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Daniel1974nl View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2009 at 05:54
Anthe,
 
Ok, lets continue...In the world of classical music sometimes there indeed has been created some extremely dramatc pieces of music.....Gorecki, Barber....yes....all of them...that came into my mind...I also like to advise you to get into some filmmusic...Im sure you will find some greatly interesting pieces there. I always was really fan of Hans Zimmers work....I guess for the obvious reason that it tends to be quite boombastic from time to time...and really can be touching and emotional as we'll....I stil remember I was sitting in the train once...when I was listening to Zimmer...and looked outside of the window and saw the white landscape and the snow....and the world almost looked surreal to me....so amazing....like a fairytale or something......Its indeed strange what music can do to you...the way you see the world, the way you feel....I remember when I was a teenager I listened alot to The Cure for example....not always good for your moods.
When it comes to Beethoven....many pieces are hard hard to get...and only available in Beethoven's Complete Collection...that is released by Deutsche Grammaphone....which I have (87 cd's)...Because alot of only exsisted on script DG some of the pieces were especially recorded for this box...so its essential for the completists....Things like his folksongs or stage performances, think are or rarely performed or never at al. And so it goes also for Beethoven's organ works. Beethoven is not the most famous person for Organ...but still he wrote a few pieces.....that are presented in this box....It looks really really nice, and really liked....but in general I rather listen Bach when I want to listen organ music. The only problem is that the price is rather shocking....first to find it now and second to pay it cos I think back then it costed me about 1000,- Euro. But with DG that is something you can expect...I once had the tought of buying the DG box of Chopin...which is much cheaper, but eventually I stopped collection after I purchased the Wagner Box.....which is also quite nice and all recorded in the Bayreuth Festspiellehalle, also very nice........Some things are truly amazing.....Wagner was a genious too.....I think that its really not that....easy to find a Opera composer of that calibre...I think no-one ever before or after wrote an opera of 16 hours that had to be spreaded over 4 evenings.....Only here too...The Wagner family only recognises every opera composed by him from The Flying Dutchmen....so the 3 before that....are usually seldom performed. Rienzi is one of them...and I think a truly great one....since the use of so much choire....
 
The relation between Nietzsche and Wagner is an interesting, but extremely complicated one. Especially because after a while Nietzsche took distance from Wagner and went his own way. It took Nietzsche a very long time to get away from his friend....and the reason is still not entirely known. Both had one same idol, and that was Schopenhauer, but after Schopenhauer (you should read their correspondence and the way Wagner praises him, and tells him how much the Ring is inspired by his work, while Schopenhauer thought it was total garbage) dissaproved Wagner I think something went wrong...and did it leave Nietzsche bedind....I always thought the problem is circulating around this...but apart from that there is also the question of Ant-Semitism.....Which Wagner cleary was, but Nietzsche only interpteted or made by others as such. On top of that its very difficult to plow through Nietzsche's work sometimes.
 
King Crimson's Epitaph is an amazing piece of work, I think its still one of my favorite songs too. And yes, the mood the song creates and the lyrics that are song are really really in balance with each other....the depression created by the lyrics is perfectly supported by the music, and specifically the mellotron...Its really different in relation to Genesis for that matter...cos it creates such a different mood.....the music is touching, sad and emotional....lots of mellotron as we'll but the lyrics are usually more cheering, or about surrealistic topics and imaginable worlds. Regarding camel......I must say that......I never really payed much attention to the lyrics...I think because I am so overwelmed by the music....that almost entirely determens the mood of the sound in general. And that is quite unique....
 
Now talking about Camel...I still need to look at this pieces you uploaded here, but at home my internetconnection is simply too slow for now...so last night I downloaded the tunes from You Tube, so I hope I can look at them tomorrow and come back to you with a judgement......I must say that writing about music really makes you think about music in a very different way. We prog lovers really like to relate everything to the old masters...so alot of reviews are like.....you can hear clearly the influence of...etc...and I like to try to find that out too, but I also like to think more and more in terms of what is it doing to me emotionally....or what will it do to other people...There is a whole range of people that really dislikes prog..songs are too complex, too long, too less vocals etc...but I think if you know the way, there also are so many songs that can make someone completely hooked right away.
 
I never wrote music myself. I never learned to play and only a little to read notes...But what I always imagine is that someone really musicall talented can hear in their head how it should sound when you do this or that...I only read a piece about Mozart and the way he was composing music...it appears that he started with one instrument and then kept on adding more and more untill he could hear an entire orchestra in his head and knew how it would sound if you do this or that...If you imagine someone is deaf and creates something as the 9th, as Beethoven then it must be that these peple can hear in their head how it must sound if you do this or that, add this or that instrument. And it is very different from the way people make music these days...cos the head is mainly replaced by a mixing desk.....and you just put everything you have under different lines and open a line, another one, begin to compare and see how it sounds......and if its not good you try another and so on. Now in progressive rock I think alot of stuff still comes out of jamming together...and often on the stage....Bands as King Crimson are notorious for that.. So classical music....is so different from all other genres.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2009 at 09:11
Originally posted by Daniel1974nl Daniel1974nl wrote:

I always was really fan of Hans Zimmers work.

Although I must have heard his name before, I did not know he wrote all that great filmmusic. I searched on Youtube and found some tributes to Hans Zimmer with parts of his work. Very impressive! I am certainly going to pay attention next time, to see who wrote the music for a movie I watch.

"Rienzi is one of them...and I think a truly great one....since the use of so much choire"

I must watch it sometime then. I must have it somewhere on tape because years ago I recorded several of Wagners opera's when there was a series on tv or so, with the intention to see them all once. But I never did yet. Somehow I just lost interest.  
 
"The relation between Nietzsche and Wagner is an interesting, but extremely complicated one. Especially because after a while Nietzsche took distance from Wagner and went his own way. It took Nietzsche a very long time to get away from his friend....and the reason is still not entirely known."

