Quest - a quick summer poll

This is the place to post items relating to Gordon and his music in a general sense, such as his influences, how he composes, which pieces you enjoy most and why etc.

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What is your favourite version of Quest?

a) Original version from Perilous Journey
5
45%
b) Orchestral version (present on the new edition of Perilous Journey)
2
18%
c) Live version with Shirley Roden (from Live at Oxford)
2
18%
d) Interwoven in The Eye of the Wind rapsody - orchestral version
2
18%
 
Total votes: 11

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piotrwargan
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Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby piotrwargan » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:47 am

Hello,

I have encountered three versions of Quest so far, and I must say that I like this song very much.
Each of the versions has its special moments and it is a joy to listen to them all, but just for fun we could share the views on the favourite one.

Here is a quick poll :-)

Which is your favourite version of Quest?

a) Original version from Perilous Journey
b) Orchestral version (present on the new edition of Perilous Journey)
c) Live version with Shirley Roden (from Live at Oxford)
d) EDITED: interwoven in The Eye of the Wind rapsody - orchestral

(Option d) added as suggested by Trevor.)

Maybe there are still some other versions that should be added?


Cheers,

Piotr

PS.
The poll has been added now, where 2 options may be selected.
Last edited by piotrwargan on Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:28 am, edited 6 times in total.

Trevor Raggatt
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Trevor Raggatt » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:54 pm

I would vote for the bonus track on Perilous Journey with the Wren Orchestra. Stunning piece of music and the best bonus track ever.

You could also sort of add the orchestral "Eye of the Wind" rhapsody as, if I recall correctly, Gordon wove some of the melodic themes from Quest (and some other tunes of that era) into that piece.

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Roger USA
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Roger USA » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:11 am

I would probably vote for the original Perilous Journey "Quest", but the bonus track does take it to a new place and is wonderful in its own right.

All The Best,

Roger

Johnty8
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Johnty8 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:36 pm

This is an interesting post and question.

I think already we have had two different choices and there will probably be more.I don't have the detailed knowledge you have of Gordon's music over the years but it is interesting when an artist renowned for his quality in one area of music also creates high quality in another.

I wondered if anyone prefers the guitar based versions of this music because it fulfils an expectation and if so would they genuinly purchase an orchestral extended version were it to be recorded on a classical label, without guitar?

Has this composition motivated anyone to listen more closely to classical music in general?

I mention this because an introduction to a musical genre often leads to a widening of interest in the listener.

I just wondered.

John

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piotrwargan
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby piotrwargan » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:57 pm

Hello John,

Your post made me think whether point d) in the poll was written correctly (i.e. was Gordon really playing the guitar on the recording of the Eye of the Wind). It seems that this was my imagination to see him with the orchestra. :oops:

Sorry for the mistake: Gordon says, that as far as he remembers, it was a purely orchestral piece. An adequate amendment was made to point d) of the poll.

Answering your question about purchasing an orchestral Quest with no guitar, I would say I would do this.

All the best,

Piotr

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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Johnty8 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:21 pm

Thank you Piotr,

' Eye Of The Wind '

It is an orchestral piece without guitar.

I was just asking if you or anyone else would consider the joint, Classical/Giltrap, market would be commercial with this composition.

I know that all performing artists have a loyal following for their own style but this presents a unique product, don't you think, in that a world renowned contemporary musician has composed a piece of classical music that is of such high quality that it has already been performed by symphony orchestra.

It is an interesting question you have put.

John

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piotrwargan
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby piotrwargan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:56 am

Johnty8 wrote:Thank you Piotr,

' Eye Of The Wind '

It is an orchestral piece without guitar.

I was just asking if you or anyone else would consider the joint, Classical/Giltrap, market would be commercial with this composition.

I know that all performing artists have a loyal following for their own style but this presents a unique product, don't you think, in that a world renowned contemporary musician has composed a piece of classical music that is of such high quality that it has already been performed by symphony orchestra.

It is an interesting question you have put.

John


All I can say is that I can imagine Classical Giltrap :-)

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Roger USA
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Roger USA » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:52 pm

Like Piotr I could imagine classical Giltrap!

That said I do listen to classical music and the genre is so broad that I feel there are many "classical" interpretations that could be made from Gordan's music. Raymond Burley has already shown how Gordon's music can be adapted beautifully to classical guitar and there is also a wonderful version of Gordon's "The Lord's Seat" played on the lute somewhere on You Tube.

