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HackettFan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2012 at 21:51
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:


Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:


Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Most prog is heavily influenced by the Romantic composers whose music strongly communicated a passing of time. Many prog artists combine actual storytelling with this aesthetic effect, which may cause one to associate the psychological time aspect with the folklore or image of an artist. Take Yes as an example. "Close to the Edge" conveys a passage of time and change of setting, yet the lyrics are abstract and introspective leading the listener to conclude the song is about a big personal change. "Close to the Edge" refers to being close to a huge "self-discovery," as Jon Anderson puts it.Or take an example of the opposite. Classical composer Olivier Messiaen wrote music that "suspended" psychological time, so to speak. His works were mainly religious and the suspension of psychological time was used to communicate eternity. Almost all of his music was this way.

This is really a good point. Some of the classical influences that some classical Prog musicians had could be at the heart of their interest in storytelling. It's nice to be able to connect the dots like this. For myself, I'm a very casual listener of classical music. I don't know much about one period versus another. Maybe I'll pay better attention now. Is modern Prog influenced in the same way by Romantic composers? Or are they influenced just by earlier classic Prog itself? Have they brought any storytelling sensibility into the fray, or has that fallen by the wayside?
Not sure about much modern symph or neo. Haven't listened enough to either to make a conclusion. Most of the artists in modern prog I have listened to extensively don't usually contain those aspects. Radiohead, who are avid fans of Messiaen, notably tend to follow his tendencies with the suspension of psychological time, particularly with Kid A and King of Limbs. The Mars Volta have a slight story telling element, but its not as present as in Yes' or Genesis' music. Usually, the "jammier" bands like TMV, Pink Floyd, and Can, are this way.
I think TMV actually has a very strong narrative element in their music (even in works that aren't technically "concept albums," like Octahedron).  The stories just sometimes get lost because the lyrics are so incomprehensible.  The Bedlam In Goliath, for example, is a complex story which chronicles the band's encounter with the occult while also serving as a metaphor for the oppression of women in the Middle East.  But the lyrics make so little sense that it hurts your head just to read them!

Interesting, I'm checking them out on YouTube.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2012 at 22:26
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Most prog is heavily influenced by the Romantic composers whose music strongly communicated a passing of time. Many prog artists combine actual storytelling with this aesthetic effect, which may cause one to associate the psychological time aspect with the folklore or image of an artist. Take Yes as an example. "Close to the Edge" conveys a passage of time and change of setting, yet the lyrics are abstract and introspective leading the listener to conclude the song is about a big personal change. "Close to the Edge" refers to being close to a huge "self-discovery," as Jon Anderson puts it.Or take an example of the opposite. Classical composer Olivier Messiaen wrote music that "suspended" psychological time, so to speak. His works were mainly religious and the suspension of psychological time was used to communicate eternity. Almost all of his music was this way.

This is really a good point. Some of the classical influences that some classical Prog musicians had could be at the heart of their interest in storytelling. It's nice to be able to connect the dots like this. For myself, I'm a very casual listener of classical music. I don't know much about one period versus another. Maybe I'll pay better attention now. Is modern Prog influenced in the same way by Romantic composers? Or are they influenced just by earlier classic Prog itself? Have they brought any storytelling sensibility into the fray, or has that fallen by the wayside?
Not sure about much modern symph or neo. Haven't listened enough to either to make a conclusion. Most of the artists in modern prog I have listened to extensively don't usually contain those aspects. Radiohead, who are avid fans of Messiaen, notably tend to follow his tendencies with the suspension of psychological time, particularly with Kid A and King of Limbs. The Mars Volta have a slight story telling element, but its not as present as in Yes' or Genesis' music. Usually, the "jammier" bands like TMV, Pink Floyd, and Can, are this way.


I think TMV actually has a very strong narrative element in their music (even in works that aren't technically "concept albums," like Octahedron).  The stories just sometimes get lost because the lyrics are so incomprehensible.  The Bedlam In Goliath, for example, is a complex story which chronicles the band's encounter with the occult while also serving as a metaphor for the oppression of women in the Middle East.  But the lyrics make so little sense that it hurts your head just to read them!
They definitely tell stories lyrically. In my first comment, however, I referred to "psychological time" expressed by the music. Time in The Mars Volta's music passes differently than in Yes'. The music of Yes and Genesis tell an epic story that is perceived as an epic story even if the lyrics aren't. At least, I don't perceive a huge amount of time passing in TMV's music.

