HAIRLESS HEART


Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford

Genesis Music Ltd/Hit & Run Music (Publishing) LTD

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, percussion

Arranged, produced and mixed by L.A.

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Beans Studio, U.S.A.


In 1999 Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford & Steve Hackett reunited to record a version of their classic “The Carpet Crawlers” commemorating its twenty-fifth anniversary. Produced by Trevor Horn and mastered by Nick Davis, the single included some interesting arrangements and sound treatments. It was contemporary, yet very “GENESIS” in feel. I personally found it to be quite interesting. One of the things I noticed was that the song is actually longer than the original but the lyrics had been shortened quite a bit. A whole verse had been removed. This was sort of surprising but at the same time, it changed the parameters of what was considered “sacred” in the composition and structure of GENESIS’ music. It made me wonder how another song from the same album could sound given a similar treatment. That’s what gave me the idea of doing the project in the first place. The song I chose to work on was HAIRLESS HEART, in part because I think the song is one of the most understated instrumentals by the band but also because I knew it would sound great when paired with CARPET CRAWLERS 1999. I knew I had to be very careful in reinterpreting a song considered a classic by fans and critics alike. One thing is for the band to tinker with their own creation, another is to have a complete stranger doing the tinkering. I secured the rights to the song and started to work on it in my studio at home. I approached the project as if I were a member of GENESIS. This fantastic set up allowed me to free my mind from any previous suppositions and to make logical decisions regarding the parameters of the work. I set out to create a version that stayed true to the original whilst making it more contemporary. I held everything that I considered sacred by these new standards. For example, all the Mellotron parts are the same as in the original. The drum track has been changed to a mix of tracks made up from various drum machines (including a Roland CR 78 which is the same type used during the recording of GENESIS’ DUKE).

CINEMA SHOW PART II


Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford

Genesis Music Ltd/Hit & Run Music (Publishing) LTD

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Bill R. dos Santos: extra keys, extra programming

Arranged, produced and mixed by L.A.

Mastered by Tony Cousins/Metropolis Mastering, London


In my opinion, this is one of the best Genesis instrumental parts. It only got better when played live with two drummers at a slightly faster tempo. My favorite version is the one recorded on the “Seconds Out” album which for me it’s one of the best Live albums ever produced. The band’s performances where so outstanding and full of energy that they gave the songs a refreshed meaning and almost a different context. I wanted to capture a similar feeling for my version of the instrumental part of the song. I mixed my version as a “live” track with crowd noises and so forth. I made two drum tracks to emulate the two drummers that the band normally uses and added a couple of twists for the hard-core GENESIS fan. The first one is a short but effective introduction instead of the usual part with all the vocals. The other is an ending that gets closer to the original version and not to the usual Live version ending. I didn’t want to recreate the song exactly as it was in the “Seconds Out” album because I felt that there would be no point in doing so. From a musician’s point of view, I approached the music as if I were on the band being involved in the evolution of the song as it would be presented live. From the point of view of the fan, I made the songs into things I would have wanted to hear from the GENESIS themselves. Slight differences and nuances in the performance, changes in the various parts, yet keeping it faithful to the original. I contacted Nick Davis (GENESIS’ producer since “I Can’t Dance”) regarding some post work and he pointed me in the way of Tony Cousins to do the mastering. Tony had extensive experience working with Nick on mastering a lot of the later Genesis material including all the re-mastered discs and box sets. He also has worked with Peter Gabriel and other artists including Deep Purple and Elton John.

FLY ON A WINDSHIELD


Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford

Genesis Music Ltd/Hit & Run Music (Publishing) LTD

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Bill R. dos Santos: extra keys, extra programming

Arranged, produced and mixed by L..A.

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Bean Studio, U.S.A.


One of the understated great instrumentals from GENESIS. There are certain connotations on the first part of the song that allude to a “Vangelis” type of sound. I have always been a fan of Vangelis and so I thought that a little atmosphere at the beginning of the song done in a similar style to his would be a good thing. I also added effects sounds to help put the song in context with its title. I felt that all the songs on the CD should stand on their own merits. Especially since there isn’t a story to place them together such as there is on the original album.


Unlike the other GENESIS songs in the album, I didn’t have a pre-conceived idea in approaching the song. It was pretty much a play-and-arrange-as-you-go sort of situation. However, by the time I did the recording for this song I had already figured out most of the settings, patches and filters that I wanted for the keyboards, drums, etc. So in a way, this song became the easiest one to put down on the record.

BEHIND THE SCREEN/CINEMANIA


Leon Alvarado

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Produced and mixed by L.A

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Bean Studio, U.S.A.


