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THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA

Crossover Prog • United States


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The Quiet Earth Orchestra biography
THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA looks like a title for a big band but is a one man project so far initiated by John Ludi from Chicago/USA. He's working on his album since around 1999 with some breaks here and there but 2008 has finally seen it brought to light.

Grown up with progressive/art rock his music reflects this experiences and interests what also can be seen at the huge list of bands and artists which influenced him over the years.

John Ludi plays all the instruments and also provides the vocals which makes this album to a completely rounded piece of work fulfilling his appreciation of writing lyrics and composing modern prog music.

The songs are also spiked with references to wellknown bands and different prog genres and his conclusion is: 'They were to me, in fact, mini-symphonies filled with imagery and nuance, imagination and passion . far more of such than the average 3 minute pop/rock song could ever hope to deliver'.

THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA is not signed by a label deliberately. Anyhow - the songs can be downloaded from services like CD Baby and should receive attention in any case.

Rivertree (Uwe Zickel)

The Quiet Earth Orchestra official website

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Quiet Earth OrchestraQuiet Earth Orchestra
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$11.47

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THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA discography


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THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 5 ratings
The Quiet Earth Orchestra
2008

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3.00 | 1 ratings
World Without Words
1993

THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA Reviews


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 World Without Words by QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1993
3.00 | 1 ratings

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World Without Words
The Quiet Earth Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

— First review of this album —
3 stars Shhhhh

While never gaining an official release as such, Quiet Earth Orchestra's "World without words" is now available to download free (donations encouraged) at John Ludi's website. The album consists of material recorded by Ludi in 1993, prior to his sole official album under the QEO moniker.

An entirely instrumental work, Ludi's own commentary that it "Originally it was going to be a big vocal concept album about the endless cycle of warfare that humanity seems to be so wedded to (but in the context of an alien civilization)" offers a useful background to the music. A short synopsis of the original concept can be found in a text file which accompanies the download, and on Ludi's website.

Apart from some more recent post production, the recordings here are essentially as they were recorded by Ludi on what would now be considered primitive equipment. Given such a restriction, the recordings are actually perfectly listenable.

The album consists of 13 tracks which represent the main concept, plus a further three bonus recordings. The music moves between repetitive rhythm based tracks, and more ambient experimental pieces. The emphasis is as much on sounds as it is on melodies, Ludi being at pains to emphasise that all the instruments are actually played, Midi's, tape loops, etc. being completely absent (apart from an old drum machine!).

John himself recommends that this be listened to as "background music", and that is probably the best way to approach the album. Comparisons will inevitably be made with other one man home recordings ranging from Oldfield to Eno and calling at all stations in- between. Such comparisons are fair for a general indication of what is on offer here, ambience and experimentation be the keywords. Along the way, we have drones and other unstructured sounds often associated with Krautrock and the sub-genres with which it entwines.

The first two of the bonus tracks are from even further back than these recordings, when Ludi was in a band called Pliny the Elder. They are little more than four guys indulging themselves in a bit of fun. The third of these tracks and the final track on the album is "Voluntary Simplicity", a solo recording made by Ludi in 1986.

Overall, not an album to be taken too seriously, and certainly not one John Ludi intends to be listed as an official release. Nevertheless, those who enjoy the more avant-garde side of our genre may well find some of the content here to be of interest.

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 The Quiet Earth Orchestra by QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 5 ratings

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The Quiet Earth Orchestra
The Quiet Earth Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars One man band

American John Ludi has worked on a number of projects using a handful of different names to differentiate the styles he adopts for each. Quiet Earth Orchestra is the grandiose title he uses for his one man progressive rock project which to date has released one official album.

Work began on this self titled album around 1999, with it finally being released in 2008. Today, the album can be download free from the QEO website, and all the tracks can be heard in the Quiet Earth Orchestra page on Progarchives.

The music here is a pleasant blend of Genesis like melodic guitar pieces ("God", "History ends here"), softer acoustic focused ambience ("Simple"), and upbeat rock numbers ("The prophet"). Ludi demonstrates throughout that he has a real gift both for composition and performance, his talents showing though on a variety of keyboards and guitars as well as in his decent vocals. Along the way, we have hints of Camel in the the title section of the lengthy "The prophet, part 1", a suite of six tracks.

