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Pat Metheny, Pat Metheny & Lyle MaysAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

Price: $13.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 5 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2010 $13.18  
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Orchestrion + Unity Band + What's It All About
Price for all three: $37.66

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  • Unity Band $12.60
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 26, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B002U33GTW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Orchestrion
2. Entry Point
3. Expansion
4. Soul Search
5. Spirit of the Air

Editorial Reviews

Grammy Award-winning composer-guitarist Pat Metheny s Orchestrion may turn out to be his most talked-about, argued-over undertaking. It s already his most adventurous. With Orchestrion, Metheny redefines the concept of the solo album. He is indeed the only live musician on this recording, but it s the opposite of, say, his 2003 One Quiet Night, in which Metheny hunkered down in his home studio to explore all the musical possibilities of one new guitar. Here he works with an extraordinary set-up of acoustic instruments, assembled for him by a visionary team of inventors. What they have created in collaboration with Metheny is a veritable made-to-order solenoid orchestra that includes, among other things, bass, pianos, percussion, marimbas, guitar-bots, and a mellifluous cabinet of carefully tuned bottles. Using one-of-a-kind software programs and solenoid switches, Metheny controls each instrument via his guitar and an array of pedals.

Orchestrion was influenced by the primitive but evocative player-piano technology of yesteryear that has fascinated Metheny since he was a child. The player piano inspired inventors of that age to create the orchestrion, a large mechanical multi-instrument device that imitated the sound of an orchestra. Metheny brings this concept into the 21st century, composing and playing five ambitious pieces with his tailor-made, sophisticated, musically dynamic ensemble. Orchestrionics is what Metheny calls this new method of performing. The resulting album, recorded in midtown Manhattan s MSR studio after months of experimentation at home, is a marvel of the digital era, yet the record sounds beautifully, stirringly, human. In other words, timeless.

To witness Metheny improvising on guitar while surrounded by these instruments, digitally triggered to play the scores that Metheny has painstakingly written for each of them, is indeed a wonder. Eager fans have already made sell-outs of the first dates of Metheny s Orchestrion tour. But hearing is truly believing: there is not a single note on Orchestrion that sounds mechanical, and some tracks, like Expansion, have a thrillingly improvisational feel to them.

Metheny has gone into uncharted territory: every day in the studio with these instruments was a revelation as he began to comprehend what they were capable of musically and, more importantly, what he himself could achieve in their presence. They were not a substitute for the interaction of other players and this does not signal a shift from Metheny s other collaborative ventures. In fact, Metheny most recently proved his love for ensemble playing with his 2008 tour-de-force trio release, Day Trip.

Orchestrion is all about innovation. As Metheny puts it, This experience so far has provided me with a self-imposed challenge that has proven to be enormously difficult and time-consuming, but the early results have been absolutely exhilarating. I am excited to share this project... I am hopeful and confident that if nothing else, this will be something truly unique. It feels like progress to me and has gotten some notes out of me that I didn't know were there. That is always a good thing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm giving Pat a 'Hall Pass' on this one... January 28, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've got tickets for Pat's Orchestrion tour in May and I'm bringing my son who is 11 and just starting out his young percussion life. I can't wait to introduce him to one of the finer things in life: i.e. Pat Metheny's Music.

Do I wish he was touring with his band? Yes. Lyle Mays and rest of the crew. I would give anything for a chance to introduce my son to that very rare treat - live especially.

After listening to the Orchestrion CD for the first time, will this be worth it? I think so. I give Pat credit for trying something like this. What the heck: a multi-Grammy winner can step out a little bit I think. I agree with some of the other reviewers that it's definitely Pat, albeit 'mechanized mallet percussion Pat'. But it's okay. It's a project that's close to him and I can imagine the experience of seeing this setup live will be quite original and fun!

The CD is not going to shock and awe you. It's solid Pat Metheny - right on the money in terms of harmonics, improvisations, tonalities, and substance; he's attempting something different here in terms of instrumental backup. I'm giving Pat a 'Hall Pass' on this one. It's decent work!! Go for it Pat!!

There are many like me who slip a Pat Metheny CD into their player while driving to work (or wherever) and are instantly transported back to some of the finer times in their lives. I'm sure I share this sentiment with many, many other people. For this I can't thank Pat (Lyle and various other contributing artists) enough. Pat has laid the background track for many of our lives and it's been a good one. The vibrations have always been filled with inspiration, order, spirit, compassion, kindness, expression, and dare I say Loving Hope. And for the opportunity to let my son feel even a single bit of this, now through this Orchestrion effort, well so be it - I am thankful.

