So, do you see what I’ve done here ? This video is:
About a classic piece of music
A little Christmassy (Although “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time” has to be one of the least Christmassy tunes ever)
About recording and production (At least, it includes some footage of people in SARM studios)
Thought-provoking (I think), and
Includes loads of footage of eighties pop stars with ridiculous haircuts !
I’m feeling quite smug
More seriously though, I was really pleased to find this. Band Aid and Live Aid had huge impact on me when I was growing up – I believe the idea of pop music being used selflessly for the good of others is an inspirational one, regardless of how effective they were at achieving their goals with hindsight. There are many people who are cynical about this kind of thing – I’m not one of them.
Here’s an intriguing episode of a 1997 BBC documentary called “Modern Minimalists“, combining two of my favourite musical things: Björk and minimalism.
I fell in love with minimalist music when I first heard Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” (video here) at college, along with the stunning “Electric Counterpoint“. This fed happily into my later appreciation of The Orb’s “Little Fluffy Clouds” (which samples Reich heavily) and on into techno and the “ambient revival”, savouring delights like Philip Glass’ awesome “Koyaanisqatsi“ soundtrack and the work of Michael Nymann along the way.
I discovered Björk a little later, when I heard her solo album “Debut” in 1993 – which is one of my favourite years for music, as it happens.
If this video doesn’t make you want to own your own analogue synthesiser, nothing will !
David Vorhaus will forever be part of my own musical history for creating the album “An Electric Storm” as part of legendary band The White Noise – along with Delia Derbyshire, of “Doctor Who Theme” fame. This mad, tuneful collage of tape loops, analogue synths and sound effects was released in 1969, and provides proof, if you needed it, that the Beatles weren’t nearly as cutting edge as they thought they were.
Taken from the fantastic DVD “Classic Albums: The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon“, this clip has loads of great things for audio geeks like us to enjoy, including (probably) the first time a band ever played to a tape loop (and how the loop was made), another great example of double-tracking (this time on a guitar solo) and a superb illustration of how quite extreme-sounding delay and reverb (on Gilmour’s vocal) sound great in the context of the whole mix.
The DVD has been in the Production Advice Bookstore since I first set up the site, and is strongly recommended viewing for anyone interested in writing, recording and mixing.