Well, I think this separation is the most interesting part. I am not sure if I all get it right and never read so much of them both, but to my understanding the essense was that Nietzsche thought that Wagner went back to Cristianity when he wrote Parsifal. And Nietzsche thought the search had to go inside of the individual en not in an external religion, well somthing like that.

"Both had one same idol, and that was Schopenhauer, but after Schopenhauer (you should read their correspondence and the way Wagner praises him, and tells him how much the Ring is inspired by his work, while Schopenhauer thought it was total garbage) dissaproved Wagner I think something went wrong"

I did not find that correspondence yet. But I did find a very interesting site about Schopenhauer's view on Music. I copied some really interesting parts at the bottom of this post.

"King Crimson's Epitaph is an amazing piece of work, I think its still one of my favorite songs too. And yes, the mood the song creates and the lyrics that are song are really really in balance with each other....the depression created by the lyrics is perfectly supported by the music, and specifically the mellotron"

Yes, I think it is so really fantastic, an unbelievable balance indeed between the music and the lyrics.

"but I also like to think more and more in terms of what is it doing to me emotionally....or what will it do to other people"

Yes, that is indeed what I am thinking the most now. How does that work, why can it have such an impact and what is happening when you hear certain music. Really interesting!

"it appears that he started with one instrument and then kept on adding more and more untill he could hear an entire orchestra in his head and knew how it would sound if you do this or that"

I always wondered if they start with one instrument or that there is already a sort of overall idea before the start about how it should sound as a whole.

"Now in progressive rock I think alot of stuff still comes out of jamming together...and often on the stage"

Which I think is also a very interesting way. I am not exactly a jazz fan, but the idea of creating music together seems somehow as a step beyond.

 


Some parts of Schopenhauer's Metaphysics of Music by Harlow Gale. 

http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/articles/ney48218.htm

"Music is thus by no means like the other arts, the copy of the Ideas, but the copy of the will itself, whose objectivity these Ideas are. This is why the effect of music is much more powerful and penetrating than that of the other arts, for they speak only of shadows, but it speaks of the thing itself."

"The words are and remain for music a foreign addition, of subordinate value, for the effect of the tones is incomparably more powerful, more infallible, and quicker than that of words"

"The most direct is that for which music expresses the emotions of the will itself, and the most indirect that of the conceptions denoted by words. Where the language of the feelings is in question the reason does not willingly sit entirely idle. Music is certainly able with the means at its own disposal to express every movement of the will, every feeling; but by the addition of words we receive besides this the objects of these feelings, the motives which occasion them."

"If now we cast a glance at purely instrumental music, a symphony of Beethoven presents to us the greatest confusion, which yet has the most perfect order at its foundation, the most vehement conflict, which is transformed the next moment into the most beautiful concord."

"But in this symphony all human passions and emotions also find utterance; joy, sorrow, love, hatred, terror, hope, etc., in innumerable degrees, yet all, as it were, only in abstracto, and without any particularization; it is the mere form without the substance, like a spirit world without matter."

"therefore it is better to apprehend them in their immediacy and purity."

"According to all this we may regard the phenomenal world, or nature, and music as two different expressions of the same thing"-will, the fundamental world-stuff, expressing itself as nature indirectly and indistinctly as through Platonic Ideas, but immediately and subtilely in music as will-in-itself."

"Music, therefore, if regarded as an expression of the world, is in the highest degree a universal language, which is related indeed to the universality of concepts, much as they are related to the particular things."

"All possible efforts, excitements, and manifestations of will, all that goes on in the heart of man and that reason includes in the wide negative concept of feeling, may be expressed by the infinite number of possible melodies, but always in the universal, in the mere form, without the material, always according to the thing-in-itself, not the phenomenon; the inmost soul, as it were, of the phenomenon, without the body."

"This deep relation which music has to the true nature of all things also explains the fact that suitable music played to any scene, action, event, or surrounding seems to disclose to us its most secret meaning, and appears as the most accurate and distinct commentary upon it."

"For as we have said, music is distinguished from the other arts by the fact that it is not a copy of the phenomenon, or, more accurately, the adequate objectification of the will, but is the direct copy of the will itself, and therefore exhibits itself as the metaphysical to everything physical in the world, and as the thing-in-itself to every phenomenon."

"We might, therefore, just as well call the world embodied music as embodied will; and this is the reason why music makes every picture, and indeed every scene of real life and of the world, at once appear with higher significance, certainly all the more as the melody is analogous to the inner spirit of the given phenomenon."

"In the determinateness of the real, they represent that which music expresses in the universality of mere form, for melodies are to a considerable extent, like general concepts, an abstraction from the actual."

"been trying to bring out clearly that music expresses in a perfectly universal language, in a homogeneous material, mere tones, and with the greatest determinateness and truth, the inner nature, the in-itself of the world, which we think under the concept will, because will is its most direct manifestation."  




Edited by Anthe - February 06 2009 at 03:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2009 at 05:45
Great website!
Open the gates of the city wide....
Check out my music taste: http://www.last.fm/user/TakeshiKovacs/
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2009 at 05:01

I am so glad you liked it.

If only I could get my next blogpost done. I have about five drafts now, (I wrote more in one week than ever before), but none of them seem to be saying what I mean to say. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2009 at 06:19
Excellent website indeed!

And has anyone heard live version "Ice" on the bootleg from Rajaz Tour Concert in Chile? I'm not sure if I will hear playing as passionate as that again... That is way better than studio version, believe me...


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 09 2009 at 03:59
Originally posted by Thandrus Thandrus wrote:

And has anyone heard live version "Ice" on the bootleg from Rajaz Tour Concert in Chile? 

