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Topic: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

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  1. #1

    MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002



    play poster executed by my wife, Kate Daly


    The first post with "Metropolis" music went over well, so, as promised, I'm back with more from the show by J. Brooks and D. Hughes.

    This is from the days way before I owned a computer. A hardware sequencer drove my bank of hardware synths, the Korg X5DR being the primary sound source.

    On this track, guitarist Frank Fullerton doubled electric guitar over the hook my synth guitar plays in the opening, at the bridge, and the ending. Otherwise, the rest of the guitar-like sounds were from the Korg, as were the drums, bass, strings and other instruments, augmented by by my CZ-1000 and other hardware synths.

    I was very fortunate to have professional Tim Smith in a lead role in the stage production of "Metropolis." He's such an excellent singer, so I'm listing the track with his vocal first, and the instrumental he sang to second. Tim played John Freeman, the ruthless mastermind of the mechanical city.

    The song is Freeman's first entrance in the show. He's standing at his control panel, alert to any fluctuations of power that could disrupt the intricate machinery that keeps the super city thriving under its glass dome, and its elitist citizens blissfully living their privileged lives of leisure.

    "Metropolis" is a simple science-fiction/fantasy allegory about the Haves versus The Have Nots. The rich and powerful minority keeps the general population subjugated in order to serve the Elite. The current sociological climate reminded me again of Fritz Lang's great film, and this musical based on it that I was privileged to work on back in 2002.

    The Machines Are Beautiful - vocal

    The Machines Are Beautiful - instrumental


    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    A quick post before my day gets underway.

    Thanks for more from the show Randy, I did enjoy this.

    I love the opening, suitably sci-fi and suspenseful. Having a live guitarist as well as the synth was a great move, it made it more dramatic. There is a real organic feel to the music, a great blend of sounds..

    It was good to read the story behind the music as well. I think the lyrics are relevant to modern society as it is now and the whole show, though done 10 years ago still remains modern.

    Thanks again, I'll listen out for more.

    P.S. Love Kate's poster, reminds me a bit of the cyberman in Doctor Who
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    I enjoyed both versions Randy. Great vocals there by Tim Smith. He really sings well in the lower register.

    It's fun to hear those old patches. They ruled in the day.

    It was strange to read that Metropolis inspired Joseph Goebbels. It's like the Beatles song Helter Skelter inspiring Charles Manson.

    It was one of the great silent movies.





    Phil

  4. #4

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Thanks a lot, Randy for yet another beautiful example of "machine' music from those days. And what a lovely deep and well articulating voice!

    Max

  5. #5

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    ...Thanks for more from the show Randy, I did enjoy this.

    I love the opening, suitably sci-fi and suspenseful. Having a live guitarist as well as the synth was a great move, it made it more dramatic. There is a real organic feel to the music, a great blend of sounds..

    It was good to read the story behind the music as well. I think the lyrics are relevant to modern society as it is now and the whole show, though done 10 years ago still remains modern.

    Thanks again, I'll listen out for more.

    P.S. Love Kate's poster, reminds me a bit of the cyberman in Doctor Who
    Glad to see you here, Yjoh! Since you were one of the people who got a kick out of the first Metro post, I was hoping you'd find this new one.

    It's a big nostalgia hit for me, hearing these tracks again, and it's really enjoyable to share them with Forum members like you who can appreciate them.

    It was such a intense period of time when I worked on these tracks, collaborating directly with the composer, J. Brooks. And as I said on the other thread, I was very fortunate to have my friend Frank Fullerton who not only played some guitar here and there in the score, but was able to properly mix them in, since he was using Cakewalk/Sonar back then - Way before I had any computer.

    In regards to the main theme of "Metropolis," having a small handful of people control wealth and power while the general population struggles to just get by is of course one of those perpetual, inequitable facts of life. It's always been that way, and will remain that way, despite the efforts of humanist liberals to change things. Country's leaders aren't the real powers in control, but rather the corporate leaders of industry who also hold the purse strings. The most progressive and earnest of politicians can only bring about the smallest of change, being constantly thwarted by the rich and powerful and the political parties that represent them. And so in the simplistic allegory of "Metropolis," the general population lives underground, never seeing daylight, and work constantly to maintain the machinery that allows the chosen elite to live above ground in splendor.

    My production was 10 years ago, but the musical is from 25 years ago, by the way. And of course the great film it's based on is from 80 years ago when liberal ideals were perhaps more mainstream than they are now. The appeal of "Metropolis," both the film and musical, is timeless.

    Cyberman in Doctor Who!-- That's exactly right! I've put together an image:

    --C-3PO in "Star Wars" was a conscious homage to Futura, the robot in Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," and Cyberman is another homage to that fantastic design from the silent movie:



    And look at this - Cyberman's first appearance on Dr. Who in 1966!



    Kate did a great job of stylizing Futura's face for the poster which is an homage to the Constructivism of the 1920's. I passed on your praise!

    Thanks again for the response, Yjoh!

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Thank you for the Doctor Who clip randy, still fun to watch today. I've always been a sci-fi fan. I think I came in around the Jon Pertwee (?) time. Still watch the latest Doctor Who series and Star Trek.

