more sense to me. I even thought about the parallels in them some time ago, and since I both write music and stories, I have some decent knowing of both kinds of art. You could think that, just as a good story needs a good plot, a good piece of music needs a good melody, a good theme. Stories have characters, settings, scenes, descriptions... Music has instruments, textures, arrangements, atmospheres... They "happen" more or less the same way. But I'll avoid making a literature analogy to Tubular Bells 2003. Let's not detract things too much.

I'm thinking that the discussion here is kind of missing the point, focusing way too much on very small details of people's posts, missing the overall picture entirely. I wasn't talking about "definitions". I was talking about Mike remaking Tubular Bells 2003 with a clear sight in mind, and expecting us to swallow the album the way HE wanted us to, as something "perfect". It would have been fine if he just remade the album with a different flavour (though that would have probably been stupid), but since the very beginning, he was talking about making a "perfect" version of the album, without mistakes and flaws, to simply replace the original album. How the hell am I supposed to be comfortable with THAT? He's simply throwing Tubular Bells 2003 on our faces and saying "there, this is the way the album was SUPPOSED to be from the very beginning. Accept it." He didn't do anything like that back in '73. He just did the album, and presto. That is the distinction I wanted to make in my previous post, but in a less rude way.

His definition of "perfect" is a bit blurry to me, even today. What did he mean by "imprefections"? The nasal choir? The lack of drums on side 1? The stripped-down, brutal arrangements? If that's what he meant, well, I think he made a mistake thinking this new version could plainly replace the old one. To me, "The Complete Tubular Bells" STILL include the original version.


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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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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 12:42

Another thing to consider is that Mike may have had this feeling for a long time, that he wanted to remake it. It may be that as soon as he'd finished he he decided it wasn't quite perfect - and you gotta remember here that this is not only Mike's work but also a piece of artistic expression, so perfectionism is going to creep in if that's in Mike's psyche.

If that is indeed the case, the vision for what he would have wanted to change may have altered over the years - as he progressed through his new albums and songs he would naturally gain new ideas (as seen in the live versions, so I'm told) and so now we come to the time of it's revision, in a climate where sound quality is overbearingly what people look for these days - rather than musical content. I'm not sure if Mike would let that sway him personally.

I suppose the only way to get an absolutely 'old' style album would be to hypnotise him to the 1973 version of himself!


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Arron J Eagling

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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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 14:57

Too many things to comment on here, so I'll just settle for two.

Whether the analogies work (trying to understand one art form in terms of another) depends on who you are and how familiar you are with the art forms in question. The whole purpose of the analogy is to clarify one's perception - if it doesn't achieve that for a particular person then the analogy is simply no use to them. Since I've spent many years actively engaged in three art forms - painting, music, and literature (and writing extensively about all of them) - I find myself seeing parallels between these arts all the time. The analogies help me to understand, and indeed become part of the way I think. So for me there is no 'best' parallel, just the general rule of thumb that if an analogy helps, well and good; and if it doesn't, discard it.

Sir M said:
Quote
He's simply throwing Tubular Bells 2003 on our faces and saying "there, this is the way the album was SUPPOSED to be from the very beginning. Accept it." He didn't do anything like that back in '73. He just did the album, and presto. That is the distinction I wanted to make in my previous post, but in a less rude way.
I don't get this at all. What's the difference? He's not throwing anything in your face and demanding that you accept it, because he hasn't taken the old version away from you, or anyone else. It's still for sale. With TB2003 he's effectively said 'Here's another version which is what I always hoped it could have been.'
You seem to feel this as an insult, but I can't see why? It seems so very fair! People like me are pleased because TB2003 resolves many of the reservations we had about TB. People like you don't need to worry about it because you still have the original that you love. Why does it trouble you so much?

And there's still the unanswered point I made in an earlier post:
Quote
Mike has been re-making Tubular Bells in live performance ever since he recorded it, often producing (in my view) more satisfying renditions than the original studio version. TB2003 could be seen as just another in a long line of re-creations.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 16:09

Hmm, I think I've said enough on this topic. Good point Alan, and I respect your opinion Sir M.

:)


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Arron J Eagling

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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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 17:09

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ May 11 2005, 17:26)
the discussion here is kind of missing the point, focusing way too much on very small details of people's posts, missing the overall picture entirely. I wasn't talking about "definitions".

