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Pat Metheny, Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Orchestrion + Unity Band + The Orchestrion Project
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jan 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B002U33GTW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,505 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Orchestrion15:48Album Only
Listen  2. Entry Point10:28Album Only
Listen  3. Expansion 8:340.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Soul Search 9:170.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Spirit Of The Air 7:440.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Grammy Award-winning composer-guitarist 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. "Orchestrionics" is what Metheny calls this new method of performing. The resulting album, recorded in midtown Manhattan's MSR studio after months of experimentation at home, is a marvel of the digital era, yet the record sounds beautifully, stirringly, human. In other words, timeless.

To witness Metheny improvising on guitar while surrounded by these instruments, digitally triggered to play the scores that Metheny has painstakingly written for each of them, is indeed a wonder. Eager fans have already made sell-outs of the first dates of Metheny's Orchestrion tour. But hearing is truly believing: there is not a single note on Orchestrion that sounds mechanical, and some tracks, like "Expansion", have a thrillingly improvisational feel to them.

Metheny has gone into uncharted territory: every day in the studio with these instruments was a revelation as he began to comprehend what they were capable of musically-–and, more importantly, what he himself could achieve in their presence. They were not a substitute for the interaction of other players and this does not signal a shift from Metheny's other collaborative ventures. In fact, Metheny most recently proved his love for ensemble playing with his 2008 tour-de-force trio release, Day Trip.

Orchestrion is all about innovation. As Metheny puts it, "This experience so far has provided me with a self-imposed challenge that has proven to be enormously difficult and time-consuming, but the early results have been absolutely exhilarating. I am excited to share this project... I am hopeful and confident that if nothing else, this will be something truly unique. It feels like progress to me and has gotten some notes out of me that I didn't know were there. That is always a good thing."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out on his own 25 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you were to close your eyes when unwrapping this CD and start playing it without looking at its cover (or being aware of the story behind it) you'd think it was "just" another Pat Metheny record: the characteristic creamy guitar tone, strong sense of melody, knotty changes and detailed textures created by the subtle overlaying of dozens of instruments are all present and correct. If you were then to pick up the cover, you'd see all those instruments spread out across a room, though you might miss the crouching figure of Metheny down in the corner. Reading the credits, you'd realize that he's the only musician on this record, making this the solo date to end them all.

Details about the technology that he's used to trigger the sounds the instruments create - starting with a note played on his guitar and ending with a tapped cymbal, or a strummed guitar, or a mallet hitting a marimba, or air being blown across a bottle half-filled with water - are available in the sleeve notes, or his website. In this age of overdubbing and the accurate computer synthesis of musical sounds, some of this information can appear irrelevant and, of course, in the end, you come back to the music, less concerned with how it's made than what it sounds like. And it sounds good: exciting, inventive, lyrical, detailed and pleasant. It's still early days listening to it, but already I'm fond of the intricate melody and stop-start changes of "Expansion", and the way in which "Spirit Of The Air" lays a catchy tune on top of an driving, insistent pulse - similar to "Cathedral In A Suitcase" from Secret Story.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating album 28 Jan 2010
By zargb5
Format:Audio CD
I won't go into any detail about the actual orchestrion itself. Other reviewers have done that very well and there are many links on youtube and Mr Metheny's website which explain and show how it works. Make no mistake though the orchestrion is a major progressive development technologically over the older versions and the player piano.

The orchestrion sounds uncannily like a group of musicians (that is how convincing this new invention is) It does sound somewhat different to Pat's varying ensembles but there are complex interactions going on on the macro scale as well as the micro scale of the music.
In a sense this is a kind of follow up to the old album 'new Chautauqua' On that album pat tried to use the studio as an instrument with overdubbed guitars etc to build up the songs. On that album probably due to the technology available and restricted studio time he came away with a very listenable album whose sparseness was highly appealing. On Orchestrion he is afforded a broader, richer pallette to work from and 20 odd years more musical experience.

The Orchestrion is a machine which has been humanised (or gives the illusion of such) It is a very tight but flexible sounding 'ensemble'all under the control of Mr Metheny.