Edited by Polymorphia - December 27 2012 at 22:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2012 at 22:33
Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

Most prog is heavily influenced by the Romantic composers whose music strongly communicated a passing of time. Many prog artists combine actual storytelling with this aesthetic effect, which may cause one to associate the psychological time aspect with the folklore or image of an artist. Take Yes as an example. "Close to the Edge" conveys a passage of time and change of setting, yet the lyrics are abstract and introspective leading the listener to conclude the song is about a big personal change. "Close to the Edge" refers to being close to a huge "self-discovery," as Jon Anderson puts it.Or take an example of the opposite. Classical composer Olivier Messiaen wrote music that "suspended" psychological time, so to speak. His works were mainly religious and the suspension of psychological time was used to communicate eternity. Almost all of his music was this way.

This is really a good point. Some of the classical influences that some classical Prog musicians had could be at the heart of their interest in storytelling. It's nice to be able to connect the dots like this. For myself, I'm a very casual listener of classical music. I don't know much about one period versus another. Maybe I'll pay better attention now. Is modern Prog influenced in the same way by Romantic composers? Or are they influenced just by earlier classic Prog itself? Have they brought any storytelling sensibility into the fray, or has that fallen by the wayside?
Not sure about much modern symph or neo. Haven't listened enough to either to make a conclusion. Most of the artists in modern prog I have listened to extensively don't usually contain those aspects. Radiohead, who are avid fans of Messiaen, notably tend to follow his tendencies with the suspension of psychological time, particularly with Kid A and King of Limbs. The Mars Volta have a slight story telling element, but its not as present as in Yes' or Genesis' music. Usually, the "jammier" bands like TMV, Pink Floyd, and Can, are this way.


I think TMV actually has a very strong narrative element in their music (even in works that aren't technically "concept albums," like Octahedron).  The stories just sometimes get lost because the lyrics are so incomprehensible.  The Bedlam In Goliath, for example, is a complex story which chronicles the band's encounter with the occult while also serving as a metaphor for the oppression of women in the Middle East.  But the lyrics make so little sense that it hurts your head just to read them!
They definitely tell stories lyrically. In my first comment, however, I referred to "psychological time" expressed by the music. Time in The Mars Volta's music passes differently than in Yes'. The music of Yes and Genesis tell an epic story that is perceived as an epic story even if the lyrics aren't. At least, I don't perceive a huge amount of time passing in TMV's music.


Agreed on that point, with the possible exception of Octahedron (hmm...maybe one of the reasons I like it so much)
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 14:44
Marillion fits into the impressionism mold that I spoke of, but the impressions they create seem to be about one emotion or another. There are lots of mood swings, but no series of sequential events or musical impression of sequential events that comes together as a story. As far as I can see, that is, and I'm only familiar with the first three albums. Maybe someone disagrees. This is interesting to me because, if they were patterning themselves on Genesis (and of course this is greeted with controversy), the storytelling aspect of Genesis is something that they hadn't seemed to bring along with them in any obvious way. Thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 16:13
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Marillion fits into the impressionism mold that I spoke of, but the impressions they create seem to be about one emotion or another. There are lots of mood swings, but no series of sequential events or musical impression of sequential events that comes together as a story. As far as I can see, that is, and I'm only familiar with the first three albums. Maybe someone disagrees. This is interesting to me because, if they were patterning themselves on Genesis (and of course this is greeted with controversy), the storytelling aspect of Genesis is something that they hadn't seemed to bring along with them in any obvious way. Thoughts?
Yeah, in both Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws the music quite follows the mood of what is being told.
I'm much less familiar with the H period but Brave seems to fit that too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 22:29
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:


Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Marillion fits into the impressionism mold that I spoke of, but the impressions they create seem to be about one emotion or another. There are lots of mood swings, but no series of sequential events or musical impression of sequential events that comes together as a story. As far as I can see, that is, and I'm only familiar with the first three albums. Maybe someone disagrees. This is interesting to me because, if they were patterning themselves on Genesis (and of course this is greeted with controversy), the storytelling aspect of Genesis is something that they hadn't seemed to bring along with them in any obvious way. Thoughts?