I wanted to do a song that started with a drum pattern similar to the one used in GENESIS’

“I Know What I Like” when played live: a nice, loud and sharp drum beat. I had a song that I’d written a few years ago that had some of those qualities. At the time I wasn’t trying to make the music sound like GENESIS so I added a few notes from “Behind the Lines” and placed them at the very beginning of the song (hence the “Behind The Screen” name before “Cinemania”). I also remixed the rest of the song and re-recorded some portions using more familiar sounds and patches found in the other songs from the CD. The original “Cinemania” was one of my first songs to use some commercially available MIDI loops along with original tracks. Enough care was taken to make it unique and not to have the loops sounding canned. The main objective of this song was to deliver something textural with its different parts intertwining with each other. Somewhat ethereal and atmospheric, “Cinemania” owes its name to the fact that is more akin to music from a movie soundtrack than anything else.

EARTHBOUND/ALBERT’S RETURN


Leon Alvarado

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Produced and mixed by L.A.

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Bean Studio, U.S.A.


This idea behind this piece of music was to encompass a mini-suite along with “Wind & Sorrow.” The music is portioned into three parts which sort of fit together as one. The first part is “Earthbound,” a melodic and somewhat enchanting soft instrumental evoking strong hints of Tony Banks’ style of composition. When writing it, I was working on creating something that would blend the keyboard’s chords into each other alongside the steady beat from the drum machine in the background. The soft portion of the song is suddenly interrupted by the second part of the mini-suite, “Albert’s Return”, which borrows its name from the character on GENESIS’  “Duke” album which served as the main inspiration. A conscious effort was taken to make a connection between my music and GENESIS’ compositions. A great deal of time went into getting the sounds to match GENESIS’ equipment from the mid-seventies. Sounds such as the ARP synthesizer, the Mellotron keyboard as well as the drum sets, drum machines and the Rickenbaker Bass. The only piece I felt being a little weak was a good emulation for Steve Hacket’s guitar playing. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to capture that, especially since everything but the drums (and actually some of them too) were done using mostly keyboards.


The mini-suite is definitely progressive rock with strong influences by GENESIS, especially Tony Banks (keyboards and composition) and Phil Collins (drumming). It was important to me to stick with the style of the band from the mid-to-late seventies. After all, that was the period that brought us “A Trick Of The Tail”, “Wind & Wuthering”, “And Then There Were Three”, and “Duke” (“Duke” came out in 1980 but was recorded mostly in 79). In writing the new material I tried to stay fairly true to the Genesis style of composition from that era. I think the most ardent GENESIS fans will enjoy making comparisons and picking up details and sounds were they can make their assumptions as to from where the inspiration came.

BROKEN PROMISES


Leon Alvarado

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Produced and mixed by L.A.

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Bean Studio, U.S.A.


Added as a bonus track, this piece contains the sum of various ideas I came up with whilst working on the other tracks on the album. It was conceived with the GENESIS fan of all eras in mind. It contains elements from the last GENESIS incarnation and even a lick or two from Mike and The Mechanics. In a way, this piece was written as an attempt to have some music in the CD that my wife would like. Being much younger than me, my wife doesn’t quite understand the attraction to progressive music. However, she does like some of the latter GENESIS material, especially “Calling All Stations.” With that in mind, I took some of my in-completed ideas and pull them all together in a little subtle instrumental that ended sounding a bit like the last GENESIS stuff with an emphasis that leans towards Mike Rutherford’s style of composition.

WIND AND SORROW


Leon Alvarado

Leon Alvarado: keyboards, programming, drums

Produced and mixed by L.A.

Mastered by Ty Tabor/Alien Bean Studio, U.S.A.


My original intention was to write a piece of music as a link between the GENESIS compositions in the album. My initial inspiration actually came from “Silent  Sorrow in Empty Boats” from “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” album. I started by writing the chorus chord structure and then added the background pieces which ended up as a kind of drone. By the time I got to the point of adding the lead keyboard part into the song, I found myself playing passages that sounded similar to the “Wind and Wuthering” album instead of  “The Lamb Lies Down...” style.


The final piece of music is one of my favorite personal compositions, in part because to me it really sounds like GENESIS circa 1977, in part because I had a great time creating it. I concentrated in writing a short instrumental that would draw its inspiration from three different GENESIS albums,where the listener could hear all the influences coming together in a very short mellow piece. I wanted to keep the number of different tracks to a minimum and optimize their use. The final cut of the song had just a total of twelve tracks in all. The subtle use of particular instruments can be heard but often blend into the rest of the sound. For example, there is a track with a Rhodes piano on it. Another track has a vibraphone being doubled with actual bells sounds. After listening to the piece several times with headphones, the listener could separate the various tracks such as the Mellotron Strings playing alongside the “choir” voices and the eclectic collection of percussion instruments repeating their slow pattern throughout the song.


“Wind and Sorrow” is the third and last piece of the mini-suite and draws its name from the song “Silent  Sorrow in Empty Boats” from “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” album and the “Wind and Wuthering” album which were the main inspirations.