I felt a little underwhelmed on first listen but several plays later this album really begins to grow in the memory. There are a lot of very complex things going on in this music, structurally, rhythmically and melodically & Pat plays some wonderful melodic solos over all of this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! 4 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Every once in a while Pat comes up with a record that confirms his status as a musical visionary. This, his latest record, serves as yet another example of his talent and foresight.

Just like a number of other customers I wasn't too hopeful about the overall concept - the conceit of an automated orchestra feels like a gimmick (or a comprehensive spending review, as one of my colleagues suggested) but is far from being the case. Even a casual listener will have his or her mind boggled by the detail of music present within this record. The very idea that it has been 'assembled' rather than performed (by live musicians) appears impossible. In that respect I totally agree with the recent BBC Music magazine review, which states that far from sounding mechanical, this is in reality one of the warmest and most human of Pat's recent recordings. For me the title track is Pat's finest (opening track) since 'A night away' (from Quartet). Highly recommended.

As a postscript; I foolishly turned down my wife's offer of seeing the pieces performed (at the Barbican) earlier this year. I'm going to regret that decision for some time to come.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pat Metheny Orchestration 10 May 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is Pat Metheny's latest solo work and probably his most interesting since New Chautauqua but technology has advanced since that early album.
The album was apparently inspired from Metheny playing around with hig Grandads player piano when he was a child. The original orchestrations were mechanically played mini orchestras from the 1800's based around the piano Metheny has taken it a step further.
This huge machine dwarfs him on stage with all its custom made instuments which Metheny controls though his guitar via solenoids and a MIDI.
The 15 minute title track is pure upbeat Metheny with a slighty folky overtures but works very well as a piece and to listen to it you would not guess the majority of the instrumentation was a machine with Metheny playing over the top.
The more insular pieces Entry point and Soul search don't work as well,like a drum machine on a west coast Jazz album from the mid nineties the music misses that human touch.
If you were not aware of the creativity and ingenuity of this modern master you would ask why he bothered? His fans allow him his indulgence albums simply for those sublime moments that few modern Jazz masters have matched.
To be effective you need to see the piece performed live,when I saw him perform it recently in London the Orchestration machine broke down! As Metheny said at the time his worst nightmare. Myself and many others in the audience were secretly relieved as he then performed a lovely solo set of vintage material. Not a Metheny classic but real officianados of the man fans will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album
Made even better with vinyl. I was fortunate enough to see this show live, so I was really excited to find the vinyl version of the album. Great sound and detail in this version.
Published 2 months ago by linuxpng
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchestrion Pat Metheny
Orchestrion Pat Metheny is a great example of the innovative music by the Master of the Jazz Guitar. Very smooth.
Published 19 months ago by D. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting !
innovative piece of work by THE man.
Cannot tell the difference, it's as if there is a band there right with him.
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by Downtrodden
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Orchestrion' by Pat Matheny, Jazz guitarist extraordinare
The reason I was attracted to this particular Pat Matheny CD was after having read an article about it's conception and eventually it's awesome live performance. Read more
Published on 21 May 2010 by JEAN HENRIOT
5.0 out of 5 stars Grammy Winner 2011
Absolutely brilliant, another masterpiece from the maestro. I just cannot stop listening to this album and I have had it for two months now. Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2010 by Phil Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat Metheny at its best
I really wanted this CD, but it was at a really high price. When I finally got it, I found out I wouldn't have regreated the extra money ate my local store. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2010 by Miguel Garcia F. Dias
4.0 out of 5 stars Out on his own...almost
Pat will be touring...yet again, in the summer of 2010 with the rest of the PMG, of course after he has toured with this amazing band of electronic troubadours, the concept... Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by R. Fardell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work
Yet another outstanding release by Mr.Metheny. I'd be excited to hear the next Orchestrion CD. I wish I had been able to see the live show in London earlier this month, so I can't... Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2010 by Mr. Benjamin Ward
2.0 out of 5 stars very very average
ive played this cd 3 times now but just cant get into it to say the least i find it boring and want to take it out of my cd player. Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by Mr. J. Hodgson
1.0 out of 5 stars Archie Andrews?
This recording is the equivalent of listening to a ventriloquist on the radio . The method is more important than the message and possibly makes sense in a live setting . Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2010 by V. Wiggins
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