Yeah, in both Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws the music quite follows the mood of what is being told.
I'm much less familiar with the H period but Brave seems to fit that too.

Yeah, I listened to Misplaced Childhood just before posting. It always seems to be the lyrics that are in the driver's seat, which always disappointed me (three albums in and not a single instrumental piece). I still adore the Script, though. At their best the band can really use internal monologues and music to open windows on the psyche. Anyway, Misplaced Childhood is a concept album with a consistent theme, but has no recognizable narrative strand, a lot like Aqualung. Or perhaps I'm not catching on to it, I don't know for certain. Does the classic era of Symphonic Prog reign supreme over Modern Prog when it comes to "illustrating" stories? What might I be overlooking?

Edited by HackettFan - December 28 2012 at 22:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2012 at 22:58
A Dramatic Turn of Events, DTs most recent album, has no literal storyline but tells a story emotionally.  It's a bit of a story archetype, actually.  It's kind of like the soundtrack to an imaginary movie.  That might fit more into the "mood" mode that you're describing with Marillion, but to me the story the album tells is very real.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2012 at 10:34
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

A Dramatic Turn of Events, DTs most recent album, has no literal storyline but tells a story emotionally.  It's a bit of a story archetype, actually.  It's kind of like the soundtrack to an imaginary movie.  That might fit more into the "mood" mode that you're describing with Marillion, but to me the story the album tells is very real.


I wouldn't have expected DT to be likely candidates, but your description sounds promising and my exposure to them has been greatly limited. I think I'll look into buying it and seeing what it's like.

I do think a story has to be more than simply a dumping of emotions. It has to have stuff transpiring - conflicts, resolutions and so on. And I'm looking to hear stuff transpire in the instrumental sections not just the lyrics so that we're talking more than just ballads (although lyrics might still be among the storytelling devices used). I do, however, think that emotion is compatible with a story and desirable too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2012 at 10:44
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

 
Yeah, I listened to Misplaced Childhood just before posting. It always seems to be the lyrics that are in the driver's seat, which always disappointed me (three albums in and not a single instrumental piece). I still adore the Script, though. At their best the band can really use internal monologues and music to open windows on the psyche. Anyway, Misplaced Childhood is a concept album with a consistent theme, but has no recognizable narrative strand, a lot like Aqualung. Or perhaps I'm not catching on to it, I don't know for certain. Does the classic era of Symphonic Prog reign supreme over Modern Prog when it comes to "illustrating" stories? What might I be overlooking?

You might find that quality in Kevin Gilbert, but his work is exceedingly difficult to find.   Other than that, I really don't know.   There are lots of modern prog albums made with a concept but I cannot say that I really hear the story in the music, as I can in Lamb...or The Wall.   It's there to some extent in Operation Mindcrime but that's 1988 and hardly modern anymore.   In the case of Lamb, Wall or Kevin Gilbert (Shaming the True), the singer was also the dominant songwriter (in the case of the specific albums at least) and that is probably important in a concept album (Fish Marillion, again, fits into this pattern).  They also had a great vision for drama and it reflects in the way the swells and ebbs of the music capture the essence of life. 


Edited by rogerthat - December 29 2012 at 10:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jplanet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2012 at 15:52
<ahem>

There is a symphonic rock opera currently at #4 of the top albums of 2012 on this site that may be of interest! ;-)

</ahem>
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2012 at 20:53
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

A Dramatic Turn of Events, DTs most recent album, has no literal storyline but tells a story emotionally.  It's a bit of a story archetype, actually.  It's kind of like the soundtrack to an imaginary movie.  That might fit more into the "mood" mode that you're describing with Marillion, but to me the story the album tells is very real.


I wouldn't have expected DT to be likely candidates, but your description sounds promising and my exposure to them has been greatly limited. I think I'll look into buying it and seeing what it's like.

I do think a story has to be more than simply a dumping of emotions. It has to have stuff transpiring - conflicts, resolutions and so on. And I'm looking to hear stuff transpire in the instrumental sections not just the lyrics so that we're talking more than just ballads (although lyrics might still be among the storytelling devices used). I do, however, think that emotion is compatible with a story and desirable too.


