John Orr Franklin
John Orr Franklin
He performed all of the instruments himself and even programmed the drum loops in order to create the sound he was looking for. Transformation The next step in the evolution of the band was the album “Transformation”. John decided to bring in other musicians to play on this next album because he felt this new music would benefit from the use of live performers. Using “Pathways” as a good representation of his personal musical style, he was able to attract several musicians interested in playing on “Transformation” that fit the bill. Once the recording sessions were complete, John found himself in a position of having two albums under his belt and no real way to perform the music live.
So, he began the task of finding live musicians in the Austin area. Playing Live John decided to retain Rob Palladino on drums after the “Transformation” recording sessions and then discovered local Austin bassist, Ryan Redfern, on Facebook. John moved his new trio into a series of rehearsals where they jammed together on some of the songs to see whether or not their “vibe” worked. They quickly discovered that the arrangement of a three piece group was not going to be sufficient to reproduce the lush extravagant mixes John created in the studio. Luckily, Ryan suggested friend and keyboardist, Chris Cribb, who added the missing keyboard parts and ultimately filled out the group’s sound.
At the same time, John began developing complex visual elements to enhance the experience of the live performance. He produced video shorts to run in rhythmic and visual synch with the live music. These videos are projected behind the band and provide the audience a complete musical and visual experience at their live shows. Not just a Live Band – A Full Show Production John elaborates on the pros and cons of adding this visual element to the live show, “Essentially it’s really an awesome thing visually, but as a musician and especially a drummer, it can be a bit constricting as well.
In order for the visual elements to stay in sync with the music, the drummer must play to a click track, which means the show is prepared in a pre-production environment. This gives the show an interactive visual element that doesn’t require anyone on staff to run it, but it does mean that we really have to stick to the script and there’s no real room for improvisation or altering tempos to the songs. Personally, I think the visual spectacle is worth the trade off, but that’s just my opinion. Who knows, we may find another way to do it that’s a bit more liberating at some point”. Once all the pieces came together, the group staged their debut performance at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas in 2009.
The concert was videotaped and many clips of this performance can be found on Youtube and various promotional websites online. After the “Transformation” release and during the process of forming a live band and the live show, John continued writing and recording in his studio. Much of this new material, the band has been performing live, even though there’s been no official release. In April 2010, John decided to go ahead and release the demo version of “Soldier On parts 1-5” to show where the group was heading. Although still a just demo, the piece received critical acclaim and generated some additional buzz around the band. Soldier On John continued writing throughout 2010 and a portion of what materialized is a conceptual album that is certain to take the music and the band to a new level of focus and determination.
The album Soldier On has evolved into a science fiction based story that follows one soldier through his personal trials as he discovers his true identity within the grandeur of a universe that has suddenly gotten much smaller. In an effort to take “Soldier On” to the next level, John brought on Gavin Harrison, drummer from the band Porcupine Tree, as a special guest on this new album. “Gavin is the drummer I had in mind when I was writing the demos for this album. So naturally the end result is a perfect fit that stays true to my original vision.” Lighthouse Also simultaneously in production throughout 2010 and early 2011, John was busy readying another release that is hitting the streets in June of 2011. The album Lighthouse has materialized as a much different album than Soldier On.
An album with more of an overall ambient & trance production quality placed over the top of the same rock stylings we've heard on prior releases. Lighthouse stands on it's own as a unique addition to the discography of the band and it features 11 new songs including the song Hypnotized, which is also featured on the There is Hope Records release entitled Strength that benefits the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. The Future John has signed with Melodic Revolution Records and is working in conjunction with them on releasing and distributing "Lighthouse" and soon “Soldier On”. Many great things are on the horizon as the team works to deliver the music and take things to yet another level of evolution. The John Orr Franklin Band is currently booking live shows in the US and aspires to play for audiences in Europe and South America. The evolution continues! Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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