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by Michael Whipple

For Panorhythmica, I did some pre-production work on two tracks, "Road to Panorhythmica" and "Elegy in G," in my home studio, which at the time was running on a prehistoric Mac laptop (would you believe 8MB of RAM and a cavernous 80 MB hard drive? Ahh, the bad old days).

Anyway, "Elegy in G" was meant to be strictly strings. I was working up the arrangement, which consisted of layered improvisations underneath the main theme. Mark liked the piece and asked me to bring it in to the studio to transfer to ProTools. When I brought the mighty 840c PowerBook (and equally obsolete Opcode Vision software) into Audioworks, engineer deluxe and rabid Ohio State Buckeye fan John Perez got in some good natured laughs. I fired up "Grandpa," and Vision decided to call up a random set of MIDI patch numbers for some of the tracks. Maybe that venerable old code had a bit of heuristic inspiration, because the sounds worked beautifully, particularly the "Strawberry Fields" mellotron-like flute patch that comes in at the modulation. I just kept a straight face and humbly accepted kudos on my tasty "choice" of timbres. The lead English horn melody was later added on what Mark called the "Geisthorn" (ghost-horn in German), a Yamaha WX5 MIDI wind controller driving a Yamaha VL70m physical modeling synthesizer. Mark then added his century old German 6-string lute, a.k.a. "luitar", which is neither fish nor fowl as a musical instruments are concerned.

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