I would say that the DT album depicts plot/conflict/resolution through emotion rather than through a literal telling of the story.  The instrumental sections definitely play a large part, too; you may want to check out "The Count of Tuscany" by the same band for that, if you can get past the atrocious lyrics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2012 at 00:10
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:


Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

A Dramatic Turn of Events, DTs most recent album, has no literal storyline but tells a story emotionally.  It's a bit of a story archetype, actually.  It's kind of like the soundtrack to an imaginary movie.  That might fit more into the "mood" mode that you're describing with Marillion, but to me the story the album tells is very real.


I wouldn't have expected DT to be likely candidates, but your description sounds promising and my exposure to them has been greatly limited. I think I'll look into buying it and seeing what it's like.

I do think a story has to be more than simply a dumping of emotions. It has to have stuff transpiring - conflicts, resolutions and so on. And I'm looking to hear stuff transpire in the instrumental sections not just the lyrics so that we're talking more than just ballads (although lyrics might still be among the storytelling devices used). I do, however, think that emotion is compatible with a story and desirable too.
I would say that the DT album depicts plot/conflict/resolution through emotion rather than through a literal telling of the story.  The instrumental sections definitely play a large part, too; you may want to check out "The Count of Tuscany" by the same band for that, if you can get past the atrocious lyrics.

I ordered Dramatic Turn of Events. It's only supposed to take 18 to 28 days to arrive    Been noticing how apt the title of the album is with content of this thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2012 at 21:36
Originally posted by puwan2012 puwan2012 wrote:


That defines the depth and strength of an artist, instead of anything else!



I wouldn't go that far, but I hear you loud and clear that you think storytelling is an important part of Prog. How significant is it? Are there any musical pieces that people regard as gaining Prog status mainly if not entirely based on their storytelling quality? I put Duke's Travels down as one. I put Nektar - Recycled down as another.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2012 at 09:17
Hi,
 
I'm not sure we "should" or "should not" be defining "progressive" or "prog" (one yesterday and the other today !!!! ) ... as HAVING to have a concept or story. But I do think, that almost ALL of these great albums we discuss DID have a thread that made it look like there was one ... but I doubt this is, or was, an issue in the early days of progressive music ... there is no concept or idea in the first albums by any of our big names ... and in many cases they were just trying to get defined ... but it took something like Yes's "Close to the Edge", JT's Thick as a Brick", Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" and other pieces, for folks to think that ... a concept was needed ... so this would not sound like just another Fillmore West jam ... like Iron Butterfly, or heaven forbid ... Grateful Dead!
 
There was no "concept" in ITCOTCK ... it is the best screenshot of the life of Robert Fripp that you will ever find ... angry, mad, quiet, crying ... and his words are loud and clear through his guitar in that album ... the only concept in that album is called "Robert"! And we still think he is not a good, or great, man for all the work he has helped formulate all this time and still experiments with!
 
Later, you got to see Nektar and many others do long pieces, and sometimes the albums were not "concepts" or "bound" by one.
 
Classical music, is bound by "concepts" ... and so few albums do not have a "story" that this symphony or concert or something else ... is supposed to be about. In the past 50 years, so much of music history is about ... TAKE THE DAMN STORY OUT ... which is weird, that "progressive" folks would think that a "story" is needed, when almost all the modern art has been about taking the story out! Go find a story in Godot! And Ian will be laughing at you, about the same idea and concept when he jokes in the video ... "this is progressive" ... and "this is not progressive" ... !!! It's very pointed English humor ... so Oxford'ian ... or Cambridgian (is that the right word?)!  And even more ... look at the dead ballerina in the cover of the album ... the old stage and show is dead! Move over! That conceptual story is gone ... gone ... and the punch line of the whole thing is/was? ... "it's his own affair! AFFAIRrrrrrrr!" How many more times do you need to be reminded? It's just like an author, or poet! ... sometimes there is a theme, and sometimes there is not, a theme ... it's just there!
 
But we have this bizarre attitude that we "have to have" meaning, or life is meaningless. It's not necessarily true and you know it, and I'm sure you have found an excuse to get married! Meaning or not! Sometimes, it just happens, and has nothing to refer it to! ... why can't an artist write music, just like a Miro paints his lines?
 
