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Symphonic in the 00's, an advantage or a handicap?

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moshkito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Symphonic in the 00's, an advantage or a handicap?
    Posted: January 12 2013 at 14:43
Originally posted by zumacraig

symp in the 00s is finally paying off, I think.  digital sounds of vintage instruments has reached an apex and artists can still make good music.  the problem, however, is production and mastering. ...
 
I'm not sure that the production and mastering are the issues.
 
Being that this whole technology is so NEW, I am not sure that we can yet have a reasonable concensus for another 20 to 30 to 40 years, before we stop thinking that one is this and the other isn't.
 
Again, this is a transitional time period for the arts, and music ... and the technological advances help add/subtract a lot of things to the music ... I mean, it's difficult for an orchestra to do a sequencer thing ... but a synthesizer can do this with one click! ... and that makes for a different musical sense that will take years to settle down, and learn how to control and use ... within a context that makes it more interesting ... than just meandering.
 
The question is ... will Tony Banks be composing ditties and 3 minute pieces and lose his "talent" and many of the little things that helped him become famous as a part of Genesis? ... or Keith Emerson? And we won't really know this, or determine it so, until a long time after they leave us ... mostly because we never accept new artists (in any discipline!) unless they are the top ten variety, most of which will never be remembered because they did NOT offer the history of the art anything important ... and sales will not be a determining factor 100 years from now ... no one will sit here and discuss Elton John ... other than ... nice songwriter (the word "poet" will likely be forgotten by then!) ...
 
In the end, the technology has grown UNBELIEVABLY fast ... to be able to get a good determination ... violins took 200 years to get cleared up and cleaned up, and now you can get the synthetic violins that sound even better and cleaner than a Strat! It's just time we get caught up with the technology!
 
Remember that for many years ... there was no "technology" the way we know it ... all instruments were ACCOUSTIC ... and thus the music history had depended on the notes and the staff ... electricity changed all that ... plain and simple!
 
Give it some time!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Prog_Traveller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2013 at 21:14
[QUOTE

another issue is that these bands have just got to bite the bullet and tour and tour and tour if they want to get popular. there is absolutely no reason Neal Morse, Flower Kings etc not to draw crowds like dream theater or steven wilson.  
[/QUOTE]

It's not that simple although I agree with you that there's no reason TFK, GH, IQ, SB etc can not be as big as PT or DT. The thing is this though: DT and PT/SW got in through the back door so to speak. In other words the metal crowd discovered them. For SB, TFK etc the trick is to promote themselves in other circles besides just prog circles. They should look to classic rock magazine and not just the PROG affiliate. Touring is all well and good but it becomes a catch twenty two. They can't tour a lot because they have day jobs so they don't have the time. So I say they have to get the word out in other ways.

I myself did my part. I was on the promotions team for Progday for two years plus I contacted SiriusXM radio and told them to play the FLower Kings. I never heard them on their prog show. Two weeks later they played the latest TFK album. Coincidence? I doubt it.


Edited by Prog_Traveller - January 11 2013 at 21:15
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2013 at 15:10
symp in the 00s is finally paying off, I think.  digital sounds of vintage instruments has reached an apex and artists can still make good music.  the problem, however, is production and mastering.  i can't believe i have to say this, yet again, but one of the main reasons the classic bands sound so good is because they are produced so well.  warm analog sound, drums are dry and phat, guitars and bass up front.  not to mention, dynamics were good.  hell, even with the gated drums the early marillion albums were produced well.  it can and should be done.  for some reason, symphprog just adopted the hair band cheese production and just stuck with it...it's gotten a bit better.  spock's beard always had better. warmer production.  it's just that morse is a cheese ball.  that's another story.  Transatlantic's Whirlwind was a great example of what modern production could be.

another issue is that these bands have just got to bite the bullet and tour and tour and tour if they want to get popular. there is absolutely no reason Neal Morse, Flower Kings etc not to draw crowds like dream theater or steven wilson.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Thandrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2013 at 06:09
Just have a listen to Little Tragedies - Chinese Songs 1 & 2 and then tell, how it could be anything but advantage!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2012 at 07:59
Hi,
 
I would like to make the suggestion that the title asks a question that is kinda getting lost in the translation and loads of comments.
 
In essence it is NEITHER an advantage or a handicap ... !!!! It is a TRANSITION for the orchestral/symphonic days of 100 years ago.
 