The progressive music roots of Gordon's 70's music almost inevitably lends itself, in my opinion, to an orchestral interpretation as a lot of the music of that genre/era does.

In the other direction English folk music has influenced a number of classical composers. The music of one of them, Vaughan Williams, is both beautiful and very "English" and in many ways reminds me of Gordon's solo work.

So that's at least two copies of "The LSO Goes Giltrap!"

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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Johnty8 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:05 pm

Many thanks Roger,

You clearly are very well versed in the music of Gordon Giltrap.

When you consider the album Troubadour and the albums that were produced in the 70's which, to a mainstream audience, are quite different, what do you think?

I ask this because most popular music today has, since the 60's, been electric guitar driven, good or bad.

You mention progressive music; do you think that form is not only compatible with classical music, but commercially important for any artist capable of producing it.

John

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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby GORDON » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:45 am

Good morning gentlemen and THANKYOU for such interesting postings particularly the poll idea from Piotr.

I know this sounds strange but I rarely listen to my own music,and regards to early recordings I truly can't remember!

I have to say this though.The Wren orchestra sessions were recorded at Abby Road studios and you can imagine what a great honour for me to be sat within their hallowed portals.

I did indeed play guitar on that session, so if you hear any guitar it's was most certainly me.

From a personal point of view and please don't think this sounds churlish but when I DO get round to listening to archive recordings it reminds me of what my career should have and could have been today if the right combination and chemistry and people were around me at that time to really push all aspects of my music forward.

Yes, of course there were many well meaning people around but sadly that chemistry of personalities and caring...truly caring wasn't there..

Like every thing in life it is a matter of luck, timing and being in the right place. Circumstances plays a huge part in whether an artists breaks into universal big time or not.

Sadly it wasn't meant for me BUT look what I gained along the way...Hilary,a wonderful family and wonderful friends like you who care enough to want to take out precious time to write your thoughts about this Troubadour on this Forum.For that I thank you.

Check out the music of the great Finzi when you get a chance. His romance will I guarantee bring tears to your eyes.

Be well.

G.

Johnty8
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Johnty8 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:16 pm

The road is always there to be travelled and music knows no barriers.

I last saw Gordon perform in October 2014, at a lovely church in Cheshire.

The venue was sold out and, apart from the concert organiser having a domestic disturbance with one of the doors during the performance, you could hear a pin drop. The audience were mesmerised throughout.

I mention no barriers because my granddaughter, aged 21yrs, accompanied me to this concert, experiencing this magician live for the first time.

She had tears in her eyes, she had never heard anything more beautiful.

Gordon is blessed to have all of you as his friends and I am sure there is still a long journey ahead for established and new listeners.

John

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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Roger » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:05 pm

I have to go for the original version :D

Best to all,

Roger
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.

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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Roger USA » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:09 pm

Johnty8 wrote:Many thanks Roger,

You clearly are very well versed in the music of Gordon Giltrap.

When you consider the album Troubadour and the albums that were produced in the 70's which, to a mainstream audience, are quite different, what do you think?

I ask this because most popular music today has, since the 60's, been electric guitar driven, good or bad.

You mention progressive music; do you think that form is not only compatible with classical music, but commercially important for any artist capable of producing it.

John


Hi John,

Gordon's 70's trilogy and Troubadour are certainly quite different, but they come from the same roots. One of the many great things about Gordon's music is that it has evolved and developed over time. He's not a nostalgia act solely reproducing his 70's music. He's always adding new music be it Anyone Can Fly and Wherever There Was Beauty from last year's Ravens and Lullabies album or recently Loren and Sadie in May.

I first grew to love Gordon's music when I bought (and played to death) the 12 inch single version of Fear of the Dark as a young university student in the late 70's. I still love the trilogy, but I think that today Troubadour is probably my favorite album. According to my iTunes record of my "Top 25 Most Played" tracks (across all artists) there are five tracks of Gordon's from Troubadour which must say something!

All The Best,

Roger

Gordon, thank you for pointing me towards Finzi - I don't think I had heard his music before!

Johnty8
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby Johnty8 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:23 pm

Many thanks Roger.

Regards
John

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steve
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Re: Quest - a quick summer poll

Postby steve » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:44 am

GORDON wrote:From a personal point of view and please don't think this sounds churlish but when I DO get round to listening to archive recordings it reminds me of what my career should have and could have been today if the right combination and chemistry and people were around me at that time to really push all aspects of my music forward.

Yes, of course there were many well meaning people around but sadly that chemistry of personalities and caring...truly caring wasn't there..

