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1987~89 xx xx Lakshi's Delight 3.08 (progrockfan)
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schteb
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Post 2007-08-16 02:27   [Quote] 
Am I the only person that questions if this is really a Frank Zappa composition? Sure doesn't sound like it to me.
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Drew51
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Post 2007-08-16 03:30   [Quote] 
Quote:
Am I the only person that questions if this is really a Frank Zappa composition? Sure doesn't sound like it to me.


Well, the transition at around 40 seconds and the end are Frank-like transitions. Sounds very similar to the Francesco programming, I would think this is from 1983.
Listen again to the music after that 40 second transition, sounds Zappa to me, though rather simple. I again think this is a very early effort. Testing the machine. Remember the limited memory and ability on the first generation model. To make this machine sound like it did on CPIII, many upgrades became available. The early efforts are simple. So I say it very well could be a FZ composition. Though i doubt this simple as late as 87. In 1986 I think Jazz From Hell was released. So I would suspect it would sound more like that release. It's sounds more like Francesco Music. The Perfect Stranger was in 84, slightly more complex pieces, then this piece. Though Francesco was also released in 84.
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schteb
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Post 2007-08-16 04:46   [Quote] 
I listened to the parts you mentioned Drew and I agree they are Frank-like, but they sound more like someone trying to imitate a Zappa composition. I think its the quality of the sounds even more than the composition style that make me feel this is an imitation. I remember reading a thread somewhere (maybe Zappa.com) about this piece. I think several people thought it was a fake. If it is FZ, not one of his better efforts.
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chuck
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Post 2007-08-16 06:24   [Quote] 
[quote]So say your battery is low, does it just cut out? Does pitch change? I know this doesn't apply here, just curious. Can you mess up pitch on DAT? ADAT? Or is pitch perfect everytime?[/quote]

Yes if the battery gets too low it just switches off.

I've had problems too where if a tape gets damaged it can take a while for the machine to be able to read and decode a section of the tape again. I assume it can have trouble finding the header for the data packets again.

So what you have is purely the digital data.. what gets read off the tape is the same data that gets put onto it. Any pitch manipulation would have to be handled by some software that can manupulate the digital data with a pitch alteration algorithm. I know my portable DAT can't do that, but I am unaware wheher professional machines may have some controls that have this capability?
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mike comisky
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Post 2007-08-16 10:08   [Quote] 
Another upgrade (I hope) from MP3. Regardless, thanks for this - it is a nice little piece of FZ's..

yours in FZ,
mike
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mike comisky
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Post 2007-08-16 10:13   [Quote] 
And now, after posting, I read page two and see Drew questioning if this is truly FZ...well, I've always wondered about that but when I saw it here at Zappateers, I figured it HAD to be legit. But then, I think the Zappateers have a higher regard for FZ and his fans than does the ZFT. Look forward to finding out the truth on this - I'm sure you'll all get to the bottom of it...

yours in FZ,
mike
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Drew51
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Post 2007-08-16 11:50   [Quote] 
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I listened to the parts you mentioned Drew and I agree they are Frank-like, but they sound more like someone trying to imitate a Zappa composition


Yeah, I can see your point too, so the question remains open for now.
First question, is this the synclavier. It certainly sounds like it is. So that certainly leads one think it is legit. Not like many people have this machine, now no longer made. Is this an outtake? Yes, never released, so that might explain why it sounds as is. Not good enough and discarded. The rawess of the Francesco acetate can also support this conclusion.
This also could be one of many basic tracks, later to be merged into a complete composition. I have pieces like that from other artists. Though this seems finished. I think if I was forced to choose, at this point, i would say yes it is FZ.


Last edited by Drew51 on 2007-08-16 12:11; edited 1 time in total
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progrockfan
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Post 2007-08-16 11:56   [Quote] 
(repeat post!)

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Last edited by progrockfan on 2007-08-16 12:01; edited 1 time in total
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progrockfan
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Post 2007-08-16 12:11   [Quote] 
Ooo, lots of comments!

Quote:
What medium was it on?


My trader friend was obscure about this— possibly deliberately so— except to say that Lakshi was a digital transfer. (That could mean a lot of things, of course.) He had (ahem) access to certain facilities— hence this piece, the My Guitar extended mix, etc.