I hear more music, concepts and life, in Sandy Denny's voice, than I do in most of the music that supports her!
 
I hear more music in Peter Hammill's voice, than I do on what is under him ... up until about 10 years ago ... he has lost that edge now. He's almost too mental now.
 
And sometimes, vocals, are not necessarily ... "the story" of the piece, even though we're being told that they are. The perfect example of this is Gong ... where both Daevid and Gilly were extremelly well versed in the "beat poet" thing, and already knew that it didn't matter ... if you did it or not ... no one would know the difference! And if it was a concept, it was as good as none!
 
If you want stories ... go back to your childhood ... childhood ... child hoood ... childhood ... ohhh wait ... that's an old Vivian joke!
 
 


Edited by moshkito - January 05 2013 at 12:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2012 at 10:15
On the subject of how much storytelling epitomises prog, I think it is more important for the symph prog/art rock side of it.  There is a lot of prog in the other genres that is conceptual in a musical rather than lyrical sense and investigates the world of modes, chords and time signatures rather than attempting to narrate a story.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2013 at 16:00
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,
 

I'm not sure we "should" or "should not" be defining "progressive" or "prog" (one yesterday and the other today !!!! ) ... as HAVING to have a concept or story. But I do think, that almost ALL of these great albums we discuss DID have a thread that made it look like there was one ... but I doubt this is, or was, an issue in the early days of progressive music ... there is no concept or idea in the first albums by any of our big names ... and in many cases they were just trying to get defined ... but it took something like Yes's "Close to the Edge", JT's Thick as a Brick", Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" and other pieces, for folks to think that ... a concept was needed ... so this would not sound like just another Fillmore West jam ... like Iron Butterfly, or heaven forbid ... Grateful Dead!

 

There was no "concept" in ITCOTCK ... it is the best screenshot of the life of Robert Fripp that you will ever find ... angry, mad, quiet, crying ... and his words are loud and clear through his guitar in that album ... the only concept in that album is called "Robert"! And we still think he is not a good, or great, man for all the work he has helped formulate all this time and still experiments with!

 

Later, you got to see Nektar and many others do long pieces, and sometimes the albums were not "concepts" or "bound" by one.

 

Classical music, is bound by "concepts" ... and so few albums do not have a "story" that this symphony or concert or something else ... is supposed to be about. In the past 50 years, so much of music history is about ... TAKE THE DAMN STORY OUT ... which is weird, that "progressive" folks would think that a "story" is needed, when almost all the modern art has been about taking the story out! Go find a story in Godot! And Ian will be laughing at you, about the same idea and concept when he jokes in the video ... "this is progressive" ... and "this is not progressive" ... !!! It's very pointed English humor ... so Oxford'ian ... or Cambridgian (is that the right word?)!

 

I do not look for "concepts" or "ideas" in listening to music, since just as much has "the suggestive elelents of both" in many parts of their work ...

 

I hear more music, concepts and life, in Sandy Denny's voice, than I do in most of the music that supports her!

 

I hear more music in Peter Hammill's voice, than I do on what is under him ... up until about 10 years ago ... he has lost that edge now. He's almost too mental now.

 

And sometimes, vocals, are not necessarily ... "the story" of the piece, even though we're being told that they are. The perfect example of this is Gong ... where both Daevid and Gilly were extremelly well versed in the "beat poet" thing, and already knew that it didn't matter ... if you did it or not ... no one would know the difference! And if it was a concept, it was as good as none!

 

If you want stories ... go back to your childhood ... childhood ... child hoood ... childhood ... ohhh wait ... that's an old Vivian joke!

