I will give Pat Metheny credit, with a great deal of time and very specific attention to detail going into the DVD package of The Orchestrion Project. I'll also keep in mind the old adage of if you can't say something nice then say nothing at all. Having grown up with the incredible gift that is Pat Metheny's music, a collection (for me) of odd sound effects created by everything but the kitchen sink may be a technical marvel to behold but there is minimal soul .
Taste is subjective as Metheny fans will certainly flock to this release but I simply don't get it. Reshuffling the same melodic lines created by a melange of percussion equipment still seems as lifeless as the original CD when it first hit the shelves. Unlike like other artists however this particular package shows clearly the attention to detail and musical possibilities as left to the artist but is oddly reminiscent of the ECM movie Sound and Silence.
Set in an old church and allowing the freedom of movement rarely seen by the average camera person under similar circumstance the effects can at times can be stunning.
To wrap this one up, Metheny fans seemed on the fence with the originally issued CD and I doubt this package may do much better. Artistic? If anything the release opens the door for artistic presentation and what qualifications should or should not be put on a performance under the heading of "art." As an avid Metheny fan this package would be one I would probably pass on. Pat Metheny has no qualms about moving outside his comfort zone and traditional wheelhouse but never forget about the talent that brought you to the attention of the world. The apt metaphor of riding the horse that got you there comes to mind. There is a fine line between creativity and a hodge podge of sound effects used with great skill and purpose. I'll leave that for you to decide just where that line begins and ends.
Tracks CD1: Improvisation #1; Antonia; Entry Point; Expansion; Improvisation #2; 80/81 / Broadway Blues; Orchestrion.
Tracks CD2: Soul Search; Spirit of the Air; Stranger in Town; Sueño con Mexico; Tell Her You Saw Me; Unity Village.
Personnel: Pat Metheny: acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synth, Pikasso 42-String guitar, Orchestrion.