I did not hear that one yet, the one I heard was from the dvd Coming of Age. But I agree that the studio version is nowhere near the live performance. The first time I heard it, I did not know what happend. Just incredible that someone can play as passionate as that.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 09 2009 at 04:55

I finally got my next blogpost done. Did that take a lot of time and energy! But in the end I got more or less on paper what I meant to say. Only this time it takes a lot of words to say it.

http://www.camellive.com/2009/02/obsession-about-music

Obsession about music

If I would follow the timeline of the concerts, the next video to describe would be the one with Preperation and Dunkirk of the Snow Goose. But that was not the video I wanted to continue with. I even had been hesitating to include that video. Not because of Dunkirk, as I think it is one of the best performances I heard of Dunkirk. I think it has a fantastic power in that concert and it also is amazing to see it played live.

The problem for me is with Preperation. And it is not at all that I do not like that one. I like it as it is played on the original album. It is a very contemplative piece of music which is also very essential in the totality of the whole Story of the Snow Goose. And I mostly like the more contemplative moments in music. I also love those in classical music. I love the adagio in a classical symphony, although somehow those parts are not so well integrated, they seem to be often apart from the rest of the symphony. And that is what I think a band as Camel is very good with. They have many contemplating moments and I feel they fit in very well.

A very good example is Lady Fantasy, which is at times a very energetic and outgoing piece, but it does also have a very withdrawn and contemplating part in the middle. And as much as I like the energetic parts, that part is my favourite. It never was so much before, but after seeing it on the dvd Moondances, I just could not stop listening and watching especially that part. At that moment it feels as if the music really comes from another world, as if it is just a matter of receiving. Really fascinating to see Andy Latimer connected to the world beyond as it seems.

So it is not that he is not capable of producing the beautiful adagio parts in the music of Camel, maybe even very hard to find anyone who is more capable then he is. He really lives his music while he is playing. And as it seems at times he is not even aware of his surroundings. He and his music are often one.

But what was it then what I did not like in Preperation as played on this video? Why did I not want to include it at first? As I think now, it has to do with the voice. For me it is very important to hear the ‘right voice’ with certain music. As much as I love to hear the voice of Maria Callas, I think it at its best in a passionate opera and not so much with Ave Maria. And Erbarme Dich is just beautiful with the right male voice and in my opinion not so much with a colourful female voice. And Im abendrot, one of the four last songs of Richard Strauss, is just perfect with the voice of Jessey Norman.

So it is not that I do not like his voice in general, I like his voice a lot and think it is often quiet, relaxing and effective. But it is just not the essense of his musical performance. And here with Preperation it feels to me that the voices must be more of a background, being an underlying sense of wholeness. And I personally like that part more on the album, where the voices are heard in the background.

Somehow this feels as a very important point. Important in the whole Story of the Snow Goose, but also important in the development of each individual. And besides that also an important point in the human development as a whole. As a point in time now, where individual expression is becoming essential.

This kept going around in my head, but I had no idea how I would write it down. I had no idea what words I could use, how to describe what I meant. So that point of preparation and Dunkirk seemed important in the Snow Goose. It is the battle where the main character Rhayader becomes a hero, but looses his life. And the battle is most impressive shown in Dunkirk.

But before Dunkirk, the decision for this action was made in Preparation. At least that was the idea I got from hearing the album of the Snow Goose. But here in the concert that message did not get through so well in my opinion. Not because of Dunkirk because how that was played here, was even better than on the album. It is really energetic and  impressive and gives a feeling of determination and power which perfectly comes together near the end. But Preparation was not convincing me here.

So I sort of knew what I wanted to talk about, but I could find no way of getting it into the right words. Not that I could not get anything on paper, the strange thing was that I typed pages full. Which is rather unusual for me, as I tend to compress what I want to say in writing, into just a few lines. And often even in just a few words. But although I wrote a lot, I just could not get on paper what I wanted to say, the words just did not seem the right one, did not express what I meant. And it was just so very frustrating. At times this week I thought, why am I so fascinated with this music at the moment. What do I care. Just leave it alone. But I just could not, I had to listen to their music over and over again. And this time I just had to understand why I am so obsessed.

Fortunally I also got to read on an online music forum. I got there because I found out that the music Camel makes, especially their early years, was called Progressive Rock. And the music of Camel fell in the category of ’symphonic progressive rock’ or in short ’symphonic prog’.
And being on that forum I noticed that I am not the only one with an obsession for music. There are many out there who have the same. And it is just absolutely amazing to talk about that. And while talking about it (well reading and writing) it becomes a little more clear to me what music can do. Not that I can find all the right words at this point, but I feel I am getting somewhere now.

One very good lead came from a group which is considered the basic of all progressive rock, King Crimson. Before I came to the Prog Archives forum I never heard of them. But many people often referred to them, and so I got to listen to some of their work. And liked what I heard. Not just interesting, but some of it also very intriguing and catching music, although most is in general to experimental for me personal.

But then I heard several people mention King Crimson’s Epitaph as their all time favourite. I got curious and went searching on Youtube to see if I could find it. Well, I did… and it just blew me away. From the very first seconds I was impressed. The combination of the extremely dark music, the screaming picture from the album cover, the voice, the fantastic instrumentation but above all the overwhelming lyrics.

I have this thing with lyrics, I hardly ever listen to them. At best they are good, but even then the music is so much more important for me. Because if that does not so much for me, if I have no desire to listen to it at least 10 times in a row, I just consider it music I like. But on the other hand there is music I am obsessed with, music I want to hear over and over again. Often I do not understand the lyrics (3th symphony of Gorecki) or they are religious (Schubert’s Ave Maria, Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Erbarme Dich) or actually mean nothing and is a made up language (Lisa Gerrard from Dead can Dance). Or with the music of Pink Floyd, which I like along with the lyrics. But still the music is much more important to me. And with Camel I also like the non lyrical vocals a lot. So somehow the meaning of the lyrics was not of the most important. Much more important was if it sounds perfectly coherent with the music.

But then I found that video of King Crimson’s Epitaph with the lyrics. I read the lyrics while hearing the music and was just shocked. There was this text which is from the late 60s and it had just the subject I was thinking about for such a long time now. The whole text was extremely intriguing, but the most I was impressed by the middle part, because that is what I was thinking about the most.