The reason I'm guessing minidisc is that this was, at one time, a favourite of Beach Boys and Beatles archivers, due to the fact that you could stuff hours of music onto a minidisc player and then slip it into your pocket. Minidisc was the medium by which the Get Back rehearsals were archived from reels stolen from Twickenham Studios, and, similarly, by which a big chunk of known Carl Wilson outtakes were schlepped from the Brother facilities. The Twickenham material shows a lossy curve on spectral analysis— but a number of lossless-only trading sites allow it, because that's the only format in which it's ever seen.

(It's a shame, really— the Twickenham reels themselves, which unintentionally documented the Beatles disintegrating as a band, were put up for sale in 2003, and true lossless copies might have followed— but the cops got there first, allowing EMI to continue to suppress the explosive dialogue on the tapes well into the next century. Those of us who are lucky enough to have all 97 hours understand why Paul & Co. would NEVER want this stuff to be heard.)

Quote:
Can you mess up pitch on DAT? ADAT? Or is pitch perfect everytime?


Frank used DAT for video soundtrack synchronization due to its recognition of SMPTE codes (see The Real Frank Zappa Book); and obviously a bootlegger could have used DAT— but when DAT goes bad, dropouts result, not drag. I don't want to get too technical here...

Digital music is stored in discrete packets of information. Each packet is preceded by a BOD (Beginning Of Data) marker, and followed by an EOD (End Of Data) marker. When you tell your CD player to play Track 3, the disc's TOC (Table Of Contents) directs the laser to the BOD marker that precedes Track 3's first packet. The CD player plays the first packet, and then that packet's EOD marker directs the laser to the next BOD marker. (I hope that's not too obscure.)

When DAT stretches, the read head can't find the BOD markers where they're supposed to be, and can't read the packets in their correct sequence. The music simply drops out at that point.

For this reason, even if Lakshi was archived on DAT as part of its life cycle, it's difficult to see how pitch variance could have resulted.

Quote:
Any pitch manipulation would have to be handled by some software that can manipulate the digital data with a pitch alteration algorithm. I know my portable DAT can't do that, but I am unaware whether professional machines may have some controls that have this capability?


Lots of composing and mixing software can alter pitch, with or without tempo stretch. Obviously Frank himself altered pitch in both analogue and digital environments on countless recordings. DATs do not have a pitch bend or jog wheel— but lots of CD devices do. Pitch change could have been imposed on Lakshi digitally at some point in its storage or transfer cycle— but someone would have to do that deliberately, and it's difficult to see why that would be done— unless the composer himself made the alteration. However:

a) Frank archived his Synclavier compositions to hard disk, not CD or DAT (see his Guitar Player interviews); and

b) logically, one would assume that intentional pitch alteration would be imposed at the mixing stage, not the storage stage.

Quote:
Another upgrade (I hope) from MP3.


Lakshi shows a spectral curve characteristic of MPEG, not MP3. This curve is consistent with minidisc archiving.

Quote:
Am I the only person that questions if this is really a Frank Zappa composition? Sure doesn't sound like it to me.

Quote:
Well, the transition at around 40 seconds and the end are Frank-like transitions. Sounds very similar to the Francesco programming, I would think this is from 1983.
Listen again to the music after that 40 second transition, sounds Zappa to me, though rather simple. I again think this is a very early effort.


I think this music sounds VERY Zappa. As for complexity, I agree that the sampling and sequencing is not complex— but the composition itself, with its counterpoint and polymetric meanderings, is exceptionally deep.

One possibility that no one here has raised is that this composition is by Todd Yvega, who assembled the Duckman theme on Frank's Synclavier system. Frankly (pun intended), I think a listen to Todd's excellent Synclavier material confirms that this ain't him— Todd's music has a hard, grinding edge, and Lakshi is anything but. Also, Todd's counterpoint tends to be confined to a melody imposed over apreggiated figures, whereas Lakshi displays true counterpoint— two independent melody lines cooperating harmonically.