Thanks Pat for another chapter!!! Keep it going man!!!! You make me believe in things I can't see...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating album February 9, 2010
By zargb5
Format:Audio CD
I won't go into any detail about the actual orchestrion itself. Other reviewers have done that very well and there are many links on youtube and Mr Metheny's website which explain and show how it works. Make no mistake though the orchestrion is a major progressive development technologically over the older versions and the player piano.

The orchestrion sounds uncannily like a group of musicians (that is how convincing this new invention is) It does sound somewhat different to Pat's varying ensembles but there are complex interactions going on on the macro scale as well as the micro scale of the music.
In a sense this is a kind of follow up to the old album 'new Chautauqua' On that album pat tried to use the studio as an instrument with overdubbed guitars etc to build up the songs. On that album probably due to the technology available and restricted studio time he came away with a very listenable album whose sparseness was highly appealing. On Orchestrion he is afforded a broader, richer pallette to work from and 20 odd years more musical experience.

The Orchestrion is a machine which has been humanised (or gives the illusion of such) It is a very tight but flexible sounding 'ensemble'all under the control of Mr Metheny.

I felt a little underwhelmed on first listen but several plays later this album really begins to grow in the memory. There are a lot of very complex things going on in this music, structurally, rhythmically and melodically & Pat plays some wonderful melodic solos over all of this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ever evolving Metheny! January 26, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I gave this album 4 stars because I can't get past the notion of the majority of the instruments not being performed by humans. But in my heart I give it 5 stars because of the compositions and Metheny's deft execution. As a chemical engineer in an oil refinery, I see solenoid technology employed on a daily basis and what Metheny has done here is nothing short of remarkable. "Orchestrion" is a brilliant example of what music is and its possibilities.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating technique; forgettable music March 18, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This fascinating approach to playing so many instruments could have resulted in a thing of great beauty and joy, but the resulting music is fairly forgettable. You can't run into a stronger long-time Pat Metheny fan, but one of the reasons for my admiration of Mr. Metheny is that he's so remarkably skilled in creating music with an outer structure of melody and rhythm that carries you through repeated listenings until you are better able to admire and enjoy the beauty and subtlety of the deeper complexity. That doesn't happen here. It's a bit too academic so there's no real motivation to listen again.

I believe Pat has chosen over the last several years to move into a more abstract phase of his long career; I think he's moved on from more melodic music for understandable artistic reasons and perhaps a bit of boredom. His newer music appeals more strongly to more elevated and intellectual listeners and high-brow critics, who will very likely admire this new release considerably. Which is good for him...

... but not so great for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat METHENY rules!
I own everything pat writes,his ability and commitment to music is spectacular,Pat will go down as one of the best ever.
Published 13 months ago by steven neuwohner
2.0 out of 5 stars experiment gone astray
I was impressed with pat methenys creation to make one musician sound like a whole orchestra but unfortunately the music is not exciting and its also repetitious he tried... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Carmine J. Ciserano
5.0 out of 5 stars New Style for Pat?
Have enjoyed listening to Pat Metheny for years, but have found some of his albums hit or miss; but this one found its mark with me. Melodic, fun and peaceful.
Published 20 months ago by Eric G. Moden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recording.
Pat does it again! For all you Metheny fans this is another great recording in his exensive volume of work. A definate buy for the money. Read more
Published 22 months ago by ByronS
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Pat Metheny never stops to amaze me. This is a unique artist always going beyond any preconception of how music has to be made.
Published 23 months ago by John Medher
4.0 out of 5 stars Pat Matheney Orchestrion
Very interesting work, great background music, but not as engaging as his earlier work with Lyle Mayes (SP?). The man is a genius.
Published 23 months ago by PanteraMike
1.0 out of 5 stars This is the end
Why did he fire all his band members and replace them by electronic gadgets?
He's burnt out at last, after all these years.
Time for retirement.
Published on September 23, 2012 by Tristan
5.0 out of 5 stars Metheny's Next Chapter
Orchestrion is another fine example of Pat Metheny doing something that few other artists do (or have ever done) and that is push music forward, ready or not. Read more
Published on August 19, 2012 by keith j
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so
From a technical perspective, this recording is an amazing, innovative triumph. However, that is not ultimately why I listen to music. I listen to music for its MUSICAL value. Read more
Published on June 11, 2012 by Dean Robb
5.0 out of 5 stars Redefines the term "solo record"
There are plenty of musicians who would just play off of the novelty of this record's concept. Fortunately, Pat Metheny is still an incredible guitar player and has written five... Read more
Published on July 31, 2011 by W. Smith
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Can't wait
I agree with you Hee, this should be a pretty interesting album, been a fan for about 20 years, I was a teenager (14) when I first heard Last Train Home, been a fan since, Can't wait!!!!
Dec 3, 2009 by Shawn S. |  See all 2 posts
LEMUR's Musical Robots Featured in Orchestrion Be the first to reply
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