Back in 1979 Sky, an English/Australian instrumental classical/rock band hit the top forty with their experimental blend of Classical music, featuring top classical guitarist John Williams. When I listen to Post Rock music, I’m reminded back to this blend of rock of classical music that took the UK by storm in early eighties with their anthem like rendition of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. William’s mentor, Andrés Segovia was at the time well known for his criticism of the electric guitar, calling it an abomination. How surprising was it then, that his most successful student and protégé had taken up the electric guitar and formed an instrumental rock band?
Today, Sky are hardly remembered at all. It was challenging to pull up the album on Spotify. Ironically, a search for Sky resulted in the first hit being the highly popular Explosions In The Sky post rock band. I was able to find a prior album by John Williams, called changes. I’ve created a playlist with some post rock and John Williams mixed in, does it work?
Some fans have been curious about how the name came about for the band. In fact, the album Winter Rebellion was recorded in November (the month of the dead). I was searching for longish, poetic sounding name similar to other Post Rock bands: We Were Astronauts; This Will Destroy You; If These Trees Could Talk, and so on. When googling some early ideas, I came across the phrase: Let The Dead Have November. It is the title of a column on the National Catholic Reporter. The author, Claire Coffey, a kindergarten teacher of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA is commenting on The Feast of All Souls in the Catholic tradition. November is the month to set aside a day to remember the souls in purgatory and visiting the cemeteries where loved ones lie.
Claire writes: “It may be tempting, during the month of November, to yield prematurely to the flashier and cozier charms of Christmas — to the jingle bells and stars in the east and merry gentlemen. But let the dead have November. Let them have this somber, chilly month, with its purple-gray skies and bare, windy trees. Say a prayer for all the departed during this month, and if you can, visit the resting places of your beloved dead. “
We thank Claire for the amazing inspiration to start a new North American Post Rock band, and indeed, we will certainly Let The Dead Have November as we focus on the dark emotions that breathe into new releases for the band.
The start of a new year always brings thoughts of creating new tracks in new ways, and a sense that f wonder for what the year might bring. I’ve been listening to Caspian and wondering what this artist in frozen North will bring. This year I would like to bring more innovation and surprise to my projects and a cinematic touch.
Delusion Spiral is an instrumental music project by Hamed Mostafizi, started in 2005 in his home of Iran. I’m starting my day listening to the track Adrift Like a Dead Leaf. It’s a Winter gloomy day with grey skies and the promise of rain here in Orlando, FL USA. The track instantly transports me to a far away place I’ve never known. Using expertly crafted layers of rhythm and melody with a wide range of instruments Hamed transports us to the world of Iran. The melody feels middle Eastern, but the rhythm speaks to modern eighties and nineties dark wave. I’m reminded of Bauhaus and Joy Division, and yet, there’s a sense of a different world speaking through it all that reminds me of video games, exploring an area looking for clues, taking in the scene from a different land. I wonder to myself if the artist often feels like a dead leaf set adrift, or is it a spiraling delusion? What hopes and fears are born and die within this musical journey.
Nico is recovering from a stomach virus, so I bet he isn’t going to post today. So here is Cathren guest-posting again for him. Nico can write, talk, and play your ear off about music. Cathren loves music–knows nothing.
But here’s a fun fact about Nico. He gets these musical obsessions. He’ll get obsessed with a subgenre. Like all of sudden, he’ll listen to a particular decade of jazz from a particular city–Gypsy Jazz or whatnot. He’ll watch every obscure documentary about it and read everything he can get his hands on. He’ll listen to it non-stop and start experimenting with the chords. He’ll talk your ear off about the theory and the notes, and he may as well be speaking Laotian for as well as I can understand it. But he’s so excited about it.
Hi Friends, The first blog post is a guest post from Nico’s wife, Cathren. Welcome to the Blog. Nico and his friends are going to be blogging about the band, his favorite music, music history, music theory, and just about all things music related. Happy 2019 everyone!