The Gaumacoma bootleg contains an example of a musically competent FZ fake in the form of Curse Of The Zombads. The fellow who assembled Zombads obviously understands music theory and jazz harmony— but Zombads clearly illustrates the vast gulf that stands between the music of a competent composer and the genius of Frank Zappa.

Is Lakshi a product of genius? I think so. Is it Frank? You decide.

_________________
"Somewhere between Jesus dying on the Cross and a giant bunny hiding eggs, there seems to be a gap of information." –Stan Marsh


Last edited by progrockfan on 2007-08-17 05:21; edited 1 time in total
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chuck
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Post 2007-08-17 00:07   [Quote] 
The arpeggios are very FZ as is some of the harmony... however that is something that could be immitated... however if someone was trying to fake an FZ tune I don't think they would do it with a piece with this type of structure and development... its too un-FZ for someone to try and convincingly fake FZ. That is what would make me think it is actually FZ, but only just.

Either way it is a kinda nifty ditty... and the mystery is kinda interesting.

However my wife says "no way is it FZ"...
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Drew51
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Post 2007-08-17 03:25   [Quote] 
Quote:
However my wife says "no way is it FZ"...


Frank has a few pieces that are atypical. The acoustic stuff, Planet of my Dreams, Blessed Relief, many may say not Frank. Francesco too, though yes, it isn't Frank.
A lot more too really.
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schteb
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Post 2007-08-17 04:33   [Quote] 
I've listened to this thing three times in a row and there ain't no way this is a Zappa composition. Even the title doesn't fit - Frank would never name something Lakshi's Delight - his nickname for Shankar was Larry. This is beyond a-typical. This sounds like it was written by an amateur.
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Post 2007-08-17 05:56   [Quote] 
The section from 1:53~2:10 is incredibly Frankian (imagine it played faster by the 1982 band), and the SA is consistent with being transferred from a 132kbps ATRAC3 file.

Remember that we've heard barely a sliver of what Frank did on the Synclavier - the count is in the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of songs, of which we have Jazz From Hell, half of FZMTMOP, and Civilization Phaze III, plus Resolver/Brutality and While You Were Art. I won't count Francesco, since it's not exactly Zappa. That's about four discs worth in total, and I'm sure that if the ZFT wanted to, they could arrange a 10 disc boxed set, perhaps chaotic in presentation, but with very few bona fide repeats.

Oddly enough, I think the sound of this is better than the later pieces - .MIDI in general definitely has the "uncanny valley" effect (that is to say, as an object becomes more natural our biological response to it grows increasingly positive, until the very end, when things are "almost real, but not". See here for more). The Residents have something similar going on - album by album, year by year, the sound gets better and better, then right after Mark of the Mole everything suddenly has a very cheesy, "kid toying around with a Casiotone" sound.

But enough digressions! This is certainly one of the neater unreleased pieces I've heard, and until evidence to the contrary pops up, I'll have to say it's one of the neater unreleased Zappa pieces I've heard. Thanks, PRF, for sharing this with us.

Oh, and in the words of Lt. Columbo... just one more thing:

Drew51 wrote:
So say your battery is low, does it just cut out? Does pitch change? I know this doesn't apply here, just curious. Can you mess up pitch on DAT? ADAT? Or is pitch perfect everytime?


Flambay and I were talking about this earlier, and I did a little research. Apparently pitch will remain perfect until the batteries start to really smoke and fizzle, at which point the recording will start having microgaps and eventually cut out. However, a lot of DAT decks had a variable pitch control, and it's not unconceivable - especially when they first came out and media was ridiculously expensive - that some tapers would set the pitch all the way up (which would correspond to setting the tape head speed all the way down in an analog deck) in an attempt to squeeze an extra ten minutes or so out of a recording - though I would suspect this would have little to no benefit.

Maybe someone here more well-versed in DAT can set me straight? Confused Confused Confused


I just now scrolled up and read prf's extensive post on the subject, so so much for my Columbo impersonation Razz
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progrockfan
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Post 2007-08-17 05:56   [Quote] 
Quote:
I've listened to this thing three times in a row and there ain't no way this is a Zappa composition.


That is entirely possible. However:

Quote:
Frank would never name something Lakshi's Delight - his nickname for Shankar was Larry.