The number of folks for symphonic and orchestral works has diminished severely for 100 years, and it is now down to one person or two (if that) ... and this is a new dawn of composition and music design ... that we're seeing. How it implements in the future is another story and good conjecture that is fun to discuss ... but 100 years ago, Genesis or ELP would not be able to do what they do, or did ... but today it is possible, and you don't know, or think, any better or worse, for its symphonic, or orchestral appeal and design.  Their work, to me, is the literature, the music and the art, of the time period in life and human history. They are remembered, no different than the same way that many were 500 years ago, or 400 years ago, or 300 years ago.  And I think that we just need to see it from a longer (time sequence) perspective, that would help understand that process better.
 
It is only a handicap, for the person that can not compose, or create a piece, with 30 lines on a music staff!  And most rock musicians can not compose! ... they can create a riff and some parts of it, but not complete it. And melody, is but a part of a bigger picture in music!
 
It is a serious advantage for the crazy nook, neek, and geek, that will create 42 lines on a staff with the weirdest array of instruments to rival all ideas out there ... !!! because too many composers only do "rock'n'roll", "jazz", or some other bs out there ... instead ... of music!
 
Tomorrow, it will be different.
 
Time moves on ... it's a new day ... and tomorrow, yet another day ... it's neither a hindrance or an advantage or a handicap ... the earth still turns around and if the clouds are not hanging around, you might see the sun, or not see the sun! And if it is different, and the sky is red or black for 3 days, or 4 or 5 ... you're already dead!


Edited by moshkito - December 31 2012 at 08:09
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2012 at 02:27
Interesting comments Sussex Bowler. I would recommend Glass Hammer to you. I love ELP , Yes and Genesis like most prog fans and GH are admittedly very heavily influenced by those aforementioned bands but they do retain a lot of their own uniqueness as well and there is a warmth in their music that sometimes goes missing in symphonic prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sussexbowler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 10:53
This is an interesting topic. 'Symphonic' Prog (as it is now known) is my favourite type of music, and I have been aware that perhaps it is dying.
Points like "Why should the type of sound continue today" are infact very valid, but of course disappointing to someone who likes the genre.
I wonder if 'Symphonic' Prog suffers because it's too difficult or because it probably fails to make money for the artist.
It's a sobering thought that a 2012 Flower Kings concert can be only half full, whilst a Genesis tribute band can sell out a venue of the same size!
There's no doubt that the 'Neo prog' bands tried to take the Gabrielesque formula forward, but all ended up sounding like a Fish fronted Marillion.
Since Marillion decided to stop doing Prog you could say that the genre's been in freefall...
Occasionally, someone hits the mark (thankfully), but unless you have shed loads of the aforementioned money to shell out on experimentation, it's a hard genre to follow...
'The wake', by IQ is good, 'Subterranea' was, though the last time I heard it it sounded dated.
Pallas could have had the sound that a Steve Hackett inspired Genesis were heading for - listen to 'East West' from their album 'The Sentinel'. Nothing else on that album is like it.
Pallas maybe peaked with 'The dreams of men', 'XXV' was a disaster.
Galahad are still there. 'Empires never last' is excellent, and there are some good songs by them leading up to that album. 'Battlescars' again, was a disaster, but 'Beyond the shroud of euphoria' is a great release.
The Flower kings came good with 'Adam and Eve', 'Paradise Hotel' and 'The sum of all evil' but then went on hold!
Steve Hackett still has his moments. His good can be good, but his bad can be bad...
'Genesis revisited' was great. Version two was poor, almost like a 'tribute' album.
All this is of course only my opinion, so it's certain that you might not agree!
I'm always looking for more, but trying things can become an expensive lottery.
Of course there are other types of music that I'll like, but 'Symphonic' Prog is 'home' to me, something that I'm most comfortable with.
The old stuff still sounds great, but I'm not happy resting on my laurels, I'll always need new material.
Perhaps it IS out of date. Life itself has created the difficulties of it continuing. But I appreciate people continuing to make such music, And I appreciate it very much, actually.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote King Crimson776 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 00:45
Originally posted by HackettFan

@Gallifrey:
This is all well and good. I don't begrudge you your tastes, appreciate the band recommendations, and agree with you about Dream Theater. I myself have always listened to other things over the years, such as Zappa or Henry Kaiser, who are definitely not Symphonic Prog.   The problem I'm having is that the direction of the discussion in it's outward appearance is focused on genre as if that's the only kind of innovation that can be made. I don't know if it's intended that way. If someone ushers in a new genre, they deserve kudos (perhaps), but I'm also I interested in new timbres, new approaches to phrasing, new playing techniques, new scales, new arrangements, new approaches to rhythm, new math, new... Whether this is done in one genre or another (Symphonic Prog included) is something to be openminded about, I think.