I think this requires comment. Indeed you were not talking about "definitions", and neither was I. You were talking about "definition", and you devoted almost an entire, fairly long post to a discussion of the artist 'defining' his sound. I read it very carefully and spent quite a lot of time responding to it as thoughtfully as I could.

So it's a bit hard to be told I'm focusing too much on "very small details", y'know. It was a whole post. I actually try really hard to understand what you're trying to say.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 17:24

I definitely don't think that Mike can claim Tubular Bells 2003 is what he'd have done in 1973 had he been allowed the time. His comments on Latin spring to mind, how he got everyone to rattle spoons during that section to make the clattering percussion which runs behind it and yet...he felt that it was a beautiful piece of music which deserved the treatment it finally received on Tubular Bells 2003. Well, perhaps Mike was extremely drunk at the time, but really, I don't think it takes a genius to know that getting people to rattle spoons and make other assorted clanging noises isn't going to make for a very smooth and laid back listening experience! It's quite clear to me that he wanted parts to sound dissonant, and that his mind has changed since then. Nothing wrong with him changing his mind of course, but it does go against Mike's clain that the modern recording is how he always wanted the album to be...

Mike also has a rather selective memory about some things relating to the album. He says, for example, he was never allowed a second take on anything...that rather contradicts with some of what Tom Newman has said about some of the sessions - according to him, they actually spent quite a long time on parts like the introduction, because Mike couldn't play in time. That's rather different to not being allowed a second take, if you ask me.

I have to say, I don't find Tubular Bells 2003 to be an album which improves much when played on higher quality equipment. The subtlety just isn't there, and much of the recording is rather hard sounding, to my ears. I find it gets tiring to listen to rather quickly.
The introduction says a lot about what's to come - the piano is quite loud, forward sounding, and also very hard timing-wise. The original had a slight drift to it, falling behind the beat occasionally, giving it a more relaxed sound. It was also quite a bit quieter, and all in all rather more gentle in feel. Then comes that bass, a very forceful sound, which pushes its way right to the front. There's not necessarily anything the matter with doing that, but Mike does it the whole way through Part One - he pushes everything to the front. There is no respite, it always smacks you right between the eyes, whether it's a delicate section or an aggressive section.
More horrors are to come as it enters Fast Guitars, though. The original arrangement was actually quite sparse in that section, with the rhythm being driven along by the bass guitar, which had just a slightly distorted sound, not enough to be fuzzy, but enough to give it some extra high end to allow it to fill out the spectrum a little. For the 2003 version, Mike's chosen to roll off the treble on the bass, and has treated us instead to some mushy and obnoxiously distorted amp-sim guitar power chords. They don't really add much to the arrangement other than filling it out with a big fuzz, which I think is actually detracting from rather than adding to the mix. It contributes to the tiring, hard sound without bringing anything new musically. The organ part in the original filled out the space well without doing that.
And so it goes on...things everywhere succumb to the mighty power of the compressor, while long, dense reverbs and synth pads fill in every crack like a sugary gas.

To me, all that's like Rolf Harris painting with a decorator's brush and a can of emulsion - entertaining, but not terribly subtle, and tiring after extended periods. Listen out for the wobbleboard on Mike's upcoming album.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 17:44

The wobbleboard. I like it. I wonder if he'd take a petition?

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Arron J Eagling

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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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: May 11 2005, 17:52

Quote (Alan D @ May 11 2005, 17:09)
I think this requires comment. Indeed you were not talking about "definitions", and neither was I. You were talking about "definition", and you devoted almost an entire, fairly long post to a discussion of the artist 'defining' his sound. I read it very carefully and spent quite a lot of time responding to it as thoughtfully as I could.

You are right, and I misunderstood you. I thought you were talking about me mentioning "definitions" on how music is done and what it's supposed to mean. But anyway, I do think that the discussion tends to become vague and out-of-focus, with talks about "art" in general, without focus on what I was specifically talking about: music. My previous comment even ran away completely from what I was talking about initially, so let me get back to my initial point.

