Pat Metheny: Orchestrion


The forces of nature, to which we know, all act in balance and in accordance to one another.  Seasons change and adaptations occur to maintain equilibrium, and sometimes nature produces extraordinary events.  In his new solo project and upcoming record titled Orchestrion, Pat Metheny creates a controlled universe where all acoustic and mechanical instruments work in synchronization together to produce the composed sound that is echoing in his mind.

Most of the sound generated from the various instruments is based off of what Metheny plays on the guitar.  The orchestration happens when multiple instruments generate the sound in simultaneous fashion.  “It got me to get to some places I’d never been, and that’s a pretty cool thing,” the seventeen-time Grammy award winner says of Orchestion.  “I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of music and the way it ultimately comes to exist.”  

In his new project, though some tendencies may be familiar to fans, Metheny utilizes advanced music technology to make Orchestrion a completely “solo” effort.   With the help of many inventors across the country, he uses the connection between instruments and layering of different sounds complete the orchestration.

While Metheny provides all guitar-playing on the album, he also composed the music for all other instruments played.  For example, if a note is plucked on the a guitar string, the way the system is set up, an xylophone or bell can interpret that information and produce the same note on its own.      

Incredible runs and his signature jazz elements fill the opening fifteen minute composition on the record.  Elaborate piano loops and drum textures add to the support base of the music and rhythm section while acting as the driving force to the continuous journey Pat takes us on.

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