Between the iron gates of fate, the seeds of time were sown.
And watered by the deeds of those, who know and who are known.
Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see, is in the hands of fools.

To me this bears the essence of human development. The free will we all have in essence. But which is only effective in the right mix of action, skills, knowledge and responsibility. Well something along those lines.

That is what I see as essential in the development of the music of Camel. And that is what I think I felt on my first concert in 1984. So I thought about writing my next blogpost about the video that started my obsession with their music. And I knew for sure it was somewhere at the concert of Pressure Points.

Although I was listening to their music for a few years at that time, and it was more or less the only music I listened to, it did not have a real meaning to me until then. It were just a lot of albums I happened to love. But then I got to the concert. The concert was in 1984 and it had a very huge impact on me. And I have always wondered why. Was it the fact that it was my first concert? Was it the fact that it was in a relative small space with very loud music? Or was it the music itself?

When I found all the videos on Youtube slowly I became aware of what it was, that impressed me the most.

First I thought, it was Stationary Traveller, because that is absolutely one of my favourites. Then I thought it was Lady Fantasy, because I remember very clearly that I was very surprised to hear it. They played Long Goodbyes (which has one of the most amazing guitarsolo’s at the end) and I thought the concert was over. But to my surprise the best (at that time) had yet to come. Parts of the Snow Goose and Lady Fantasy. Which was really fantastic.

But then I got the dvd. And from the very moment Pressure Points started I knew that was the one that had the most impact. On the album Stationary Traveller, Pressure Points is a relatively short track. I like it a lot, but it really is nothing compared to the live version. When I heard it again now, it immediately pulled me back in and I was totally overwhelmed. It has an inescapable sphere, it draws you in and there is no turning back.

So I realised, that there was the point where it started for me. That moment where I realised what music can do. But still, although I felt clearly what it did, I had no way of describing it in words. And it did nothing else than going on in my head, trying to find the right words. There was a connection with Preparation and Dunkirk of The Snow Goose, and there was a strong connection with the live version of Ice. 

Ice that I must have heard many times before, because I immediately recognised it when I heard the video as it was uploaded on Youtube. But it was so much more impressive now I heard the video with the live performance, it is so really is so incredible powerful and impressive. I heard someone use the word haunting. And that was exactly how I felt the impact, having a deeply disturbing effect. And that is the same I felt with Epitaph of King Crimson.

But here I did not only hear, see and feel it, my brain could also take it in. And it very much gave words to my perception of the music. Which as I see it, is a very important point in the process of the human development as an individual, but also in the process of human development as a moment in time. This moment in time.

I will try to put my thinking about that it in a more structured and (I hope) more logical blogpost, but here I first will try to describe the video of Pressure Points.

The video is from the dvd Pressure Points and it does not have the bright colours and the amazing camerawork of theMoondances dvd. Which is a pity of course, but on the other hand it does very well fit the sphere. The sphere of beautiful music in a very dense atmosphere. And somehow I just very much love that combination.

The video here starts with a sort of added story on the dvd, which all looks very dated now. But somehow it does fit the feeling of being torn apart. It is given in the form of the divided Berlin just after the second world war, and the concert was in the the time a few years before the fall of the Berlin wall. But as dated as it is, I think it is a very essential theme, not just for the world a that time, but also for each individual. The struggle between the individual autonomy and the oppression of the outside world. And about how you might want to avoid that struggle, because it is just to difficult at times to deal with.

But it is easy to just skip the intro and start with Pressure Points. It is a much extended version, much longer and much more intense than the version on the album.

The start as I feel it is a very dark drum with the extremely crying of the guitar. Very expressive and outgoing with a firm base of the drums, starting more slowly, but increasing the speed as it goes on. Then the keyboard produce an erratic and very speedy sound which seems to even further speed up the guitar and lets it produce some extra creativity.

But then the energy completely changes, and the bassguitar takes over, which gives an extremely depressing, dense but at the same time incredible beautiful atmosphere. And it definitely sets the tone for the whole piece. This goes on for a while and Andy’s guitar is only occasionally highlighted in the back ground. Then his guitar comes in more strong and more melodic, but a the same time very melancholic.

The next is a very close picture of his playing and you can just watch the searching for every next note, as if there is not direction any more, as if the rest has to be invented yet, there seems no way out of this, it is so difficult to escape from this depressive feeling because it is so mesmerizing and comforting, but at the same time there is this feeling of need for an expression. But then he seems to give up, and what you hear seems a very desperate cry, which really gives the feeling of giving in. A complete surrender, there is really no way out, there is nothing left to do then to accept.

Then the guitar stops and the keyboards take over. A real special moment as you hear the leading keyboard give a high and melodic melody, repeated again and again. But at the same time there is a very, complete opposite dark and deep sounding keyboard complementing it. And this goes on for a while, but nothing the dark and deep can do to stop thecheering melody.

Then, as if the guitar has been listening to the repeating sounds, he steps in. As he has listened and found a ground to react on. And starts to play his own melody now, perfectly backed up by the ongoing melody of the keyboard, and the bassguitar that seems to acompagny him now. 
Then the guitar seems to have found a new way of expressing himself, but this time much more in harmony with the other instruments.

What also impresses me very much here are the drums. It is also a very dense and compact sound, which also gives very much the idea of suppressive and coherent sound. And that starts already with the beginning, and it stays in the background a while and continues the rhythm, although it goes up if the guitar speeds up. But it stays quiet with the bassguitar. As if there is no need there for the drum at that time. The bassguitar seems to represent the soul that has not much volume, but sooths and is a very attractive and appealing serene sound.

And this is the music that gives a certain feeling which is similar with the live version of Ice  and King Crimson’s Epitaph. They all have it in a different way, but somehow the theme seems the same. The intensity, the inner conflict, the density, the despair and the darkness. But also the enormous power and beauty.