Exactly. Well put. I find decently original modern bands in symphonic as much as say, avant-prog (and much more than in prog metal or Radiohead-ish alterna-prog slop ("new prog")... and much more than in basic modern pop music. It's even hard for completely free/avant music to be original at this point in history, so the expectation you people have here is just goofy). To name just a few (outside of the obvious Transatlantic, SB, Morse, TFK, Echolyn, IQ, Pär Lindh Project, Anglagard etc. and the best-known veterans that continued past the 80's like Hackett, Camel, Keith Emerson Band, etc.):

After Crying, Big Big Train, Ciccada, Rocket Scientists, Isildurs Bane, Holding Pattern, Glass Hammer, Versus X, Sunchild, Asturias, Tempano, Nick Magnus (of the Enid), Proto-Kaw, The Box, Outer Limits, Gerard, Kotebel, Anekdoten (early) / Morte Macabre, Pallas (late), Thieves' Kitchen, Minimum Vital, Apple Pie, Moth Vellum, Frost* (neo style production, but mostly symphonic composition), La Maschera di Cera / Finisterre / Aries, Lady Lake (older band but with amazing 2005 album, their best), Cast, Luca Scherani, Nick May, 5bridgeS, Izz, Unitopia, Advent, Amagrama, White Willow (at times prog folk), Karnataka, Cairo, Discipline, Sky Architect, oG Musique (possibly, don't remember quite), The Watch, TEE, Knight Area, Time Traveller, Khatsaturjan, Il Bacio Della Medusa, Simon Says, Barock Project, La Coscienza di Zeno, Nemo (in parts), Solaris, Devil Doll, Kenso (some), Mr. Sirius... I suppose one could count Yezda Urfa's '89 album even. The 80's weren't completely blank, but here I am going loosely with 90's and after.

Also, much of VdGG and GG is symphonic. "Eclectic prog" is a joke, and exists only because PA doesn't use multiple tags like RateYourMusic does.


Edited by King Crimson776 - December 28 2012 at 01:01
"It's music, and I like it" - Miles Davis on Sketches of Spain
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2012 at 00:23
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.
GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good. As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed

 Thanks for the recommendations. I think I will give that Pallas album a go.
No problem my friend. Let me know what you think. The opening track is brilliant and INVINCIBLE is got a lot of power and feeling. There is a few really great build ups in that song. I think you'll love it. You know your Neo prog, so you are definitely honna pick up on the greatness of those tracks. :)



 

Yep you are bang on right. I should have picked up on it earlier as its Pallas highest rated album on PA and easy to understand why.Powerfull modern neo prog with strong symphonic elements.I like the scope of the music which feels cimematic.Approve 


It is their best album. Their latest effort is good, but not the same level of quality of sound arrangements and I like the original vocalist on DREAMS way better. Anyway. Glad you liked it. Just had that sense you would. Talk to you later Richard.
Belhold the power and gift of BEARD! As Damian Wilson sports a beard now his voice somehow got even better than it already was. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 22:55
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes


...Switchfoot is pretty good, too.


I agree. Legend of Chin still surprises me with its progginess. The jazzy riff at the end of "Edge of my Seat," the tritones in "Ode to Chin" ...Nothing is Sound and Oh! Gravity! are pretty nice too. Switchfoot is what got me into music. I don't like them as much as I used to, but I still appreciate them for what they are: a mainstream rock band who actually does something interesting with their music and have thought-provoking lyrics.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 22:10
Originally posted by Polymorphia

Mainstream rock and classic rock were exactly the kind of stuff I was into back then (Switchfoot was my favorite band for a long time). The only band out of the ordinary that I liked was Radiohead.

To be fair though, Octahedron is probably a better suggestion. Too, I had heard lots of jazz and jazz fusion growing up because of my dad and my brother, though I didn't actively listen to it. I also knew a bit about theory.


The theory and jazz stuff probably helped.  It just depends on the person and their tastes (realized or unrealized), really.

Switchfoot is pretty good, too.
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 20:18
Mainstream rock and classic rock were exactly the kind of stuff I was into back then (Switchfoot was my favorite band for a long time). The only band out of the ordinary that I liked was Radiohead.

