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providence suite - movement no. 4 - atonement

from classical - an eternal album by dave stafford

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"providence suite - movement no. 4 - atonement"

it was at this point in the assembly, mixing and mastering stages of this project, that I became extremely excited - due mainly to the incredibly beautiful instrument sound which is featured in this movement, and in fact, this sound is a major contributor to the success of the last four movements in the suite - I am talking of course about "ebow ensemble" which is quite simply an m-tron pro stock voice: consisting of sampled ebow guitars.

however, when "playing" them via keyboard, where the sound is "artificially" lowered or raised as the pitch drops or climbs, gives this mellotron voice and incredible moving, beautiful strings-like sound, to me, it sounds like a cross between a choir of perfectly-played energy bow guitars and the most exquisite string section you ever heard - just an uncanny, almost alarmingly gorgeous sound.

it was an odd experience, after playing so much piano at the time, of suddenly shifting to this incredibly expressive and very, very beautiful “massed energy bows” sound, but I adapted quickly, and I will tell you for free, I could sit and play that mellotron voice for hours on end – no problem!

the creation of this movement could not have been more straightforward or more simple. on march 24th, after playing my first themes of the day on piano (what I originally knew as theme III, which is the basis of movement no. 3 – providence”), I then turned to the final piece (what I originally knew as theme IV at the time), which I had decided would have (oddly enough) no piano component whatsoever, so I originally, and always, envisioned this final theme (which is the major contributor to the last four movements of the suite) to be played with the "ebow ensemble" - and on the day, that is what I did - I set up the mellotron for "ebow ensemble", and I then sat down and played nine takes of "theme IV" in sequence - an incredibly straightforward session - I wish they all were that straightforward.

these pieces appeared with an ease and surprising grace that I did not expect, the melodies and harmonies just flew from my fingers, and my ears could literally not believe what my hands were playing - this sound is just the cat's pyjamas, as they say :-)

I said it was simple - "movement no. 4 - atonement" is takes 1 through 5 of "theme IV" lined up and recorded, with no editing except to "stick them together" - they required no editing whatsoever, this is exactly how I played them, and exactly the way they sounded “live” on march 24th, 2012.

this is a case where you simply don't mess with perfection; the original nine takes are basically flawless, pristine, I had staggering good luck as one only so, so rarely benefits from, luck was somehow on my side that day, which made assembling, mixing and mastering them incredibly simple some 22 months later when I sat down to create the master recordings of the seven components of "providence suite".




from classical - an eternal album, released December 17, 2013
dave stafford: "ebow ensemble" mellotron.


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dave stafford Stirling, UK

ambient loop guitarist dave stafford performed on stage with robert fripp and the orchestra of crafty guitarists in early 2009, and again with robert fripp and the symphony of crafty guitarists in 2015, and has worked with ambient music and looping for over twenty years. stafford has a rich back catalogue of ambient and loop music, +rock, prog or acoustic crafty guitar music: www.pureambient.com ... more

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