 

 

I think I recall from somewhere that you're a writer, yet you're dissing stories? I find that curious. Yes, I do like stories, adult stories, sci-fi, mythology, children's stories, bedtime stories and so on. I actually don't think storytelling is definable as a necessary component of Prog. My prior post was intended to communicate that. But I left open for discussion whether it was sufficient. If it is sufficient, then that's one way understanding its importance. So I'm looking for some input on whether there are any reason to consider Duke's Travels and Recycled Prog, other than that they are aural renditions of stories, or is it just simply that. I'm not convinced that Duke's Travels is in fact Prog, but some people consider it so. The case for Recycled as Prog is stronger because of the length, but I'm not convinced about it either. Just because it's long doesn't mean it's Prog. Recycled sounds to me like a series of commercially accessible segments with very ordinary playing. Am I missing anything? Nektar's Journey to the Center of the Eye, by comparison, tells a story yet is also experimental in obvious ways. I do love Recycled, but it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. So, should I consider it Prog because I've overlooked some interesting qualities about it, or simply because it conveys a story. Or is this not Prog, and a story is not sufficient to make this Prog. Or do you or anyone have another musical piece you would like to bring front and center. Smallcreep's Day anyone? It's been a long time since I've heard that one. I don't have any clearcut opinion that I'm trying to advance, but I am interested in what other people have to say on this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 05 2013 at 13:02
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:


... 
I think I recall from somewhere that you're a writer, yet you're dissing stories? I find that curious.
...
 
BINGO!
 
You are not seeing the whole thing, or my point.
 
There are two ways to "write" ... you can sit and think it all out, then write.
 
Or you can close your eyes (so to speak) and "write" ... a veritable stream of consciousness if you will that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your ideas or mine. I have no idea -- and I personally do not care -- if you think there is a story or not in the poem, or short story, or if it means something to you or not. I can not, in any way shape or form, control that ... and it is UP TO YOU, to find and see what you can gain from it ... not for me (or anyone else for that matter!) to tell you what you should be getting out of it!
 
As you can tell, and have seen, I like the ideas that we do not know, understand or care for ... thus the improvisations are good, the experimental is just as good ... as anything else out there ... BUT there is a problem here ... the majority of people don't like things that "they don't know", or "they have to figure" it out.
 
Thus, the lazy ones, would rather have "the lyrics" tell THEM, what this is all about!
 
I have nothing to hide. If it comes off as hidden, it's what I saw, but I do not deplore my work ... it is what it is, and WHEN it came out ... and I do not subscribe to the Christian (or any other school of thought or religion!) that believes in teh scourge ... like rock music fans and top of the pops or commercial music "demands" that you kiss the current money maker, or the scourge is on you! Too many folks are like that here, already!
 
You have heard me talk of the "abstract" things, and the experiments, and the breaking down of all forms of the arts in the 20th century ... and still you say something like that ... that is bizarre, to say the least ...
 
Look ... why do you have to break down what Miro did? ... Why do you think that Miro has to kiss your bunny to tell you what he is doing? ... and why, ohhh why, should any rock band out there have to tell you what they are doing, assuming, they even know ... enough ... to be able to create some meaningful lyrics, instead of crap!
 
A story ... is just that ... a story ... !!! Could have been anything else ... and not have a story ... but you have to have a story ... fine ... go buy something else!  But you can NOT super-impose your desire, will or preference on others! Even more ... demand that anyone make sure they understand it!
 
What I trash the most, is that the "fans", not think they can "judge, try and murder" whoever they want, because on any given day, they no longer like Dream Theater, or any other band, because they are emotionally attached to someone that was there before ... or they liked!  Or trash Yes for Topographic Oceans, because one does not know what it's about and it is not a little story for you to go to bed with, or JT for Thick as a Brick, or JT for Passion Play.
 
Lastly ... please see "artists" for what they are ... men and women, just like you and I ... that have a desire to be THEMSELVES, instead of some idea created by the social mold out there ... and the only work that matters, then, is the work that helps you find out the difference. Not define the "sameness" ... which is what you are criticising! I mentioned this on another thread ... look at the cover of "Passion  Play" ... it's dead ... that "classical" concept of this and that, is long gone ... the ballet died! And rock music is here ... as the new concert hall and art! The old art is dead ... so ... why not ... the story is dead ... long live the story ... have a drink and move on!


Edited by moshkito - January 05 2013 at 13:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 05 2013 at 17:53
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:


I think I recall from somewhere that you're a writer, yet you're dissing stories? I find that curious.

...


BINGO!

You are not seeing the whole thing, or my point.
There are two ways to "write" ... you can sit and think it all out, then write.

