Interview special 1 – MJ Murphy

Guitar guru at work

I was delighted that I managed to speak to Mike Murphy via Skype recently. Mike is a teacher, all-round guitar expert, Yes fan and top listener of the Yes Music Podcast.

Mike writes engaging, expert, guitar-related blog posts at www.twilightguitar.wordpress.com

Who better, then, to help us understand the styles and approaches of the three Yes guitarists, Peter Banks, Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin?

I hope you enjoy the first Yes Music Podcast interview special – there are plenty more to come.

If you have a Yes story you’d like to share, please get in touch – I’d be more than happy to speak to you via Skype!

Episode 6 – ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ Part 1

The sixth episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the sixth album, ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’.

Vinyl purchased circa. 1989 CD circa. 2005 (click to enlarge)
  • What difference does new drummer, Alan White, make?
  • What is the connection between Tales, opera and Church music?
  • Should anyone be expected to listen to the whole of Tales from Topographic Oceans?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Continue reading “Episode 6 – ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ Part 1”

Technology and music – always a good thing?

Technology for technology's sake?

I’m looking forward to releasing a great interview I did yesterday with guitar guru, Mike Murphy. He was in the US, I was in England. We spoke to each other via the miracle of Skype. The sound was clear and there was only a slight lag – as you will hear.

This is another example of how technology has revolutionised communications – I couldn’t have done this interview at all only a few years ago.

However, is technology always positive ? Does music always benefit from the latest in technology?

Wood and cat gut or iPad and Animoog?

When Yes recorded their earliest albums, music recording technology was at a comparatively early stage – and so was instrument technology. Of course, all musical instruments are products of the current state of technology and always have been. A Stradivarius violin was ‘the latest thing’ in the 1680s – it was the Animoog iPad app of its day.

However, it sometimes seems to me that more technology can mean less creativity, less need to innovate. I remember hiring the first video camera I ad ever seen when I was about 17 years old. It had no zoom function so to make the film interesting, I had to create the angles and simulate the zoom myself. The result was a slightly bizarre but highly-creative, interesting movie. I wonder if the same is true with studio technology?

I’m no musical Luddite…am I?

Clearly, something like 90125 would not have been possible without the creative use of the latest technology (and the involvement of a genius producer like Trevor Horn) but when it’s possible to create any effect you like easily and quickly in the studio, do musicians come to rely too much on this and too little on their own musicianship and flair?

What about all those ‘manufactured’ acts through the last 30 years, culminating in the X-factor production line – without technology would this be possible – and would it be a good thing or a bad thing?

Let me know what you think.


Creative Commons image credit – iEEEj

Episode 5 – ‘Close to the Edge’

The fifth episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the fifth album, ‘Close to the Edge’.

Close to the Edge CD and vinyl
Vinyl purchased circa. 1989, CD circa. 2005 (click to enlarge)
  • Is this the classic Progressive rock album?
  • Are there any classical music parallels to be found here?
  • What gives the music its ‘hook’?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Continue reading “Episode 5 – ‘Close to the Edge’”

Announcing new Yes Music Podcast interview specials

Step up to the mic

I’m really enjoying the weekly exploration of Yes albums and I hope you are too!

In between these episodes, I’m also going to start doing a few interview specials. This is because I know there are many people out there who know more than me about aspects of Yes and have different perspectives. I’d like to hear what they have to say and also share this with you.

So I’m in the process of organising Skype chats with some very interesting folk who will make fascinating guests. Here’s a flavour of what’s on its way:

  • A Yes fan guitar teacher with lots to say about Yes guitarists and their special styles
  • A Yes fan prog rock musician
  • A Yes fan prog rock website owner and ‘3rd cousin of Yes’
  • Several others!

If you have a story to tell, why not get in touch? In the meantime, watch this space for some great conversations…coming soon.


Creative Commons image credit: JoshSemans

Episode 4 – ‘Fragile’

The fourth episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the fourth album, ‘Fragile’.

  • Fragile CD and vinylWhat difference does the arrival of Rick Wakeman make?
  • Is Fragile really an iconic masterpiece?
  • How good are the solo experiments?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Continue reading “Episode 4 – ‘Fragile’”

Please vote for the Yes Music Podcast


Wow. A kind listener to the Yes Music Podcast has nominated it for a European Podcast Award!

I’m amazed. I’ve only done 3 episodes so just to get nominated is fantastic. This confirms what I already knew –

You, the Yes Music Podcast audience are the best!

If everyone who listens or visits the website votes for the show, who knows how we could get on? Please ask your friends to vote as well – and get them to listen, of course!

Use the link on the image above or the link below which I have made nice and easy to remember:

http://bit.ly/voteYMP

Closing date – end of November 2011

Thanks so much everyone!

Clever Amazon

First of all, I feel I should say that I was saddened as I know so many were at the news of the premature passing of Steve Jobs. If it wasn’t for him, it’s unlikely I would be producing the Yes Music Podcast.

R.I.P. Steve.

Amazon - we know what you're thinking... (click to enlarge)

I was also interested to note this week how clever Amazon are getting. Alongside new sci-fi technology from Apple – Siri, it seems that Amazon’s artificial intelligence is hitting the mark. Here’s what Amazon recommends I buy this week:

Seems to know something about me then…

Changes to email updates

stamps
What do you want in your email updates?

Hi everyone. I have just changed the Yes Music Podcast email updates.

If you have already signed up for updates via email, you will have been getting a message every time a new blog post or episode is posted.

For boring technical reasons, this was messing up the Yes Music Podcast listing in iTunes and only 3 episodes were showing up.

So, if you sign up now for the email updates, you will still get all blog posts and episodes. However, if you are already receiving emails, you will now only get the episodes. If you are OK with this, that’s fine by me. Otherwise, please sign up again using the email sign-up form on the right hand side of every page.

 

Sorry for the messing about!

Kevin


Creative Commons image credit CeresB

Episode 3 – ‘The Yes Album’

The third episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the third album, ‘The Yes Album’.

The Yes Album
Vinyl purchased circa. 1989, CD circa. 2005 (click to enlarge)
  • What difference does producer, Eddie Offord, make to the sound?
  • What is the contribution of new man, Steve Howe?
  • Are there more classical music parallels in this album?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Continue reading “Episode 3 – ‘The Yes Album’”