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Ableton Live Artist News Howard Jones Robbie Bronnimann Show Report

Show Report: Howard Jones & Duncan Sheik at the Boulton Centre for the Performing Arts, NY 10/22/2010

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Last Friday I attended Howard Jones concert at the Boulton Center or the Performing Arts in New York. Here are a notes from the show.

Duncan Sheik
imageDuncan Sheik was the opening act. He sang and played his own accompaniment on acoustic guitar with some stories in between. Note – Duncan collaborated on Howard’s song, Someone You Need, and performed joined Howard's 25th Anniversary concert at the indigO2. Of course I enjoyed the hit “Barley Breathing”, my favorite song was “The Tale of Solomon Snell” off of his latest album Whisper House. It was  was quite fitting for the Halloween season. Sheik’s acoustic set offered an excellent contrast and complimented Howard’s show well.

Howard Jones1st song

Howard performed in an Electric 3 piece band configuration with Robbie Bronnimann playing keys, doing live arrangements and sequence playback, and live mixing with Ableton Live; and Jonathan Atkinson on electronic drums.

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The set list was an excellent mix of classic Howard Jones songs with newer songs from recent albums Revolution of the Heart and Ordinary Heroes mixed in.

One thing I really liked about this show was that although a lot of the songs were from Howard’s classic catalog, the show was not a “nostalgia act”. The arrangements were fresh and the performances were tight and had a vitality to them you could really feel.

Having Robbie doing the heavy lifting with Ableton Live and live mixing imagefreed up Howard up to focus on singing, playing and interacting with the crowd. It’s clear Howard is a seasoned artist who continues to take performance seriously and really connects with the audience. Jonathan Atkinson’s drumming also brought a human groove and interesting visual element to the performance.

My favorite song of the night was “Equality”. It started off with Robbie doing a real-time jam with all sorts of beat slicing using Novation Launchpad.

Later in the show, Duncan Sheik came back on stage and he and Howard did a version of Tears for Fears “Shout”.image

Taking a Bow

Live Rig Notes
imageAfter the show I got to meet and talk with Robbie Bronnimann about the show. He’s using Ableton Live running on a Mac with a Novation Remote SL MK II which he uses to play keyboard parts. He also uses the Remote SL as a controller for Live devices. He is using two Novation Launchpads to control mix, launch clips and scenes, and to control devices.

The entire rig is mounted on a custom tube system which is strapped to a V-Stand and can be packed into a flight case. Speaking of this, he mentioned that this is the only rig the entire band transport. Howard’s Fantom G8 and Jonathan’s drum kit – I believe it was a a Roland TD-20s V-Pro™ Series – are provided locally. So they show up and load their sounds prior to the show. Now that’ s a small carbon footprint.

Howard played all his parts from the Fantom G8. Patches either sounded either spot on from album versions, or where updated and freshened up but still worked very well.

Meet and Greet
Both Howard Jones and Duncan Sheik took time out after the show to do a meet and great for all attendees at the lounge at the back of the theatre which was really cool for the fans. After talking with Robbie, I did manage to get up there and was last in line and briefly met both Howard and Duncan who graciously signed my 25th Anniversary concert at the indigO2 DVD :^).

Great Show!
What a great night. The music and performances were fantastic and the crowd was really into it and often sang along. While this was the last show of this short American tour, I recommend you visit http://howardjones.com/touring.html to stay informed about upcoming shows.

Links

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03_MarkMosher-Soundcheck-electromusic2010Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

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Ableton Live Artist News Howard Jones Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers Robbie Bronnimann

Sonic State Behind the Scenes Video – Howard Jones, Robbie Bronnimann, and Laura Clapp On Tour in Australia

Howard_jones I found this series of vides via pedx1ng’s post on the Ableton Live forum, who found it on Matrixsynth. These videos by Sonic State cover Howard Jone's tour in Australia. I've re-blogged them here with annotation.

I've always liked Howard Jones's music and the fact that he's not all about nostalgia but is still writing and experimenting with technology in Live performance.

Also, my first exposure to Ableton Live was at a Howard Jones show back in the day of Ableton 3.0. Like now, he was using it to play scenes on the fly so he wasn’t locked into one arrangement for the whole song. After the show, I ran home and did some research and then bought Ableton Live 3.0 right away. Thanks Howard and Robbie and Ableton for changing the way I compose :^).

Video 1: In this first installment, Howard Jones has Robbie Bronnimmann leave a blizzard strewn UK and head for Australia and meet up with Laura Clapp in Adelaide Australia. He also talks about he now uses the Roland Fantom G8 to simplify his rig and work in a graphical way. He also discusses the polyphony and feel of the Fantom.
http://www.sonicstate.com/tv/flvplayer.swf

Video 2: In this video Howard Jones and Robbie Bronnimmann are in Perth Australia and explain the how they use Ableton Live, and bus powered devices (Motu audio interface, Novation Remote SL, Novation Nocturn) on their tour in Australia. Robbie describes who he uses Live to trigger sequences on-the-fly, do real-time FX processing on backing tracks and live vocals using built-in Ableton Live plugins.
http://www.sonicstate.com/tv/flvplayer.swf

Video 3: Howard Jones has Robbie Bronnimmann, Laura Clapp at sound check in Brisbane. A little taste of "Always Asking Questions". Laura discusses how shes uses TC-Helicon Voice Live and a Novation ReMote SL Compact to create harmonies and vocal effects on the fly. The also explains that he's his own warm-up band as he's doing a 30 minute acoustic set prior to the electronic trio taking the stage.
http://www.sonicstate.com/tv/flvplayer.swf

Links:

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher

Categories
(Modulate This) Artist News Howard Jones

New Howard Jones album on iTunes

Howardjonesrevolutionoftheheart_1
It’s been 20 years since the 80s synth-pop icon Howard Jones exploded on to the music scene.What’s he been up to? Well, back in 1997 he started his own label, dtox.  He is releasing new material on this label as well as material from other bands such as dba.
I think it’s quite inspirational to see an 80’s icon remaining vital as an artist and staying current by collaborating with new artists.

Howard recently released a brand new album called Revolution of the Heart which is now available on iTunes. Click this button to preview some tracks  Revolution of the Heart. 

This album is worth a listen for a many reasons. One of course is if you are a Howard Jones fan, you’ll still enjoy his electronic synth-pop with a positive message. Second, for you producers out there, the album was co-written/produced by dba’s Robbie Bronniman resulting in some very cool mixes.

I
actually saw Howard Jones perform his electronic set with a band twice in the
last two years. He has quite an interesting laptop-based live rig that I’ll
comment on in a future article.

Dig deeper here – www.howardjones.com

Mark