Somehow I see those themes also in the Snow Goose (Preparation / Dunkirk). But there it is a battle in the outside world (Dunkirk). Here with these three the battle is the inner conflict, the conflict with the use of a free will. A free will that wants to express itself and needs the space to do so. But that space is limited. There is an outside world that oppresses and limiteds. And possible to the extend that the individual gets paralysed and in despair will give up.

But the beauty of the music of Camel is that there is always a way out as it seems, an immedate shift of emotion if needed. A creative solution to any given situation. But at the same time the realisation of a world beyond the individual and take full responsibility for any conscious action. I think that was somehow the message I got when I was at that concert all those years ago.



Edited by Anthe - February 09 2009 at 15:26
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2009 at 04:15

We are beginning to touch the core of what music all about and that is Aesthetics........Its really time Im going to read some more Kant, Hegel...and yes Schopenhauer...I was wondering where this specific essay is a part of....I think I have most of Schopenhauers works.....but as far as I know his thoughts on music are more or less scattered over his works.....But the quotations you gave indeed are truly interesting...The other great philosopher that wrote considerably about music is Adorno...especially in his Aesthetic Theory...but also on his Essays on music...that are already so long on my list by now....on http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page there are alot of essays of Schopenhauer but alot of them are also published in Dutch in Parerga und Paralipomena and the second volume of The World as Will and Representation which unfortunatly both.....I have not here right now.

Music can bring you in higher spheres....change your attitude and even the way you see the world. A while ago I had a long talk aout this with one of my best friends. We both agreed that our ideasabout the state, the critical attitude towards our soceity, the thing governments do to people, fooling them around, beating around the bush......preaching hollow ideals....all communicated by massmedia, that turns us all into cardboard opersonalities that have very much idenity of our own.....We have become Sheep...we are Amused To Death....all started with the listening of Pink Floyd......In the first place because I gave Animals and Amused To Death a few spins too much...But later on I began to realize it was also a album from which I said that I never liked it and that is Dark Side Of The Moon....songs as Time or Money, I think turned me into a studious person that absoluty vulgarises any form of materialism if its not contributing to the development and awareness of what we are as human beings. So lyrics can have an enormous influence on people and the way we all see the world. And I truly believe that Roger Waters wrote them for this and only this reason alone...Now with Pink Floyd I saw that amediatly......and saw right away that he had something important to tell.....However with lots of other bands I never had this feeling...The (now clearly) apocalyptic message of Epitaph for example is not something I began to see untill I was pointed to that here and in some other ways....Often perhaps lyrics are not that direct and are most of the time cryptical...have double layers and tell something very serious while giving the impression its been told inwithin a fairytale discours. Especially the lyrics of Peter Gabriel that he wrote in his Genesis days are coming to mind here. It is going to take us years to unraffle the true meaning of this words and stories.

Now Camel is a typical band with which I never really payed my attention to the lyrics....sometimes I wonder why that is...why do you listen more to the lyrics with one band while absolutely not to the other.....id that because the vocals are not that good....Perhaps in some occasions, but Greg Lake's voice with Epitaph is absolutely bautifull and almost equally dramatic and hauting as the music itself...And Andrew's Voice is...equally beautifull....In the begindays it was often someone else that was doing the vocalparts while Andy focussed on the guitar...however...later more and more he became the prominent singer of the band as others left......often the version with him as a singer I think are often awsome, but yet I never really asked myself the question what where his lyrics were all about (with the possible exception of Harbour Of Tears ()which is quite obvious) and Rajez (that I think is refering to T.H. Lawrence and his book, the Seven Pilars Of Wisdom).....Perhaps another reason is that sometimes music is too complexand you simply don't understand what there is been told and you don't really tend to take the effort. Did anyone for example ever did a serious attempt to understand Jon Anderson's lyrics....what Takes From A Topographic Ocean is really about....I must say....this still leaves me puzzled...and in case of King Crimson....often only already the titles are so obscure that any attempt you try to make is pointless, even before you start. With titles as 'Mother Holds The Candle Steady While I Shave The Chicken's Lip.' you can only conclude that lyricwise we should not always take bands all to serious. I remember a special tour that Billy Joel did in America, which was called 'An Evening Of Questions And answers'...in this he toured universities and just took a sit on a stage and explained a song to the audience (usually the ones that were requested)... One of these has been added to his Greatest Hits 4cd box, where the 4 cd is dedicated to that)....and I still remember the last song of that cd 'The Piano Man' where someone asked him to explain this song...and it appeared that he was just describing what he saw around him....and nothing more.....and there is no deeper meaning to it.....'The regular crowd shuffles in, there is an old man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin, John is at the bar, the waitressis practicing politics, the bussiness man slowly gets stones....etc. So sometimes we tend to believe there is more to it than writers tend to believe.....they wrote this in a specific state of mind....and can't recall that specific state.....And have no idea why especially this did make him so famous.....

The other reason I think, and that one is much more asumable in my opinion is that....sometimes music is so extremely overwelming (or a certain instrument) that it is pushing everything else to the background. In case of Camel this is in my opinion the case....The guitar sometimes (I already gave the example of Irish Air before) is so extremely overblowing that everything else fades........With King Crimson the same effect is achieved by the Mellotron....and in many ways the same can be said of Genesis in the early days...The guitarsound of Camel often leaves you completely devastated and I think....simply because Andy is one with his music and has a talent to squeeze that one extremely emotional note out of his guitar and then one after the other....perhaps a note that is rarely been touched by others, or lesser high.......let the notes sing longer......or they inhale lesser deep......neither way it gives indeed a very specific sound that you can only find with Camel..........and it makes especially this music....so touching....
 
I also liked your idea of comparing Lady Fantasy wuith a small symphony.....that is indeed interesting...the middle part is very slow.....and can be seen as the Adagio and so on....I think you can make this comparative with alot of other songs...or perhaps even alot of songs as Ice for example rather is a complete Adagio.
 