To be fair though, Octahedron is probably a better suggestion. Too, I had heard lots of jazz and jazz fusion growing up because of my dad and my brother, though I didn't actively listen to it. I also knew a bit about theory.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 18:15
^Deloused is accessible only for certain kinds of listeners.  Those who have a background in hardcore/post hardcore punk or progressive rock will be inclined to appreciate it, and some alt rock lovers might, but I don't know that I would start there if I were a classic rock fan who liked some mainstream modern bands.  Octahedron is their most accessible album and one of their best, so that would be a good place to start.  Noctourniquet, also, is very electronic/alternative rock influenced, so he may enjoy that, but it can be tiring to listen to as it's very wall-of-sound-y and is very long.
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 09:12
Deloused by TMV is actually pretty accessible. At least, when I heard it I didn't notice anything weird. In fact, it was the first prog album I ever owned.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2012 at 02:44
TMV is an interesting choice. I don't think though he's after something thats so 'out there'. Rush is also an interesting choice. He should already know about Radiohead but I will check the next time I see him. Sigur Ros ...mmm not sure. The other names I'm not familiar with at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2012 at 22:25
Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


He might like some modern Rush.  Counterparts, Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows, and Clockwork Angels all have both classic and alternative rock elements.


There are plenty of artists making good and interesting music these days. My personal favorites are Radiohead, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Midlake, The Dodos, Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, and Fleet Foxes. For him, specifically, you could suggest The Mars Volta.


I would have him start somewhere a little less, um, insane before jumping right to TMV
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2012 at 18:23
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


He might like some modern Rush.  Counterparts, Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows, and Clockwork Angels all have both classic and alternative rock elements.


There are plenty of artists making good and interesting music these days. My personal favorites are Radiohead, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Midlake, The Dodos, Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, and Fleet Foxes. For him, specifically, you could suggest The Mars Volta.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2012 at 15:59
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Polymorphia

Originally posted by richardh


...

You might find it quite amusing that I had a conversation with my 16 year old Nephew recently and he was bemoaning the lack of good current music and how everything is the same now. He likes the Foo Fighters but also has a taste for classic seventies rock. I feel a bit sorry for him really. I couldn't suggest anything much other than Muse's latest album. He likes them but its not a lot to go on really.

 
I'm surprised that you didn't suggest anything but Muse. Confused
Off the top of my head I was struggling to think of anything else


He might like some modern Rush.  Counterparts, Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows, and Clockwork Angels all have both classic and alternative rock elements.
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2012 at 09:18
Neither.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2012 at 09:05
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

^ never really liked Pallas. Saw them play live about 10 years ago at a prog festival and there were a group of fans in front of the stage going absolutely bananas for them while the rest wondered why. One of those bands that divide opinion I presume. I only recently bought my first Galahad album (the live double). Still digesting it. They seem a bit 'second division' compared to IQ and Marillion (and Arena) imo.
GALAHAD. their sound maybe hit or miss if you are a hardcore fan of Neo prog in general. They boarder along Dream Theater sound territory sometimes and that may discourage some people because too many bands today, especially in prog metal try to take after DT. I am a huge fan of dt, but I don't want to hear traces of their musical style in everything I listen to in the prog metal/Neo prog genres. No thanks. Galahad is a quality prog band that has an evolutionized symphonic prog sound. I do give them respect. EMPIRES, YEAR ZERO and BATTLE SCARS are quite good. As for Pallas. Again. These guys a huge enigma. They have some brilliant albums and some terrible ones. Their latest effort was not as wonderful sounding as their previous effort DREAMS OF MEN, which in my opinion is a masterpiece and a truly remarkable showing of how symphonic prog has really evolved. Great example. They even include some choir orchestrations in the music as well. Very nice touch. Give that a spin in you can ASAP. I don't think you will be Dissapointed

 Thanks for the recommendations. I think I will give that Pallas album a go.


No problem my friend. Let me know what you think. The opening track is brilliant and INVINCIBLE is got a lot of power and feeling. There is a few really great build ups in that song. I think you'll love it. You know your Neo prog, so you are definitely honna pick up on the greatness of those tracks. :)
 
Yep you are bang on right. I should have picked up on it earlier as its Pallas highest rated album on PA and easy to understand why.Powerfull modern neo prog with strong symphonic elements.I like the scope of the music which feels cimematic.Approve 
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