Or you can close your eyes (so to speak) and "write" ... a veritable stream of consciousness if you will that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your ideas or mine. I have no idea -- and I personally do not care -- if you think there is a story or not in the poem, or short story, or if it means something to you or not. I can not, in any way shape or form, control that ... and it is UP TO YOU, to find and see what you can gain from it ... not for me (or anyone else for that matter!) to tell you what you should be getting out of it!

I'm putting you down as not an Umberto Eco type semiotics fan. Me neither, but for different reasons, no doubt.
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:

As you can tell, and have seen, I like the ideas that we do not know, understand or care for ... thus the improvisations are good, the experimental is just as good ... as anything else out there ... BUT there is a problem here ... the majority of people don't like things that "they don't know", or "they have to figure" it out.

Absolutely. I've tried to say as much with the expressionism/impressionism comparison. Some music does not have a story at all. Some music is improvised in stream of consciousness fashion. That's how I play guitar on a daily basis as a matter of fact. Some music is made on the fly. I'm quite in favor of this. Nevertheless, I'm quite interested in storytelling in music (as well as storytelling in general), and stories do tend to involve a more pre-planning, a little less on the fly, although I see no reason a story could not be improvised.
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:


Thus, the lazy ones, would rather have "the lyrics" tell THEM, what this is all about!

I don't care if there even are lyrics. There are in some cases I've already talked about. There aren't in others. Even in many cases when there are lyrics, they may be quite mysterious and obscure. Even when stories are not obscure, the listener has to construct from limited input a mental world robust enough for the story to take place, this is not as passive a cognitive operation as you present.
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:


I have nothing to hide. If it comes off as hidden, it's what I saw, but I do not deplore my work ... it is what it is, and WHEN it came out ... and I do not subscribe to the Christian (or any other school of thought or religion!) that believes in teh scourge ... like rock music fans and top of the pops or commercial music "demands" that you kiss the current money maker, or the scourge is on you! Too many folks are like that here, already!

Hunh? I'm an atheist. If I have scourge on me, please get it off...hey, look! A bunny rabbit!...um, so we're still talking about stream of consciousness versus storytelling, I think?
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:

You have heard me talk of the "abstract" things, and the experiments, and the breaking down of all forms of the arts in the 20th century ... and still you say something like that ... that is bizarre, to say the least ...

I said something like what?
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:

Look ... why do you have to break down what Miro did? ... Why do you think that Miro has to kiss your bunny to tell you what he is doing? ... and why, ohhh why, should any rock band out there have to tell you what they are doing, assuming, they even know ... enough ... to be able to create some meaningful lyrics, instead of crap!

Can I be this misunderstood? I don't think that any artist should have to tell us what they're doing (as in telling stories). This is not a thread about what artists ought to do. However, some have engaged in storytelling. I want to know how people regard its general significance to Classic Prog and how it fares in Modern Prog?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2013 at 13:13
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

... 
  However, some have engaged in storytelling. I want to know how people regard its general significance to Classic Prog and how it fares in Modern Prog?
 
I am cautious about this ... because you can go back to many people and things that supposedly also did a "concept", even if it was just drugs, like Sgt Peppers, or Their Satanic Majesty's Request, or even a more obvious one Days of Future Past ... and for giggles, you can also do Ogden's Nut Gone Flakes!
 
Music is music, and if there is a story in there in the music, we can hear it ... if it is just a bunch of lyrics supposedly telling us that this is about A and B and C and they slept together ever after ... fine ... but we're not all Jackie Collins fans, and a "story" for us is ok if it is an alleghory, but not real! Again, the whole conceptualization of it gets distorted ... and it might not have a story ... and folks like David Bowie like to make it look like they had a story (Spiders from Mars//the next album and so forth) and then he does an interview and he speaks volumes about his lyrics when he says ... it's like 52 pickup and sometimes a few things click, and come things don't, and eventually you learn to trust that and even make it better!
 
And then you get Laurie Anderson and Burroughs together and conceptualization takes a huge hit ... where do you start? Naked Lunch? ... where do you end? Superman?
 
