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Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Tonkenna, May 11, 2005.

  1. Tonkenna


    Dec 15, 2003
    Loughborough, UK
    I thought it might be a plan to start a review thread, rather than a 'how difficult is it to get?'....... here's my take.....

    I just got Soliloquy yesterday, and I love it. I knew I would, a) because it's all solo, and b) because I've been listening to the first 2 minutes of all the tracks from CDBaby for the last two weeks. In fact, it's a little odd to be able to hear the second half of the album. Luckily it's at least twice as good as just the first half.

    I could tell you all the reasons why I love the album, but I'll just mention 'A Morning Star'. I can completely understand why Michael's friends badgered him remorselessly to release it. And I can also understand why 'Al' could watch the performance video of it every day. It must be a great thing to leave the house to, that live version has so much energy.

    I love the way the first slapped, lowest A string vibrates for such a long time during the chiming tapping sections, changing character, rasping and rattling as it dies away.

    I love the three or four notes at 1:10, alternating (really, really quickly!) bass and harmonic chords, leading back into the chiming theme - classic song-writing.

    It's as joyous as Enormous Room is heart-rending.

    It's a measure of quality that Michael can have trouble finding a place on an album for a tune as startling as 'A Morning Star', for 12 years! Is there more of this kind of thing? I think we should know!

    It's also interesting how much a tune can be lifted by getting the right instrument, voice, tuning, technique etc. Michael seems to have a gift for getting these all pretty near perfect, and this gives a really high starting point for writing amazingly musical music. I guess it does help to have so many different types of bass and having a manufacturer willing to work to your whims!

    Cheers Michael, very much worth waiting for - can't wait to hear more of it live.


    P.S. and the retuning section in 'Greetings Earthlings!' around 1.00 in, is like warm butter. Mmmmmmm.
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Now... which of the two Soliloquy threads should I post in? This one seems a bit lonely, so let's go here ;)

    I got the disk yesterday (top turnaround from Steve Lawson's online shop, as I only placed the order on Monday evening) and it's great. I listened to it yesterday afternoon with some dodgy headphones but span it again this morning on better equipment and it was stunning.

    For me, it captured the jaw dropping, ear expanding experience that is a live Michael Manring performance. Anyway, time to tie my jaw up and dive in again...

  3. With you 150% on this statement. My favourite moment is the phase shifting / reverb effect around 2:25 giving neat spatial effects. It's also really cute the way musically it builds to this moment.

    EDIT: ADDED: PS: Oooh, ooh and I love "Dabuda's memory"... The poly-rhythms give it a kind of shifting sand feel... No, that's not quite right. It's kind of kaleidoscopic - you see a pattern which is constantly shifting emphasis, still making up a whole, still made of essentially the same elements but in slightly different ways each time.
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thank you guys so much for the very kind comments! It’s a real treat to be able to share these wacky ideas with folks after having them kicking around in my head for so long. I very much appreciate your thoughtful listening. It’s definitely an inspiration to me.

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