When I read what you wrote about Pressure Points and the live version.......I listened very carefully to the live version and the moment where the music slows down...only bass is left where Andy is jaming over......WOW!!!!!
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2009 at 10:06

Daniel, I was writing a response to your post, which was getting long and not very structured, when I looked up Adorno on Wikipedia, as I had I never heard of him. Wow, does he have some interesting things to say about individualism, creativity, potential and manipulation of taste.

And when I searched further I found what seems to be the essence of this Aesthetic theory. Very, very interesting. I do not totally get it yet, but I have the feeling it says what I was trying to write down in a very chaotic way.  

 "Adorno asserts the 'priority of the object in art', or what is called a materialist aesthetic, in contrast to the idealist aesthetic of Kant which privileges the subject over the object. For Kant, the experience of art is a product of the perceptions of the subject. For Adorno, the art object and the aesthetic experience of the art object contain a truth-content. Truth-content is a cognitive content 'which is not exhausted either by the subjective intentions of its producers or by the subjective responses of its consumers', and that may be revealed through analysis. Whereas Kant conceives of beauty as a subjective experience, Adorno suggests that beauty mediates between subject and object. Beauty is contained in the cognitive or truth-content of works of art. As Adorno writes in Aesthetic Theory: 'All beauty reveals itself to persistent analysis'. But works of art 'are not merely inert objects, valued or known by the subject; rather, they have themselves a subjective moment because they are themselves cognitive'. It is in the shared experience of object and subject, the joint analysis, that beauty is revealed."

Whole article here: http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Adorno.html

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2009 at 03:05
Kind of getting back to the initial thread, sorry not derailing what is said above, I agree ' Lunar Sea' is very much like a conceptual ' Snow Goose" all on it's own. It is almost like a mini concept album within Moonmadness, the lunar droning soundscapes fading out...incredible stuff! I am referring more to the studio work, sorry about that. I would agree that ' Spirit of the Water' , possibly Barden's finest two minutes and ' Airborn' are vintage songs. Doug Ferguson's bass on this song was seldom eclipsed. So was Moonmadness showing Camel as their peak, creatively speaking? Probably so BUT I would suggest that ' First light' from Rain Dances even stretched their creative peak further. The album suffered ever so slightly after that....how could any song improve on the first track.
 
I need to see more Camel live work on DVD, the master CD re-releases shed more light but a particulalry great live album is ' Gods Of Light; especially " God of Light Revisited" and the reliable ' Arubaluba'. Great to see this thread so alive and some interesting theories outthereSmile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2009 at 02:36
Originally posted by Chris Stacey Chris Stacey wrote:

So was Moonmadness showing Camel as their peak, creatively speaking? Probably so BUT I would suggest that ' First light' from Rain Dances even stretched their creative peak further.

Personally I do indeed think that Moonmadness was their creative highlight, but then I am referring mainly to the Moonmadness concert as I watched it on the dvd Moondances. I think it was an absolute perfect reflection of their creativity at that time, in that setting.

But I also think that the dvd Coming of Age is another absolute highlight, which was the result of a process of years, starting with Raindances.

The concert Raindances is also on the dvd Moondances and it is just absolutely sensational to see the difference between the two concerts on that dvd. There is only one year in between but it is really totally different. Where one is confident, powerful, coherent and strong, but at the same time sensitive and perceiving, seems the other in everything the opposite (although also amazing to watch). And I am mainly talking about the live performance here, because I do not think I ever heard the album Raindances as a whole. And as it seems that album is for some really a highlight, which I can totally see. It is just so totally different, especially the working together as a band. But I do think that it was the basic of something that finally would grow into something like Harbour of Tears and a concert like Coming of Age.

When I got that dvd a few weeks ago I was mainly fixed on what I already knew, and Harbour of Tears itself sounded a bit odd to me at first. But I heard it a few times now and I think it is absolutely fantastic. But I think it just has to be listened to as a whole. It are really not seperate tracks (although there are a few that I just had to listen to a whole lot of times in a row for a while, one was Under the Moon, it is less than 2 minutes but I listened to that for more than an hour, I think it is just so very moving). But I think it all fits so perfectly well together, it is as one ongoing movement, going from one emotion into another with no effort as it seems.

But the fact that I am mainly fixed on the dvd's is that I just need to see things. I need to see what instrument is playing, who is playing it and I just need to see facial expressions and body language. Well, I all have to see that in order to understand it and make it into a story myself.

It really amazed me to read all the reviews here that could describe all those albums. Before I watched the dvd's it actually just were sounds to me that I happened to like a lot. But I had really no idea what was what. Maybe that just needs practise, or maybe it is the difference between men and women, or maybe it is the difference that some are better in perceiving audial (is that the word) and others in visual.

Funny by the way that you seem to mention a few that I hardly know. I listened again to Arubaluba and I actually like it a lot. God of Light I never heard so I went looking. I did not find it yet, but got totally distracted by some of Rajaz, especially Lawrence. Boy do I want that album now.

But it is also special that you mention the bass of Ferguson. Somehow that is one of those sounds that I never really noticed. But lately I am more and more noticing how important that is in what I like so much about Camel. But again, in order to be aware of that, I just have to see it first. Strange maybe for others, especially on a music forum.



Edited by Anthe - March 07 2009 at 09:52
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2009 at 02:24

At last I got another blogpost done, this time about the timeline of the band, after trying to get one about Ice and one about Dust and Dreams. Enough drafts so far but nothing that makes much sense yet. This one is as I see the development of the band until the concert Coming of Age

http://www.camellive.com/2009/03/evolution-of-the-band

One of the most remarkable things about Camel, is their evolution over time. In the early 70s the name Camel was chosen by the four members of the band, Peter Bardens (keyboard), Doug Ferguson (bass), Andy Ward (drums) and Andrew Latimer (guitar). In that setting they made four albums, the first one called Camel, a good debute album, but not yet a coherent whole. The second, Mirage was already more structured and had just a few, but rather long tracks. The next album was their first concept album which was based on a book by Paul Gallico. The Snow Goose is their most famous album which they performed live with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1975.