What I was trying to say isn't difficult at all to understand. Since I mentioned the music/literature analogy, let me use literature to explain my idea (in a very exaggerated fashion, mind): when an author is writing specifically a horror story, you can see his intentions clearly on the final result. It is a horror story, and nothing, absolutely nothing else. But what if an author writes an eerie story without making it clear at all that it's supposed to be horror? Isn't it safe to assume that different people will take the story as a different thing? It isn't "supposed" to be a horror story, so it can be anything. It's up to the reader to think it's comedy, or drama, or just a scary book.

That also happens with music. And to me, TB2003 is MUCH more "defined" than the original. You can (well, I can) hear what it's supposed to be (the above post by Korgscrew came at a very appropriate time - that's just what I wanted to mention). But TB is ambiguous, unclear, hazy. And like I said, it's in the listener's head to think if that particular sound is bad production, or part of the album's charm. So how is TB2003 supposed to improve that? Removing the ambiguity is definitely an improvement... when writing an SQL query or the code for a computer program, but not necessarily so in music.

I hope I made myself less ambiguous, unclear and hazy now! ;)


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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.
Also check my Bandcamp page: http://ferniecanto.bandcamp.com
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familyjules Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 03:59

Quote (Alan D @ May 11 2005, 14:57)
He's not throwing anything in your face and demanding that you accept it, because he hasn't taken the old version away from you, or anyone else.

Yes but he is suggesting that it replaces the old one - and maybe he would have had the old one withdrawn if he could have any say in what Virgin do anymore - but there's no way Virgin is going to withdraw the first TB when a rival TB is going on sale from a different label, is there?

Also, it's as if he has distanced himself yet further from the young artists who made a record we all love so much.  His saying 'oh, I got it so wrong back then' is in effect insulting the very work that most of us discovered the artist via in the first place.  There is a fairy strong emotional reaction to this by some fans, which I think myself and Sir M have both experienced to some degree.

Jules


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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 05:53

Quote (Korgscrew @ May 11 2005, 22:24)
To me, all that's like Rolf Harris painting with a decorator's brush and a can of emulsion - entertaining, but not terribly subtle, and tiring after extended periods. Listen out for the wobbleboard on Mike's upcoming album.

Ah, some new-fangled definition of the word 'entertaining'?  ;)

(Have I been wrong all these years in thinking that the wobbleboard was the key instrument in the original Tubular Bells, and that its original title was Wobbular Bells?)

This thread is becoming a wonderful illustration of post-modernism: there are no true statements, but just differing accounts of things. Deficiencies that one person can't tolerate are displaced by a different set of deficiencies for another. So I take all that you say, Korgscrew, but TB2003 remains the one that my ears want to listen to, whereas I had reservations about the sound of TB itself right from the start.

Jules said:
Quote
Yes but he is suggesting that it replaces the old one - and maybe he would have had the old one withdrawn if he could have any say in what Virgin do anymore
Well perhaps - and maybe he wouldn't. But no such thing has happened. I don't think I understand the source of the problem at all really - is it what Mike has said about it, then? Surely an artist has the right to criticise his earlier work?

It still comes down to this: that when all is done, Tubular Bells is still with us and TB2003 can be ignored if you don't want it.
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 08:25

And that's a wrap.

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Arron J Eagling

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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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 10:27

Quote (arron11196 @ May 12 2005, 13:25)
And that's a wrap.

I love optimism!  :)
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familyjules Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 11:06

Quote (Alan D @ May 12 2005, 10:27)
Quote (arron11196 @ May 12 2005, 13:25)
And that's a wrap.

I love optimism!  :)

I thought he was just describing his choice of sandwich.

;)

Jules


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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 15:35

Quote (familyjules @ May 12 2005, 16:06)
I thought he was just describing his choice of sandwich.

Yes Jules, he was. But was he talking about the original sandwich, or the more recent remake which represents everything the original sandwich was supposed to be, but wasn't?
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arron11196 Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 16:32

Yes of course I was, yep. Righty ho...

Ahem.

Right now we've gotten that cleared up...

:D


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Arron J Eagling

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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Alan D Offline




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Posted: May 12 2005, 17:54

Quote (arron11196 @ May 12 2005, 21:32)
Yes of course I was, yep. Righty ho...

Well, arron, it's your sandwich, and I just want you to know that whichever sandwich you choose as definitive is fine by me. I have no sentimental attachment to the original sandwich, myself. (Just hope we can avoid trouble, here....)
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