Like every thing in life it is a matter of luck, timing and being in the right place. Circumstances plays a huge part in whether an artists breaks into universal big time or not.

Sadly it wasn't meant for me BUT look what I gained along the way...Hilary,a wonderful family and wonderful friends like you who care enough to want to take out precious time to write your thoughts about this Troubadour on this Forum.For that I thank you.

Check out the music of the great Finzi when you get a chance. His romance will I guarantee bring tears to your eyes.

Be well.

G.


I've had some pretty serious discussion about this with other Gordon aficionados over the years. We often mention the fact that Fear Of The Dark dented the UK Top 40 and the 12" single version (I have the picture disc - remember THAT, Gordon?!) even dared to flirt with disco, which was a prevalent force in current music of the day. There was almost an expectation of bigger things to come from a commercial point of view. But, notwithstanding Gordon's own recollection of the period and reasons only he knows as to why maybe some things didn't pan out quite as they might have done, you have to also look at wider trends of the day.

Just around the corner we entered the 1980's. This was a strange decade for music in general. The synth craze influenced production styles as did digital recording, the advent of MIDI keyboards, the fad for gated drums etc, all contributing to a new style of music, which if we're all totally honest, hasn't aged at all well.

Now, let's look at Gordon's music. What did he deliver? The Peacock Party. I'll be completely honest here and say that I for one was disappointed with it, at least to begin with. It seemed as though the prog rock material had been side-lined (temporarily?) in favour of more jazzy and folky material. I also just didn't get the humour of the record. For pete's sake, the book it is inspired by was a children's book. What was I expecting? The album sleeve alone should have been enough of a clue but in my 13 year old wisdom I couldn't grasp it. When Airwaves came out I was only partially relieved. It didn't grab my attention as the earlier trilogy had done. Following this Gordon started making the solo acoustic albums.

The truth is that Gordon's earlier music didn't fit into the music scene of the 80's. There wasn't much market for it due to the changing times. The commercial pop market is a very fickle animal indeed. Not much 70's music transcended the move to "modern" music of the period. In hindsight from a strictly artistic viewpoint, I think Gordon got it right! The late 80's / early 90's saw a revival of interest in guitar based music and there was a concerted effort to get back to basics, stripping off all the high gloss of the 80's production style. If you care to listen to The Peacock Party today, it has aged brilliantly and far better than a lot of contemporary music of the period. It's rootsy feel fits right in with what's been in vogue for the past 20 odd years. A lot of people proclaim that rock music (which presumably must also include prog rock?) is dead today as "popular" music has fractured off into many sub categories and genres. Again, Gordon's acoustic records fit into "genre" headings now.

Personally speaking I've struggled to hear in my head the sound of a "pop" Gordon making prog rock instrumental albums in the 1980's and beyond. I'm sure the additional money achieved from chart success would have been welcomed by Gordon though! Regarding Airwaves, I can now better understand (thank you for the liner notes, Gordon) how and why that album came about. With that in mind I can appreciate certain aspects of that record better than ever before. As for The Peacock Party I now regard that as a totally unique masterpiece.

I do also believe it must be a much more daunting task to put out an album made by just yourself with little other help from others in terms of musical support and backing. The fact that there are so many great albums that are fun to listen to but that are essentially just acoustic guitar, shows a lot about true musicianship and craftmanship that a lot of pop records could only wish for.

I do think the market for instrumental music will always be comparatively small in relative terms when compared with vocal records. Singers, whether justifiably so or not, tend to be the draw and focal point of any group. Instrumental ensembles haven't quite got the same draw when you're looking into the mainstream market. You only have to look at TV programs showcasing raw talent and young hopefuls. How many of these people who want a pop career, are instrumentalists? How many are "singers"?

One final thought on this (I've rambled on too long already) is the world of classical music. Until quite recently it was easy to criticise the establishment for being quite snooty about anyone entering the domain who wasn't professionally trained and who didn't play the "appropriate" pieces. The rock meets classical genre was traditionally looked down upon by those with loftier egos and heritages to preserve. Faced with the inevitable prejudices and demands of the mainstram audience I think anyone working in a primarily instrumental, but non-classical field must find it very difficult to break through. In the days before the advent of the internet, when everybody can get their 15 minutes of fame via Youtube, I think it must have been an incredibly difficult task indeed.

Gordon, you've done pretty good so far in my opinion!
Mirrors should think longer before they reflect ~ Jean Cocteau


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