The next and at the same time last album in this setting was Moonmadness. Moonmadness was released in 1976 and the tour they did was recorded and, just recently, released on the dvd Moondances. That dvd featured their strength in that setting, where they played truly amazing, confident, strong and breathtaking some of their best work at that time. They were very good together as they each had their role. The sound was very coherent and all seemed to work just perfectly together. One song transforms into another as if it was one ongoing movement, even if they were from separate albums (Mirage, The Snow Goose and Moonmadness). A true highlight and amazing to watch, with the stunning camerawork (especially Lunar Sea and Lady Fantasy) and fantastic bright colours in a dark background.

But at the same time it was the end of that setting. After that tour, the bassist Doug Ferguson would leave the band. And they would start a new road as a band. On the next five albums (Raindances, Breathless, I can see your house from here, Nude, The Single Factor)  appeared many musicians. Some of them just played on the albums, while others also went on tour.

And the sound was very different at times, one album better than the other, but all of them had some very good tracks which contained the characteristic emotions, expressions, structure and tight playing of the band. And while they were touring, which they did a lot, they also played their older songs which evolved as they changed settings.

The next coherent setting was at the same time their last for a long time. It was the Pressure Points tour with the promotion of the album Stationary Traveller in 1984. Which was very much in line with the phase of the band. After that tour it all would more or less fall apart and not until the early 90s before it would rise again in a new and independent form. But Pressure Points itself was a very strong and fascinating concert. The members at that time were Ton Scherpenzeel (keyboard), Colin Bass (bass), Andrew Latimer (guitar, flute, vocals), Chris Rainbow (vocals) and Paul Burgess (drums).

If the timeline of the band would be compared with a symphony, this concert could be called the adagio. And the track Stationary Traveller the centre of that adagio. It gives the feeling of a journey that is forced to contemplate and reflect to come to the conclusion that independence is needed, but at the same time the realisation of the responsibility that comes with that. In there I hear the inescapable struggle and darkness but at the same time amazing beauty and strength, which is reflected in the whole concert.

So the next phase is that of a band independent of the pressure of record companies. The first album in that phase is Dust and Dreams which perfectly reflects their development. The central theme of the album appears to be the energy that is needed to start this whole new phase, together with the overwhelming struggle of life. The band at that point had some remaining members along with new ones but the feeling of the sound, although new in a way, still had the same power and melancholic beauty.

But the band did not stop evolving as is clearly shown in the Coming of Age concert in 1997. During that concert, in the second half, they played the whole of their album Harbour of Tears. That album was another concept album and there the strength of the tracks being more a part of the whole. All emotions seem to pass in less than an hour, follow each other in such a natural way. Latimers guitar sounds so very powerful but he just perfectly knows how to handle it and places every use at just the right place.

But before that, in the first half of the concert, they played ’some old favourites’ of which some where just unbelievably fantastic. Some where better (in my opinion of course) in their other concerts, but some where just so very good here. Drafted, Docks and Beached from the album Nude, and also Hymn to Her from the album ‘I can see your house from here’. But best of all, also from that album, was Ice. That is performed here in a way that is beyond words, so really very good. I was trying to get a blog post done about that video, but I just could not get into words what happens here. I will keep trying, but am not sure it will be possible to find the right words for that.

I am also trying to get a blogpost done about the album Dust and Dreams because I was so very moved by the book and the movie where the album is based on, The Grapes of Wrath. Reading a character analysis of Tom, the main character of the novel, I was really fascinated by his development during the story and found some interesting similarities with Rhayader, the main character of The Snow Goose.



Edited by Anthe - March 24 2009 at 04:03
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2009 at 02:32
Originally posted by Anthe Anthe wrote:

The next and at the same time last album in this setting was Moonmadness. Moonmadness was released in 1976 and the tour they did was recorded and, just recently, released on the dvd Moondances. That dvd featured their strength in that setting, where they played truly amazing, confident, strong and breathtaking some of their best work at that time. They were very good together as they each had their role. The sound was very coherent and all seemed to work just perfectly together. One song transforms into another as if it was one ongoing movement, even if they were from separate albums. A true highlight and amazing to watch, especially with the stunning camerawork and fantastic bright colours.

I'm a pretty dedicated Camel fan, but I found the Moonmadness tour part of Moondances to be pretty disappointing. And why? Because of the lazy camerawork and dark colours. I don't think I saw Doug Ferguson in a close up for one second, sometimes I got a quick glance at him when they were shooting Andy Ward. But yeah, the songs are of course brilliant. The Rain Dances era gig is filmed so much better.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2009 at 06:13
Originally posted by Keppa4v Keppa4v wrote:

 
I'm a pretty dedicated Camel fan, but I found the Moonmadness tour part of Moondances to be pretty disappointing. And why? Because of the lazy camerawork and dark colours. I don't think I saw Doug Ferguson in a close up for one second, sometimes I got a quick glance at him when they were shooting Andy Ward. But yeah, the songs are of course brilliant. The Rain Dances era gig is filmed so much better.

Yes, I think I can see what you mean. And I agree about the dark colours. But what I personally like so much about that, is the centre which often has one bright colour at the time. So then there is a close up of eg the arm of Peter Bardens playing and that part is one colour while the surrounding is almost invisible because it is just dark. And it is also often done with the drums. They have one or just a few colours at the time and the surrounding is again dark. 

And it never gives an overview of what is happening, the camera switches from spot to spot as it seems. So I can totally see why anyone would prefere the other concert on the dvd, because that indeed is so much more visable as a totality. 

But personally I just love the way they filmed this one. Especially some parts like in Lunar Sea where the camera is zooming out and you get a great view on Latimers playing, a sort of reflection in the drums, a mix of images and colours. Or several times with Lady Fantasy with breathtaking close ups and images and colours strangely mixed up all the time, especially near the end. I so much like how they did that, just amazing. 

