Monday, September 3, 2012

Robert Urban - The Land Of Smiles

“The Land of Smiles” – instrumental pop prelude for electric guitar by Robert Urban. R. Urban – electric guitars, keys, percussion

Recorded, mixed & produced by R. Urban at URBAN PRODUCTIONS, NYC
Inspired by a musical pattern by Steven Sullivan.
“The Land of Smiles” copyright © 2012 R. Urban and S. Sullivan

Bassist Steven Sullivan had come up with a little arpeggiated, repeating chord pattern – basically a back-and-forth between E Major to E minor –which I used as background accompaniment for the piece’s main melodic theme.

The title refers to the East Asian
custom of smiling, whatever happens in life. Thailand is known as
“the land of smiles” because Thai people smile a lot. They possess a wide
range of different kinds of "smiles," (13 to be exact), called "yim" in Thai.
Most of these “Thai smiles” actually indicate feelings other than happiness.

For “The Land of Smiles”, I drew on influences from Jeff Beck and Robert Fripp; but even more so from Randy California of SPIRIT.
His mastery of tone and “infinite sustain” on classic SPIRIT tracks
such as “Mechanical World”, “Dark Eyed Woman” and “Fresh Garbage” so inspired me in my teens.

The guitar used on this piece is a 1980 Ibanez Strat made for Roland. I recorded the basic bass, keys & drums, as well as the lead guitar
in “The Land of Smiles” many years ago on a Revox two track tape recorder. The second lead guitar and all new percussion were added this year.

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