    I didn't know much about "Metropolis", so I did a bit of reading. Great story line and definitely relevant, nothing changes in the world of corporate business. Probably why I keep away from politics and bury myself in music! Much more enjoyable.

    Even though I work with computers and software myself now, there's a more real, "live" feeling with the old synths especially when combined with a human performer.

    Thanks again Randy for posting some more music from the show. Really enjoyed it.
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  7. #7

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    I enjoyed both versions Randy. Great vocals there by Tim Smith. He really sings well in the lower register.

    It's fun to hear those old patches. They ruled in the day.

    It was strange to read that Metropolis inspired Joseph Goebbels. It's like the Beatles song Helter Skelter inspiring Charles Manson.

    It was one of the great silent movies.

    Phil
    Howdy, Phil - Thanks for listening to some "Metro" again and leaving your message. I appreciate it.

    Tim Smith who sings on this is a real rarity - a true Bass. In community theatre, it's always very difficult, and usually impossible, to find a good bass who can hit the lower notes with such force and resonance as Tim. Like I said before, I was extremely fortunate to have him in the show.

    Originally, this song was higher, but we lowered it a step so Tim's lower range could be showcased.

    Those kinds of synth patches indeed ruled, and actually still do to a large extent. Listen to TV sound tracks, some pop music - classic synth sounds will never die out.

    Yes, the N a z i s* were quite taken with the film. Hitler wanted director Fritz Lang to direct propaganda films for him, since Lang had demonstrated how well he could handle spectacle, hundreds of extras, huge sets et al.-- In reaction, Lang fled Germany, and came to America where he established his second career as an American film maker, producing some remarkable movies like "Fury" with Spencer Tracy (a story about mob violence, NOT about a black horse) and "The Big Heat."

    Lang was quite a character. The archetypal movie director image, a Germanic, monocle wearing man barking out directions through a megaphone is an amalgamation of Lang's persona and Erich von Stroheim. Here's Fritz:



    You're right, Phil - "Metropolis" is a tremendous film. It deserves it's constant placement towards the top of everyone's "Best Films" list.

    Randy
    * wow - took me awhile to realize that the Forum's programming censors some words! -

  8. #8

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Thanks a lot, Randy for yet another beautiful example of "machine' music from those days. And what a lovely deep and well articulating voice!

    Max
    I meant to thank you earlier for your post, Max - Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this.

    It was quite a show, quite a project, and with several excellent singers in it. Hearing these tracks again makes me want to go wild and set that whole maze up again of machines and wires, with me sitting in the middle like a mad scientist gleefully bringing monster music to life--hehe--- OK, I won't do that. But it's a fun fantasy.

    Hope more people catch these "Metro" tracks - I think more folks here would get a kick out of them!

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I meant to thank you earlier for your post, Max - Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this.

    It was quite a show, quite a project, and with several excellent singers in it. Hearing these tracks again makes me want to go wild and set that whole maze up again of machines and wires, with me sitting in the middle like a mad scientist gleefully bringing monster music to life--hehe--- OK, I won't do that. But it's a fun fantasy.

    Hope more people catch these "Metro" tracks - I think more folks here would get a kick out of them!

    Randy
    You're welcome, Randy!

  10. #10

    Re: MORE "Metropolis" - hardware synths 2002

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    ...I didn't know much about "Metropolis", so I did a bit of reading. Great story line and definitely relevant, nothing changes in the world of corporate business...


    This is a detail of part of the set's floor in my production of the musical based on "Metropolis." These large gears were scattered around, representing the mechanistic civilization that had crushed the soul of most of its citizens.

    "Metropolis" has been the most important film in my life, ever since I discovered it as a pre-teen. So I'm always glad to introduce it to a new audience.

    Up until not all that long ago, only partial prints were available. Because of a copyright lapse in The States, small video companies released many bad quality, incomplete versions, first on VHS, then on DVD. But thanks to the efforts of Kino International, the most complete version yet available, restored and looking beautiful, is available. This is actually the 2nd time they've made more complete versions available. In 2002 when I did the stage production, Kino had a great, cleaned up DVD available, now they've released another "Metropolis" with yet more recently discovered segments:

    The restored "Metropolis"

    Of special interest to musicians, these Kino DVDs feature a full sized orchestra performing a re-construction of the magnificent score originally composed for the film.

    When the film was first released in The States, it was a butchered version which rendered some of the storyline impossible to follow. Reviews were often negative due to the chopped up nature of that version. Then, during the war, the German studio where the original full length version was kept was destroyed in bombing. Ever since, ardent film historians have been trying to piece together the missing footage. Some of it remains missing, but the story line is at least finally made clear in this Kino release.

    "Metropolis" keeps showing up on the "Best Films of All Time" lists, because it simply is one of the greatest cinematic undertakings bar none.

    If someone isn't familiar with watching silent movies, I suppose there's an adjustment to made when watching - getting used to an acting style very different from the so-called "natural" acting style that's been popular for so many decades now, and getting a handle on how stories were told in a different way in the 1920's. But there's a unique, magical beauty to well-done silent films, making some of them as enthralling as anything made nowadays.

    Watch "Metropolis" - and don't do it in segments, putting it on pause - Let the majesty of it roll over you. If you give the film proper attention, I can practically guarantee an unforgetable and very important experience for you.

    !!!

    Randy

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