Makes me think that after 75 years ... we're still trying to dismantle the mantle!
... 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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2013 at 18:37
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:

I'm not sure we "should" or "should not" be defining "progressive" or "prog" (one yesterday and the other today !!!! ) ... as HAVING to have a concept or story. But I do think, that almost ALL of these great albums we discuss DID have a thread that made it look like there was one ... but I doubt this is, or was, an issue in the early days of progressive music ... there is no concept or idea in the first albums by any of our big names ... and in many cases they were just trying to get defined ... but it took something like Yes's "Close to the Edge", JT's Thick as a Brick", Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" and other pieces, for folks to think that ... a concept was needed ... so this would not sound like just another Fillmore West jam ... like Iron Butterfly, or heaven forbid ... Grateful Dead!

There was no "concept" in ITCOTCK ... it is the best screenshot of the life of Robert Fripp that you will ever find ... angry, mad, quiet, crying ... and his words are loud and clear through his guitar in that album ... the only concept in that album is called "Robert"! And we still think he is not a good, or great, man for all the work he has helped formulate all this time and still experiments with!

Later, you got to see Nektar and many others do long pieces, and sometimes the albums were not "concepts" or "bound" by one.

Actually there were both concepts and stories in some of earliest of the big name Prog groups. It just depends which ones we're talking about. I want to be careful because a concept album doesn't mean there's actually a story. Genesis' first album, From Genesis to Revelation, was a concept album, but had no coherent story that ran through it. Half the songs on their next album, Trespass, did contain stories (White Mountain, Stagnation, and The Knife), but Trespass was not a concept album. This would be the normal pattern on up to the Lamb (my all time favorite), which was both a concept album and a story.

The first Nektar album was Journey to the Center of the Eye (among my all time favorites) came out in 1971, which is neither early nor way late in the history of Prog. It contained a story that ran through the entire album. This was the case for all their following albums up through Recycled (although I'm ignorant about the content of Down to Earth).

The first Mothers of Invention album, Freak Out, was a concept album, but had no coherent storyline running through it. ITCOCK, as you were saying, is not tied together with any concept and, more importantly for this discussion, none of the tracks had any storyline.

So I think the history is a mixed bag, which is why this intrigues me so. It also occurs to me that how central storytelling is to Prog depends on the personal histories of the fans with respect to which bands they discovered first. For me, Genesis was my entry into Prog (Not to mention that reading mythology was a hobby I acquired very early as a youngster and continued through my college years. I am also a linguist by profession and my dissertation was concerned in part with storytelling in a particular endangered language). So, you find storytelling not very significant to classic Prog and that is interesting to me. Part of that I'm sure is, as you have already represented, your interest in state of consciousness writing, but I am interested in what your first few Prog music interests were. I think this would be enlightening.
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:


...   However, some have engaged in storytelling. I want to know how people regard its general significance to Classic Prog and how it fares in Modern Prog?

 

I am cautious about this ... because you can go back to many people and things that supposedly also did a "concept", even if it was just drugs, like Sgt Peppers, or Their Satanic Majesty's Request, or even a more obvious one Days of Future Past ... and for giggles, you can also do Ogden's Nut Gone Flakes!

Music is music, and if there is a story in there in the music, we can hear it ... if it is just a bunch of lyrics supposedly telling us that this is about A and B and C and they slept together ever after ... fine ... but we're not all Jackie Collins fans, and a "story" for us is ok if it is an alleghory, but not real! Again, the whole conceptualization of it gets distorted ... and it might not have a story ... and folks like David Bowie like to make it look like they had a story (Spiders from Mars//the next album and so forth) and then he does an interview and he speaks volumes about his lyrics when he says ... it's like 52 pickup and sometimes a few things click, and come things don't, and eventually you learn to trust that and even make it better!

This is an interesting point and I agree. The sense of a story, or shall we say, the impression of a story may have been more important than the particulars of the story itself. This actually makes the subject even more intriguing to me.
Originally posted by Moshkito Moshkito wrote:

And then you get Laurie Anderson and Burroughs together and conceptualization takes a huge hit ... where do you start? Naked Lunch? ... where do you end? Superman?
 

Makes me think that after 75 years ... we're still trying to dismantle the mantle!

Well, yes, there is a lot of trash out there in every quarter.

Thanks for your continued interest in this thread. Best.

Edited by HackettFan - January 07 2013 at 22:30
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