Many times in my playing style, I will call upon the enhancement of “the band” to provide a comprehensive background to the melody line. Quite frankly, I have a secondary motive in utilizing features like auto-accompaniment and rhythm in my playing. You may agree that the one single component that separates the formative musician from those who have reached a credible playing standard is their ability to conform to the set tempo. In other words, let’s not have twice as many measures of rhythm in a piece than what is used on the manuals! Utilizing automatic rhythm/accompaniment helps us along in this area by structuring the tempo and keeping us on track. The professionalism comes forth as one listens to a performer who is ever-mindful of the fact that music is an art form involving rules regarding note values, etc.
HOWEVER…the fun part kicks in when each organist develops a song in their own way. This can be accomplished through various means:
- adding nuances to the melody line
- chord substitution
- tempo changes
But one of the most effective ways in today’s world of technical opportunities is for the player to learn to navigate the instrument. In other words, to take advantage of the engineering options of the Atelier. As we musicians pursue the vast diversity of tone, accompaniment and rhythms available on our Ateliers, one can’t help but create their own style. This is where your particular preferences make up a comprehensive audio portrait of your indivual taste in audio sound. Thank heavens we are able to capture this data on the floppy disk to be retrieved for each song as we play! Plus, it’s truly great fun to explore various sound combinations on the Atelier.
One of the Roland Atelier features I enjoy using in my arrangements is the Style Orchestrator which has been dramatically improved on the AT 900 series. Now, not only are the arranged music backgrounds set up in a graduated fashion…..adding more and more instruments as we travel through the eight patterns…..but also, distinct new orchestrations appear. These are downright inspirational to me as I develop my arrangements. Frankly, some of them on their own have ultimately provoked an idea for a major arrangement. Strangely enough, using the Style Orchestrator doesn’t get in the way of my playing, it just seems to fill-out the presence of the song…..as if I had a private symphony orchestra or Big Band at my finger tips. Actually, I do!
Some examples of the more sophisticated edition of Style Orchestrator in the AT 900 series are the Cha Cha 2, Austrian Polka, Holiday 1, and many more. In each case, listen to “the electronic musicians” perform in an additive manner by joining in with the others as we progress through the I-IV original and I-IV advanced modes. In the first case, the rhythm is dominant at the beginning but as one gets to the IV setting, we hear the brass section as well as a trendy saxophone joining in. Can’t you just picture this group? I can.
Another audio picture is contained in the new Holiday I style. As we begin with, of course, sleigh bells on all four beats, the player goes to a more advanced array of percussive effects. Horses hooves abound as well! Wow, I love the technology in the Atelier. The Austrian Polka is another example of musically logical embellishment to your performance. Here comes the tuba player in mode IV of both the original and advanced versions. He waits until then to join the group, rounding out the intensity often heard in live polka bands as they reach the end of a rousing, fun-filled song. Perhaps the most dynamic departure from its previous modes is version “full” in the original mode of the Rhythm 5-Beat. Try it if you dare! I defy you not to think of a certain movie theme involving espionage and intrigue.
I hope some of these concepts will enhance, or perhaps open your mind to the possibilities that await you as you get to know your Atelier. You will find yourself discovering a treasure chest of specials features just waiting for you to welcome them into your performance. Enjoy the ride.
posted by Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com