Ludi's vocals remind me at times of the Manic Street Preachers, especially on "History ends here". The lyrics of the album are published on the QEO website, the underlying theme being the "flaws in human nature". "The prophet" suite is a specific tale about one who tries to do something about it. I must admit that even with Ludi's helpful commentary, it can be challenging to pin down the underlying story. There do however appear to be parallels with Home's fine album "The alchemist".

With or without fully understanding the concept though, this is a highly impressive album in musical terms. Sadly, Ludi appears to now be totally disillusioned with the music industry, and indeed with his own ability to change the world through his music. That's a pity, he does make good music.

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 The Quiet Earth Orchestra by QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 5 ratings

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The Quiet Earth Orchestra
The Quiet Earth Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A real headscratcher, this album..........

This one man project has come up with an album in the mix zone between neo-prog, symph, space and eclectic. Crossover, in other words. The music is pretty dark and gloomy throughout. There is not much joy on this album. It is a reflective album with a lot of post rock references. In other words; this album covers a lot of bases.

I have to admit I find this album a lot baffling and confusing. It is pretty anonymous at times, but it also have an identity which I really cannot grasp. In short; I am searching for words. I am not convinced this is a gem, though. This album suffers from being the product of one mind and one voice. It has got this "one band" syndrome which I find on most of the one man band albums in ProgArchives database (and on Prince's debut album, btw). There is ideas on this album that works and others which may have been discarded if there was more than one man involved here.

Despite of my gripes above, I find this a good melodic album with few weaknesses and a lot of positives. Hence; it is a good album and that's it. It is not a stand out album though. Good effort.

3 stars

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 The Quiet Earth Orchestra by QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 5 ratings

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The Quiet Earth Orchestra
The Quiet Earth Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars This eponymous THE QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA album is a recommendable progressive music effort on the symphonic/neo prog border. Self-made by prog aficionado John Ludi from Chicago who grew up listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis. And you don't fail to hear this. All instruments and the vocals are provided by him and generally this is a big advantage when trying to work out a completely rounded piece of work.

I will start with my personal album highlight first. Limitations is one of the most depressing things he ever has written lyrically as he told me. Okay - in case I am not native english the lyrics are less accessible normally. I like the church organ, this special melancholy and dramaturgy. And the song has an excellently memorable melody. Can't remember a better vocal appearance on the album and the same applies to the guitars (whereas like Windhawk I'm sometimes also willing to assume that this is emulated by synths).

The first songs The Story Ends Here and God are deep in the neo progressive and symphonic style with some Genesis leanings. Simple is way more than that (in a positive sense) - acoustic guitar driven - folkish with orchestral synth/keyboard background. The Prophet as the first part of this epic shows also a slight jazzy note with piano in the middle. And this continues with Singularity a bit more canterburiesque. Original vibes or created with synthesizer? It doesn't matter - it sounds good!

An album which has its greatest potency in the first half as for my taste because I have some problems with the complete epic 'The Prophet'. A very ambitious one without a doubt - but the last four parts are slipping into mainstream as for my impression. And because totally self-made the whole album sounds a little bit too single-tracked sometimes. It would be nice to hear John as a member of a real band (or maybe Orchestra) making music also provided with influences from other musicians.

However - all in all this is a good addition to your prog music collection and therefore deserves 3.5 stars considering Ludi's musical/technical skills and a songwriting which is basically on a high level.

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 The Quiet Earth Orchestra by QUIET EARTH ORCHESTRA, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 5 ratings

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The Quiet Earth Orchestra
The Quiet Earth Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Intriguing release by the US-based one-man orchestra. How to describe it is another thing entirely though.

Synths and keyboards are dominating throughout; indeed - I get the impression that all instruments are emulated by synths in this production; although I may be mistaken there it sounds like it; and as such this production is comparable to an act like Soniq Theater.

Dramatic and atmospheric themes and parts are mixed in rather compelling compositions; intense melodies and at times highly nuanced sonic textures are served; most times with many layers of keyboards and synths forming the backdrop as well as constituting to the main melody line which in most cases is carried by the guitar (real or emulated). Rather symphonic, in other words.

A very sharp drum sound and vocals slightly lacking in delivery (as well as not always well placed in the mix) are the main weak elements of this production. It is a highly compelling work though, despite those weaknesses.

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Thanks to Rivertree for the artist addition.

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