on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2017 4 Dez

„Tubular Dawning“

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 7 Comments

He wrote an awful song, „Shadow on the Wall“, and the albums of his sister Sally, boring lessons of fairytale‘s nirvana. But, once upon a time, who didn‘t like Tubular Bells when listening to it for the first time, on vinyl, on air, as soundtrack of a famous horror movie? How could it happen so many record companies rejected it till Richard Branson realized its potential? And as a soundtrack, it would easily work, but horror? Quite addictive, the music.

Years later, Ommadawn, somehow similar, somehow different, a one-trick pony? Now set into the wide open? The more mature work? This is written from memory, probably with errors, without Google. As far as I remember, Ommadawn was composed to come clear with the death of his mother. The music is far from overtly sad, it‘s like someone moving into the zone creating hymn-like moods to overcome the sadness. Simple as that, I don‘t know.

But is Ommadawn such a great work, I listened to it today, in the dark, and it was impressive in some ways, not so much in some others. A great flow of ideas, sudden changes of the scenery, appealing folk chants, entrancing drum parts, but, somehow, I felt it all a bit too well-mannered, overcrowded with big gestures. On the other hand smart tricks seem to contradict the deep emotion that (as I think I  have heard somewhere) set it all into motion. Really I don‘t know what to think and feel about it.

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  1. Ian M:

    Ommadawn is good, but after a short while of listening to it, for some reason, I crave the sound of Popol Vuh and also Florian Fricke’s solo work.

    Is that a tubular bell I hear on Fricke’s miraculous composition „Last Village“? I don’t know, but I dig it. Genius vinyl.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Problem is i don’t don‘t like Popol Vuh and Florian Fricke. Only works for me in a Herzog movie, sorry:)

    Most Manas are much more into the German Kraut Dreamers…

  3. Ian M:

    Interesting. For me, Popol Vuh’s music is parallel to the films, not joined to them.

    Fricke was a genius.

  4. Uli Koch:

    Yes, there are tubular bells in „Last Village“ and you are right, Ian, it’s miraculous, too. Sometimes Florian Fricke’s Works are a bit too esoteric but most of it has a great musical depth and hypnotic traction. With Films it worked out really strong but i also felt that these mysterious soundscapes can stand for themselves. „Heart of Glass“ is one of my deep emotional longtime favourites.

  5. Brian whistler:

    I have never heard a Popol Vuh soundtrack on its own, but with the movies it is so captivating. As for Tubular, Ommadawn etc, well I think there is some magic there, at any rate, I certainly did when I was a younger man. Listened to Ommadawn for the first time in years recently in the original quad mix and was charmed by it- but how much of that is nostalgia and how much is pure musical enjoyment? The same couldbe said of Hergest Ridge. Of all three of those early albums, that one meant the most to me. There are such innocent feelings expressed on that album, feelings of childhood joy in nature. But I don’t find myself reaching for these albums often, still, somehow it’s comforting to know they’re there.

  6. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Maybe that‘s exactly what I‘m thinking about my early years with the music of Mr. Oldfield, Brian:) – nowadays it has the discreet charm of an old picture book that allows you to follow different strands of memory…

    And, I knew here are a lot of Popol Vuhs, and I do kindly stay offside…

  7. Ian M:

    @ Uli – I will give it a listen!

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