But I also think it is a real pity that Doug Ferguson is hardly visible. If you didn’t know better you would think there were just three musicians. I guess that is especially because of the darkness that surrounds the highlighted centre each time. 

Well, maybe it is kind of like the difference between an abstract and a realistic painting, where you might prefer one above the other, something like that. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2009 at 03:08

The are some new released of old Camel albums announced. Following are the travklists of these new versions. And........as it seems....there will be a live version of Air Born included in the new version of Moondances.

Camel albums in nieuw jasje

Er komen binnenkort deluxe versies op de markt van de albums ”Music Inspired By The Snowgoose” en “Moonmadness” van de prog grootheid Camel.  Tevens kun je een expanded versie van “Raindances” tegemoet zien. De nieuwe uitgaven worden rijkelijk voorzien van live-opnamen. Deze versies worden alle uitgebracht door Universal Music.

Andrew Latimers eerste concert

The Snowgoose (disc 1)
1. The Great Marsh
2. Rhayader
3. Rhayader Goes To Town
4. Sanctuary
5. Fritha
6. The Snow Goose
7. Friendship
8. Migration
9. Rhayader Alone
10. Flight Of The Snow Goose
11. Preparation
12. Dunkirk
13. Epitaph
14. Fritha Alone
15. La Princesse Perdue
16. The Great Marsh - Instrumental Reprise Version
17. Flight Of The Snow Goose - Instrumental Single Edit
18. Rhayader - Instrumental Single Edit
19. Rhayader Goes To Town - ‘Live At The Marquee’ Instrumental Version
20. The Snow Goose/Freefall - ‘Live At The Marquee’ Instrumental Version

The Snowgoose - BBC Radio One ‘In Concert’ (disc2)
1. Rhayader Goes To Town
2. Sanctuary
3. The Snow Goose
4. Migration
5. Rhayader Alone
6. Flight Of The Snow Goose
7. Preparation
8. Dunkirk
9. Epitaph
10. La Princesse Perdue
11. The Great Marsh
12. Selections from The Snow Goose - BBC TV ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’

Moonmadness (disc 1)
1. Aristillus (Instrumental Version)
2. Song Within A Song
3. Chord Change (Instrumental Version)
4. Spirit Of The Water
5. Another Night (Album Version)
6. Air Born
7. Lunar Sea (Instrumental Studio Version)
8. Another Night (Single Version)
9. Spirit Of The Water (Demo Version)
10. Lunar Sea (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon)

Moonmadness (disc 2)
1. Song Within A Song Live At The Hammersmith Odeon
2. Excerpt From The Snow Goose (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon)
3. Air Born (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
4. Chord Change (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
5. The White Rider (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
6. Preparation/Dunkirk (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon Instrumental Version)
7. Another Night (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)
8. Lady Fantasy (Live At Hammersmith Odeon)

Raindances
1. First Light
2. Metrognome
3. Tell Me
4.  Highways Of The Sun
5. Unevensong
6. One Of These Days I’ll Get An Early Night
7. Elke
8. Skylines
9. Rain Dances
10. Highways Of The Sun (Single Version)
11. First Light (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)
12. Metrognome (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)
13. Unevensong (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)
14. Skylines (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)
15. Highways Of The Sun (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)
16. One Of These Days I’ll Get An Early Night (BBC “Sight & Sound” In Concert)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 29 2009 at 06:13

Thanks for the links, great to see there are so many live recordings on it. I see on disc 2 of the Snow Goose the excerpts by the Old Grey Whistle Test. I love those!

In my email notification of this post (strange, not here) I saw the link to Progwereld, but it did not work. I still got there by the homepage http://www.progwereld.org  Great site btw. 

So it seems that they did Air Born also live in the Hammersmith Odeon. Hope indeed that it will also get on the new dvd version, and that they will also get Song within a Song and Spirit of the Water on it, well at best the whole concert of course.

The cd from Raindances might be the same one that is also on that dvd, I think that was from the BBC concert Sight and Sound as well.   

Edit: link was not working so I changed into the homepage. 



Edited by Anthe - April 08 2009 at 16:54
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2009 at 16:45

Much to my surprise I found the Deluxe Editions of The Snow Goose and Moonmadness and the Remastered Raindances on Deezer to listen for free. As I was not sure how legal that was, I looked at Wikipedia but it seems that Deezer has an agreement with Universal in some way.

But one moment the albums are clickable and the next moment they are not. Now it seems that you have to be logged in to be able to listen to them, while other albums are also available if you are not logged in.

Anyway I have listened to all of them now and am especially surprised with the BBC recordings of the Snow Goose. That sounds very special, sort of with an echo. Very prominent guitar and very clean somehow.

And further I am very glad to hear Air Born live on the Moonmadness album. And other tracks that are not on the Moondances dvd.

And it is for the first time I heard the album Raindances, more jazzy than prog but also great to hear.

Well, all in all many hours of Camel while working on the computer!

This is the link (hope it works) and it are the first 3 albums. http://www.deezer.com/en#music/artist/12826

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2009 at 17:12
^ yes.. I've read of these sites.   The counterattack against illegal downloading....  it is legal... the companies are getting paid everytime you download something from my understanding.  Ads supposedly pay for it... enjoy it while you can. Several have already gone under... google ads don't put Ferrari's in artist's driveways...  charging $20 for a $3 piece of silicon or whatever a CD is made of does. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2009 at 03:37
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

the companies are getting paid everytime you download something from my understanding.  Ads supposedly pay for it

I was indeed wondering how that works, but somehow it is, what is called, streaming music. So you just play it without downloading. Earlier I thought there was a possibility to also download, but I do not see that now anymore.

Maybe that is the whole idea then, that you get to the site everytime you want to listen to the music and see the adds.

But the collection on Deezer is really huge. Pink Floyd for one has more than 30 albums there, although on some there are just a few tracks.

But it got me really wondering how it works, how legal and ethical it all is.  

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