Orchestrionby Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny's Orchestrion may turn out to be his most talked-about, argued-over undertaking. It's already his most adventurous. With Orchestrion, Metheny redefines the concept of the solo album. He is indeed the only live musician on this recording, but it's the opposite of, say, his 2003 One Quiet Night, in which Metheny hunkered down in his home studio to explore all the musical possibilities of one new guitar.
Here he works with an extraordinary set-up of acoustic instruments, assembled for him by a visionary team of inventors. What they have created in collaboration with Metheny is a veritable made-to-order solenoid orchestra that includes, among other things, bass, pianos, percussion, marimbas, "guitar-bots," and a mellifluous cabinet of carefully tuned bottles. Using one-of-a-kind software programs and solenoid switches, Metheny controls each instrument via his guitar and an array of pedals.
Orchestrion was influenced by the primitive but evocative player-piano technology of yesteryear that has fascinated Metheny since he was a child. The player piano inspired inventors of that age to create the "orchestrion," a large mechanical multi-instrument device that imitated the sound of an orchestra. Metheny brings this concept into the 21st century, composing and playing five ambitious pieces with his tailor-made, sophisticated, musically dynamic ensemble. From the Label
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsPat Metheny Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Cymbals,Drums,Keyboards,Marimbas,Bottle,Vibes,Orchestra Bells
Technical CreditsPat Metheny Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Instrumentation
Joe Ferla Engineer
Robert Hurwitz Executive Producer
Carolyn Chrzan Guitar Techician
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Pat continues in his solo musical quest in the challenging Orchestrion. His melodic & layered style shines through. A good get for Pat Metheny fans!
I have been a faithful fan of Pat Metheny since his American Garage release in 1979. The overall fluidity of his arrangements always seem to be ever enticing, like Alice being lured down the rabbithole. I have enjoyed the majority of his works, & was thoroughly awed by his performance at Newport Jazz a few years back. So, it was with confidence that I ordered his latest, Orchestrion, & I was not disappointed. The title cut bounces off the ears like a fairy whispering secrets, & his guitar licks like a waving wand. Entry Point, the 2nd cut, quiets the mood with some Mehldau-like touches on the piano. He continues with Expansion, which is just that- using more of the instrumentation for a fuller sound. I was kind of brought back to the American Garage with some guitar licks. Soul Search slows it down again, ala Entry Point, with an almost duet feel. Spirit of the Air rounds out the release with some vintage Metheny licks, & feel. The undercurrent of rhythmic staccato, trademark PM, moves this CD to a wonderfully satisfying end. I had read a preview of the CD in Jazz Times magazine, which described the incredible amount of work Pat put into this project: Setup in an old Polish church in Brooklyn, Pat assembled a wide variety of bells, bottles, chimes, percussives, electronics, gizmos & of course some great strings. The CD package is excellent, with beautiful natural light photos, accented by several open shutter pics. A munificent release by a thoroughly magnificent artist. Come for the service, stay for the music!