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Sound Theories, Vol. 1 & 2

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Album Review

Despite his reputation as a rock guitar virtuoso, Steve Vai has been writing orchestral scores since the age of 14 (that would be circa 1974) by his estimation and "[amassing] hefty heaps" of them ever since, "but with few performances." So he notes in his annotations to the ambitious double-CD live set Sound Theories, Vols. 1-2. Vai's compositional bent finally was given an outlet by Co de Kloet of Dutch Public Radio & Television, which commissioned him to write an hour's worth of music to be performed by the Metropole Orkest. Going through his amassed materials, Vai came up with two hours' worth, which he and the orchestra performed in a series of concerts in May 2004 and July 2005. Then, he took the recordings home and began working on them, resulting, two years later, in this album, the first two volumes of what he hopes to be a continuing series. The pieces date back to 1978 ("Answers"), with many from the 1980s ("Salamanders in the Sun," "Attitude Song," "For the Love of God," and "Liberty" from the first disc and the entire second disc). Several of these earlier works, notably "Salamanders in the Sun" and "Frangelica, Pt. 2," reveal the influence of Vai's former employer Frank Zappa. Zappa was never fortunate enough in his lifetime to work with a sympathetic symphony orchestra like the Metropole, however. (He did work well with some smaller ensembles toward the end of his life.) Like Zappa, Vai is interested in pushing the limits of composition and playing ability, and he has gone even further by manipulating the live recordings with what he acknowledges are thousands of edits and note substitutions. The first disc, subtitled The Aching Hunger, is a guitar-plus-orchestra album with his usual playing pyrotechnics. But he leaves the entire second disc (Shadows & Sparks) to the Metropole, which makes this music sound like the highly dramatic soundtrack for an adventure film that hasn't been made yet. Sound Theories, Vols. 1-2 seems to be the beginning of a post-guitar-hero career for Vai, and it makes a good start in that direction.

Customer Reviews

Un disque colossal !

Quelle belle surprise : Sound Theories sur iTunes. Et le jour de sa sortie en plus. Merci Steve ! Le volume 1 nous fait redécouvrir certains classiques et perles cachées du répertoire rock de Steve Vai (géniale Salamanders in the Sun). Certains ont critiqué la validité du choix des pièces, mais force est d'admettre que la séquence se fond et s'écoute admirablement bien. Et parmi l'orchestre, il y a toujours cette guitare au phrasé si unique (I'm Becoming, touchante). Le volume 2, qui ne contient que des compositions orchestrales originales, est plus consistant à mon avis. On y entend la pleine mesure de formidable talent de compositeur du guitariste (Frangelica, Pt. 2 avec ses accents jazz rock) où la filiation avec un certain Frank Zappa n'est jamais bien loin (Bledsoe Blvd, véritable apothéose du disque). Le son et la production sont superbes, les subtilités de l'orchestre sont bien captées et l'énergie de la foule est palpable. Bref, un disque colossal pour tout amateur sérieux de la musique de Steve Vai. J'ai vivement de voir tout ça sur DVD maintenant...

Vaï

pourriez-vous rajouter Vaï au magasin Itune svp merci,olkilounet

Biography

Born: June 06, 1960 in Carle Place, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Six-string wizard Steve Vai, along with his onetime teacher Joe Satriani, set the standard for rock guitar virtuosity in the '80s. Born on June 6, 1960, and raised in Carle Place, New York, Vai became interested in the guitar via such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper as a teenager and, upon starting high school, took lessons with an older player from the school, Joe Satriani. Playing in several local bands, Vai quickly picked up on the instrument, and by the age of...
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