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Topic: Santa Maria, Sailing from Side to Side< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
nightspore Offline




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Posted: April 10 2009, 21:59

The flurry of posts in the TMB thread made me want to listen to it again. One thing that struck me about "Santa Maria" is that insistent sound (it's a bit like an electronically processed cymbal clash) that repeatedly travels from left speaker to right speaker. This creates an effective sense of a journey progressing relentlessly onward - which, of course, is what the song is about. Oh yes, TMB is brill!
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SunkenForest Offline




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Posted: Sep. 29 2010, 17:44

I agree.  even though it got no love in the favorite track poll, it is pretty solid.  The more I think about this album, the better it gets.  I think the only possible weak spot is Mastermind, as it sort of awkwardly breaks up the flow, but it might grow on me too.  *shrug*
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Sep. 29 2010, 21:01

Quote (SunkenForest @ Sep. 29 2010, 17:44)
I agree.  even though it got no love in the favorite track poll, it is pretty solid.  The more I think about this album, the better it gets.  I think the only possible weak spot is Mastermind, as it sort of awkwardly breaks up the flow, but it might grow on me too.  *shrug*

I think the reason for the lack of popularity is that many are uncomfortable with the "classical" style of singing. Unless you are used to it, it can sound pompous, which I remember was Sir M's objection to Santa Maria.
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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Sep. 29 2010, 21:09

Quote (nightspore @ April 11 2009, 03:59)
The flurry of posts in the TMB thread made me want to listen to it again. One thing that struck me about "Santa Maria" is that insistent sound (it's a bit like an electronically processed cymbal clash) that repeatedly travels from left speaker to right speaker. This creates an effective sense of a journey progressing relentlessly onward - which, of course, is what the song is about. Oh yes, TMB is brill!

Yeah, and the first time Mike uses it (as far as I know) and the best of all in my own opinion, is in the middle of the 'Africa' section in 'Amarok', just before the outstanding Steinway piano melody, exactly found at 47:11.


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Sep. 30 2010, 08:59

Actually my biggest complaint against Santa Maria is that Mike simply completely ignored Pinta and Nina. That is RACIST.



(no, actually, I just find the whole track unpleasant)


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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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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Sep. 30 2010, 10:21

La Niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña, la niña


:laugh:  :laugh:  


No, it's not racist.


It's shippist.


:laugh:  :laugh:  


Sorry for the horrible sense of humor.


You know me already by now.  :/


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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Sep. 30 2010, 13:20

Santa Maria was a wooden ship, was it not?

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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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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 06:42

@ Elvis a.k.a. Scatterploit a.k.a. Jim :D : yes, it was. And it was the main ship of Columbus' fleet, maybe that's why the other two aren't mentioned in the song.

Generally I tend not to listen to that song and to TMB in general a lot, because that album (unlike a lot of Mike's other ones) sounds too specifically linked to a precise moment in time, so it sounds dated when listened to a long time after that moment. And, by the way, the choir melody in "Santa Maria" is an almost note-for-note copy of the old Russian (USSR) anthem, which I never really liked.


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 07:40

Quote (Ugo @ Oct. 01 2010, 06:42)
the choir melody in "Santa Maria" is an almost note-for-note copy of the old Russian (USSR) anthem, which I never really liked.

Musical quotation! I wonder what point Mike was making... Perhaps - given that the song is about American destiny - he was pointing to future conflict with the Russians....

I'm basically very fond of "Santa Maria" and most of TMB and will leap indignantly to its defence (as, I'm sure, will Wiga) if provoked. I'm scratching my head, though, why the fact that a piece of music is tied to a particular moment should count against it. On the contrary, I'd have thought it would imbue the music with a certain nostalgic quality, assuming the millennium celebrations were happy for you, Ugo.
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wiga Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 08:35

Quote (SunkenForest @ Sep. 29 2010, 22:44)
The more I think about this album, the better it gets.

The same here.

For me the beauty of TMB is the synergy of the tracks working together, more than a sum of it's parts.


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Milamber Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 10:18

Quote (wiga @ Oct. 01 2010, 22:35)
Quote (SunkenForest @ Sep. 29 2010, 22:44)
The more I think about this album, the better it gets.

The same here.

For me the beauty of TMB is the synergy of the tracks working together more than a sum of it's parts.

Your posts have just had their Millenium Wiga  :D
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 10:24

Quote (Ugo @ Oct. 01 2010, 06:42)
Generally I tend not to listen to that song and to TMB in general a lot, because that album (unlike a lot of Mike's other ones) sounds too specifically linked to a precise moment in time, so it sounds dated when listened to a long time after that moment. And, by the way, the choir melody in "Santa Maria" is an almost note-for-note copy of the old Russian (USSR) anthem, which I never really liked.

You mean the chorus that sings "Santa Maria", after the female singer sings "Santa Maria" after that part with "Santa Maria" sung after some verses of "Santa Maria" and "Santa Maria"?

For me that male chorus sounds like Mike was unconsciously ripping-off Adeste fideles, which is not really a "quotation" but an "I need something generic here... hm, yeah, that will do".


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 11:06

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ Oct. 01 2010, 10:24)
You mean the chorus that sings "Santa Maria", after the female singer sings "Santa Maria" after that part with "Santa Maria" sung after some verses of "Santa Maria" and "Santa Maria"?

For me that male chorus sounds like Mike was unconsciously ripping-off Adeste fideles, which is not really a "quotation" but an "I need something generic here... hm, yeah, that will do".

