Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Looking for some synthesized Christmas music? Stephen Alcorn's got you covered with An Arp Odyssey Christmas. This album sounds really old, and it is-- recorded way back in 1976. It is basically Switched on Bach with an odyssey and Christmas tunes. I actually find it very relaxing to listen to, and it's got a ton of charm for being such an oddity. Be sure to listen to the demos over on CD Baby, or check out the album on iTunes. Below is some liner notes from the album, detailing how it came about-- truly makes you appreciate how far home recording studios have come!
"An ARP Odyssey Christmas" is a collection of classic Christmas carols performed on an ARP Odyssey analog synthesizer. Arrangements evoking trumpets, flutes, strings, reeds, spacey sounds, and even an operatic soprano were created by recording each part separately in sync with the others.
It was 1976 – "Switched On Bach" had been out for eight years and won three Grammies, the iconic MiniMoog for six years, and the ARP Odyssey for four. Electronic music was becoming more and more popular, and synthesizers were increasingly heard in many genres of music. As of 1976, however, I knew of no existing album of Christmas carols rendered on a synthesizer.
I was in graduate school In 1976 studying geology, and in the fall of that year thought that it would be fun to make a Christmas album to give to family as Christmas presents. It seemed like a good idea, since I had an ARP Odyssey (which I had played with a Rhodes piano in a band, Amethyst, in Athens, Georgia) that was sitting idle, and I had a yearning for unadorned, classic arrangements of Christmas music.