FZ penned probably the broadest, most creative, and craziest group of song titles in the history of recorded music. To say that he would 'never' use a particular name in a song title— isn't that a bit of a stretch? Besides, Larry's Delight doesn't roll off the tongue in quite the same way...

Quote:
This sounds like it was written by an amateur.


I'm no world-beating expert— but I did study and perform music for many years. Your central thesis may well be correct, schteb— Lakshi may not be an FZ composition— but whatever it is, it ain't the work of an amateur.

* * *

Quote:
I again think this is a very early effort.


Subjectively, Drew, I'd tend to agree with you. I was told this was "late '80s, post-Jazz From Hell"— but FZ was notorious for going back to old compositions and tweaking them in later years— so you may be right.

* * *

Quote:
The section from 1:53~2:10 is incredibly Frankian (imagine it played faster by the 1982 band)...


My feelings also, Penguin Man.

Quote:
Remember that we've heard barely a sliver of what Frank did on the Synclavier - the count is in the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of songs...


In a long-ago telephone call to 818-PUMPKIN, Gail's sister (!!!— she said her last name was Sloatman, so I asked her if she was related) told me— I'm paraphrasing from memory here— 'about 500 to 550 pieces in various stages of completion.' She also said that there were countless fragments bouncing around that might or might not be used in future projects.

Frankly (there's that damn pun again!), I'd settle for Dance Me This. CAN YOU HEAR ME, GAIL?!?!

* * *

Any more opinions on flambay's suggested pitch correction? (Not if his numbers are correct— if flambay says it, we know it's correct— but if it's appropriate to a DDD track.)

If the consensus is that a pitch correction should be performed, I hope there's some means by which the contents of this debate can be transferred to the new thread. The debate here is fantastic!— better than I dared to hope for! schteb, drew, chuck, ZappaPengiun, et. al., keep talkin'!

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Post 2007-08-17 06:13   [Quote] 
progrockfan wrote:
Quote:
I've listened to this thing three times in a row and there ain't no way this is a Zappa composition.


That is entirely possible. However:

Quote:
Frank would never name something Lakshi's Delight - his nickname for Shankar was Larry.


FZ penned probably the broadest, most creative, and craziest group of song titles in the history of recorded music. To say that he would 'never' use a particular name in a song title— isn't that a bit of a stretch? Besides, Larry's Delight doesn't roll off the tongue in quite the same way...


An excellent point - and it's also possible that this was either a working title (reflecting a tender-hearted, personal side of Frank which tended to disappear by time of release), or a hastily created title by hands other than Frank's.

progrockfan wrote:
Quote:
Remember that we've heard barely a sliver of what Frank did on the Synclavier - the count is in the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of songs...


In a long-ago telephone call to 818-PUMPKIN, Gail's sister (!!!— she said her last name was Sloatman, so I asked her if she was related) told me— I'm paraphrasing from memory here— 'about 500 to 550 pieces in various stages of completion.' She also said that there were countless fragments bouncing around that might or might not be used in future projects.


drool drool drool

progrockfan wrote:
Frankly (there's that damn pun again!)


imslow

progrockfan wrote:
Any more opinions on flambay's suggested pitch correction? (Not if his numbers are correct— if flambay says it, we know it's correct— but if it's appropriate to a DDD track.)


Considering that we can't be entirely positive that this is in fact DDD (take Resolver/Brutality, which is, what, DDAD?), but also considering that we can't be entirely sure Frank didn't deliberately knock the pitch down a bit (especially with Eastern music, my layman's ear's opinion is that a lot of it sounds like Western music with an odd pitch), and finally considering that this is all of three minutes in length, I can't see any reason not to have two versions (similar to the Knick Knack recording) - one torrent, two files, one speed corrected, one "au natural", you'll pay for your entire seat, but you'll only need the edge.

progrockfan wrote:
If the consensus is that a pitch correction should be performed, I hope there's some means by which the contents of this debate can be transferred to the new thread. The debate here is fantastic!— better than I dared to hope for! schteb, drew, chuck, ZappaPengiun, et. al., keep talkin'!


Hear, hear. thumbsup
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