Ha ha, Mike was never one to shy away from repetition. I remember reading his defence, in the liner notes for Boxed, was that if something is good, then repeat it! (According to the literary theoretical idea known as the 'hermeneutic circle', pure repetition is impossible anyway. This is because the second time you hear something the experience is different from the first time, because it's been coloured by your response to it. And so on.)

Sir M raises the topic of artistic intention. The New Critics Wimsatt and Beardsley, in their paper "The Intentional Fallacy", offer very persuasive arguments against putting too much weight on artistic intention, although the debate does continue to rage. Much artistic creation is subjective; often when I write something I often intend something only retrospectively!
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Cudsie Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 14:30

The trouble I find with TMB is Mike's over use of soft synth patches (which date horribly - and for an album that covers such a huge span you need something that sounds like the times its depicting or an overall sound that doesn't date it out of context)

- and for a an album with such an epic theme its very underwhelming and completely fails to live upto expectation.

As usual - with any of Mike's less successful albums - there are moments which shine but where is the cohesive whole? the sense of something huge? It needed to be a TSODE Part 2 basically.

Instead its trite, twee, disjointed and sounds rushed and opportunistic. IMHO of course!

Its a shame because perhaps with another 6 months work it could have been great.
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wiga Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 15:22

Quote (wiga @ Oct. 01 2010, 13:35)
For me the beauty of TMB is the synergy of the tracks working together, more than a sum of it's parts.

Well yes, as I was saying, I prefer to categorise TMB more and more as a soundtrack to a story. So for me, focussing on "Santa Maria" is rather like focussing on "Maria" from The Sound of Music, both of which are a bit religiousy and come at the beginning of the story. They both need to be there, and couldn't be taken out just because they didn't musically appeal to some people - the stories would be all to cock then. When you look at The Sound of Music soundtrack as a whole, it's a damn good reflection of the whole story. It's got everything in it - religion, family, humour, romance, war and a happy ending. That's pretty much how TMB captures my imagination. So taking apart "Santa Maria" as if it's some stand alone piece in it's own right, feels irrelevent to me. It's just working as part of a team with the rest of the story.


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wiga Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 15:40

Quote (milamber @ Oct. 01 2010, 15:18)
Your posts have just had their Millenium Wiga  :D

Hey, how good's that - on The Millennium Bell Thread!

Thanks Milamber. ;)


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 21:26

Quote (wiga @ Oct. 01 2010, 15:22)
So taking apart "Santa Maria" as if it's some stand alone piece in it's own right, feels irrelevent to me.

I think "Santa Maria" stands triumphantly on its own, as a polished piece of art. Those repeated "Santa Maria" words capture perfectly the plight of those aboard, to whom the world is now Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Santa Maria - there is nothing else. And the constant fear that they're heading to an unknown destination makes the repeated words also a prayer, a mantra for salvation. And the sound of the incessant waves pushing always in one direction, together with the future Russian presence colouring the New World... Mike has seldom done better.
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wiga Offline




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Posted: Oct. 02 2010, 03:11

Nightspore; yes, you're saying "Santa Maria" is a solid piece of work and it appeals to you musically, but what I find particularly interesting is the SIGNIFICANCE you place on it, how it captures your imagination, and where you place it in the Story.

Going back to the The Sound of Music soundtrack. I consider that to be a solid piece of work, though not all the songs appeal to me - like, "How do you solve a problem like Maria." That song isn't musically at fault as such, I think it's the nuns' attitude to Maria that I'm mainly uncomfortable with. So I acknowledge that it makes me uncomfortable, but at the same time it's relevent to the story and needs to be there - but if I was watching the film again I might skip that bit.

So "Santa Maria" might be a solid piece of art in it's own right, but is it reflecting something uncomfortable in the story line? That aspect interests me more. What's its relation to the rest of the story?


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 02 2010, 21:15

Quote (wiga @ Oct. 02 2010, 03:11)
So I acknowledge that it makes me uncomfortable, but at the same time it's relevent to the story and needs to be there - but if I was watching the film again I might skip that bit.

So "Santa Maria" might be a solid piece of art in it's own right, but is it reflecting something uncomfortable in the story line? That aspect interests me more. What's its relation to the rest of the story?

I think the storyline of TMB is too loose for anyone to be able to be able to say certain parts of it are uncomfortable. I think there must be other reasons why so many Tubular folk react negatively to it. Sir M has given some and so has Ugo, but on the other hand "reasons" are never going to counteract what is probably a purely emotional response.

I've tried to give explanations of why Ommadawn doesn't appeal to me emotinally - eg, the fact that most of the melodies are descending - but it's not always easy to give that sort of analysis.
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 03 2010, 00:21

Quote (nightspore @ Oct. 01 2010, 11:06)
Ha ha, Mike was never one to shy away from repetition.

I see a small difference between conscious repetition and mindless self-parody. We're not talking "let's explore this theme as far as we can go" repetition here, we're talking "we need something for these guys to sing here... huh, why not just have them repeat the song title ad nauseam?" repetition. The song is about the discovery of the American continent -- aren't there any other words they could sing??

Quote
Sir M raises the topic of artistic intention. The New Critics Wimsatt and Beardsley, in their paper "The Intentional Fallacy", offer very persuasive arguments against putting too much weight on artistic intention, although the debate does continue to rage. Much artistic creation is subjective; often when I write something I often intend something only retrospectively!


Except in the case of Millenniun Bell, the intention isn't subjective at all: Mike stated that the album was meant to be a musical portrait of the last millennium right since day 0, and each song has a very specific meaning. I'm discussing the album solely on its own terms here.


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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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