Friday, October 27, 2006
Michael Harris goes neo-orchestral with "Orchestrate"
“Orchestrate” sees world acclaimed guitarist Michael Harris back with the most ambitious album of his career. With a style best described as "Neo Orchestral Metal” the album is a modern day masterpiece. One listen reveals the unique combination of electric guitar playing a very “classical meets metal” style with an orchestra and metal drumming complete with stunning guitar virtuosity.
On the album Michael comments, “My original vision was to go back to my “Defense Mechanizms” roots, yet to focus on one style, neo classical metal. As the record developed, I realized "Orchestral" was a better term, so I consider the record to be my one & only neo-orchestral record. My previous instrumental records have had some “classical meets metal” compositions, but this record is focused exclusively on that style. I recorded all the backing strings, etc on my keyboard, and rather than playing chords, most of the time I treated it like scoring an orchestra, recording one "voice" at a time. There is still plenty of guitar of course, and drummer Matt Thompson did an outstanding job. My focus compositionally was to create strong themes first and foremost, before the musicianship & full arrangements came into play”.
On the making of the album Michael states, “I recorded all the backing strings, etc on my new Yamaha Motif ES keyboard (because the sounds blew me away) and rather than playing chords, most of the time I treated it like scoring an orchestra, recording one "voice" at a time. Time consuming? Hell yes! So what! There is still plenty of guitar on the record of course, and Matt's drumming just kicked the whole thing in the arse!”
“My focus compositionally was to create strong themes first and foremost, before the musicianship & full arrangements came into play. I didn't intend on writing around any particular "culture" of music stylistically, but when I listen back, I hear many different styles, even some Russian / Slavic themes. I also wanted to create a record that breathes with a lot of dynamics, also with at least one tempo descelerondo, and some free time tempos”.
Michael’s classical inspirations include the classical composers include Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dukas, and Vivaldi. Michael’s more recent favourites include Krzysztof Penderecki and Allan Pettersson, stating, “I’ve found them to have some captivating ideas texturally, but the classical composers I appreciate the most (above) are the ones who composed with the greatest melodic sense”.
Released November 24th 2006 on Lion Music
Michael Harris - Electric, acoustic, synth, nylon string, bass guitars and keyboards.
Matt Thompson – Drums
01. Opus Conceptus
02. String Theory
03. The Mad Composer’s Rage
04. Notes from the Kursk
05. Battle at Storm’s Edge
08. Octavian II
09. The Anti Shred
10. Schizo Forte
Composed, Mixed & Produced by Michael Harris.
Mastered by Gary Long.