The 9th Chapter of John

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lykwydchykyn
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The 9th Chapter of John

Post by lykwydchykyn »

Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've been back. Been spending the past few months building guitar pedals and working on a coding book, but I managed to finish off another humongous prog rock piece I've been working on since the pandemic hit.

This one is kind of rock-opera-ish (my wife says it reminds her of Tommy, though I was listening to The Lamb Lies down on Broadway a lot while composing this one). All done in Ardour, of course, with a variety of free plugins. Hammond organs are courtesy of SetBFree and the pipe organ is the Jeux sound font. I originally was going to do it with all hammond, but got inspired to go the pipe organ route after playing with the Jeux sounds. A nod to my brother in law, who is an actual semi-famous pipe organist (as famous as pipe-organists get, I suppose).

Everything else is real-world instruments, except the strings which are from the Korg triton. I'm going to preempt comments on the drums by saying yes, they are far from ideal. I detest programming drums (I did my time as an EDM guy, it's done), and a Cajon, HiHat, and Darbuka is all I've got to work with. Drums aren't my forte, but I prefer a loose, live feel to gridlocked samples.

Anyway, if the title doesn't make it obvious, this is essentially a prog-rock opera of the 9th chapter of John's gospel. It's just under 19 minutes long, so grab a cold one first if you intend to give it the full listen. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/EaT3LycSXEs
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Rainmak3r
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by Rainmak3r »

Just made it to the end :mrgreen:

Very impressive work, congratulations! I'd say it sounds closer to good old 70s prog rock than to a rock opera, but the two often overlapped at the time, so that doesn't really matter: it's simply nice to listen to! As a staunch atheist I can't relate much to the topic of the song, but I can recognize good music when I hear it :mrgreen: (Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my favourite rock operas of the time)

I loved the production and the different sounds: with the only exception of drums, yes, but you already talked about that. Great voice as well, which fit the song perfectly IMO: in some parts (e.g., The Questioning) it reminded me of Ian Gillan (who did perform JCS a few times, incidentally!)

Overall, very impressive effort that I'll definitely listen to again in the future, to appreciate what I may have missed at the first round!
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by Basslint »

@lykwydchykyn I am really impressed with the scope of what you have tried to do! And really, really impressed with the result, which by the way does remind me of "Lamb" :D ou did a very nice job with the dramatic vocals! Love the guitar parts. Bravo! :D
Rainmak3r wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:27 am As a staunch atheist I can't relate much to the topic of the song, but I can recognize good music when I hear it :mrgreen: (Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my favourite rock operas of the time)
As a former self-declared staunch (materialistic) atheist (and fan of the eponymous band, but that's probably still true :lol:), those could have been my last (in)famous words :lol: I would actually say that music has helped my conversion! The beauty of it, the order in harmony and melody, the spirituality of the music-making process. And I'm not even talking JS Bach, Sebastian Bach would do already :lol: Of course, there is also chaotic music (and having spent many years listening to extreme metal, noise rock and weird breakcore stuff, I know my share of it :lol:) and that can have some kind of beauty too, but I think it's a different kind of beauty, which comes from expressing our innermost pain. Catholicism really gave me a bimillennial framework to reflect upon all those things, to make sense of them and to assimilate them to understand others better. I think now I appreciate (more) music even more!
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lykwydchykyn
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by lykwydchykyn »

Thank you guys for your comments :-).
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Michael Willis
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by Michael Willis »

I finally got all the way through this! I got interrupted the first time, and it seemed like it was best taking it all in one straight shot, so I started over this morning. :lol:

For what it's worth, I think that your percussion sounds charming, it's a genuine home-studio use-what-you-have kind of sound.

With so much content, it's hard to comment on specifics, but I did really enjoy a lot of the organ solos, and I was surprised that it never really got boring. The instruments were given a chance to shine in between the vocal parts, and your musical form is one that sort of plays out in different chapters. I think that helps drive your story forward, and the musical motifs didn't ever get too repetitive.

I also like how you express your faith through your music, and that we can have a positive conversation here between people who have very different takes on faith.
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by GMaq »

Hi LC!

Finally got a rainy afternoon to wade into this..

Before even listening to a note I have to commend you for the ambition and arranging skills to even put something like this together! There are some really beautiful passages in this, top notch playing of all the instruments and you have a great authoritative and theatrical sort of voice for this kind of stuff, obviously prawwwg and musical theatre go hand in hand and this is your wheelhouse. As far as the drums there couldn't be a better genre of music to hide the lack of a full drum kit and it just adds to the classic 70's period of Prog vibe in my opinion.

Not much to say one way or the other on the content... "the older I get the less I know" is all I'm certain of...

I've had a fully written song about the Apostle Paul rattling around in the back cupboard of my brain for about 25 years maybe you've given me an excuse to actually commit it to a recording... anyway, great work!
lykwydchykyn
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Re: The 9th Chapter of John

Post by lykwydchykyn »

Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments.
GMaq wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:25 pm As far as the drums there couldn't be a better genre of music to hide the lack of a full drum kit and it just adds to the classic 70's period of Prog vibe in my opinion.
Hah, yeah, that's kind of how I feel. LIstening to a lot of old prog it's kind of stunning how low and in-the-background the drums can be. Granted there's a HUGE difference between me on my cajon and Bill Bruford doing his thing, but with so many other parts going on the drums kind of need to keep to their own corner.
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