ABBA LET THE MUSIC SPEAK
An armchair guide to the musical soundscape of the Swedish Supergroup
ABBA: Let the music speak – Christopher Patrick’s seminal work on the groundbreaking soundscape and musical legacy of ABBA – will be published in Australia in time for Christmas 2008!
More than 30 years after the stunning Eurovision Song Contest debut of the Swedish supergroup, ABBA’s music remains a benchmark which continues to enthral millions of fans around the world – both on stage and screen as well as on vinyl and disc.
In this equally stunning tour de force, cellist and arranger Chris Patrick has combined his life-long passion for ABBA with his professional musical career skills to create this guide to ABBA’s soundscape: the vocal and keyboard genius and precision audio engineering which continue to defy truly successful emulation to this day.
With his lively and engaging writing style, Chris takes the reader on a personally-guided tour – to quote Foreword writer and ABBA biographer Carl Magnus Palm – “over the hills of joyful exuberance, through the valleys of melancholy and along the stretched-out roads of craftsmanship where their music was created.”
No previous experience is necessary for readers of all types to enjoy the tour – this book has been carefully crafted to appeal to the interested general reader as well as to ABBA fans and serious musicians alike – and don’t we all have an ABBA album somewhere which we would like to enjoy rediscovering?
You will too, after you read this book!
“QUITE LITERALLY AWESOME…A WONDERFUL EXPOSÉ.”
THE AUTHOR’S PASSION AND INSIGHT COMBINE
ABBA: LET THE MUSIC SPEAK is the result of a lifelong passion for both ABBA and a musical career as a professional cellist and arranger, and Chris has invested the past five years of his life – not to mention considerable financial risk – in self-publishing this ground-breaking, illustrated, 420 page book. Warmly endorsed by Judith Durham, and featuring a Foreword written by ABBA’s Swedish biographer Carl Magnus Palm, this book takes the reader, in Chris’ lively and engaging writing style, on a personally-guided tour “over the hills of joyful exuberance, through the valleys of melancholy and along the stretched-out roads of craftsmanship where their music was created.” – to quote Carl Magnus himself.
BENCHMARK INSIGHTS – FOR EVERYONE!
More than 30 years after the stunning Eurovision Song Contest debut of the Swedish supergroup, ABBA’s music remains a benchmark which continues to enthral millions of fans around the world – both on stage and screen as well as on vinyl and disc. Chris has created this guide to ABBA’s soundscape: the vocal and keyboard genius and precision audio engineering which continue to defy truly successful emulation to this day. No previous experience is necessary for readers of all types to enjoy the tour – this book has been carefully crafted to appeal to the interested general reader as well as to ABBA fans and serious musicians alike.
4MBS CLASSIC FM – MUSIC
LOVER’S CHOICE / 29 NOV
612 ABC RADIO BRISBANE –
BREAKFAST / 04 DEC
ABBA – Just How DID They Do it?
World-First New Australian Book Tells All
Ever wondered how Swedish supergroup ABBA created their much-loved, magical sound that still wows millions across the globe?
Ever pondered how they so perfectly constructed those memorable melodies that many of us still can’t get out of our heads?
Whether you’re a recent or longtime ABBA fan; want to know more about their music having seen the hit movie or musical Mamma Mia!; or are serious about song writing, composing and musical history; ABBA Let The Music Speak, a new 400-page book by Australian musicologist Christopher Patrick, has all the answers – and more!
An armchair guide to the musical soundscape of the pop superstars, ABBA Let The Music Speak is the first book in the world to literally pull every ABBA song apart and show you how the group - Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad - put them together in the first place.
Christopher Patrick, a professional musician with a Diploma in Music (Instrumental) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, spent four years dissecting and appraising every musical phrase and melody in every ABBA recording: from their inaugural Ring Ring album through to their final studio album, The Visitors; including songs recorded for their planned 1982 album, which was never completed or released.
The result is an intensive, comprehensive, “musically-scientific” and thoroughly entertaining analysis of the music of ABBA.
# Did you know ABBA were pure “musical economists” of the highest order?
# Did you know that Bjorn and Benny wrote many of their song titles around the strongest musical songwriting force - the power of three (do-re-mi) structure – a technique that allows the actual song title (or at the very least, its chorus) to be rewardingly received and embedded in your brain?
# Did you know Bjorn and Benny never knew how to write actual music? And that Agnetha and Frida played a huge role in deciphering and interpreting those melodies: creating the unique ABBA “one voice” or “third voice” sound; and forever changing and stretching the tones, styles and ranges of their voices to sing each ABBA song?
During the writing of ABBA Let The Music Speak, Christopher, “an ABBA fan from way back”, spent hundreds of hours listening to the group’s songs - track by track; album by album; over and over again - to decipher and discover their phenomenal writing and recording process. In search of how ABBA perfected their unique sound, he travelled to Sweden to interview those who worked with the group. He also delved into the archives of the international music world over the past 40 years to illustrate the external musical forces that guided, influenced and enhanced the music of ABBA.
“The sheer enormity of the task scared me from time to time and I often wondered that I might not be able to complete it,” Christopher admits.
“But I wanted to redefine the public perception of ABBA. I wanted to examine, in a way that both serious musicians and everyday music lovers could understand and learn, just what makes ABBA work - and why.”
Christopher’s career as a cellist (he was a founding member of the Australian trio chanson and composed the title track for the group’s semi-classical 2003 album, White Chocolate), coupled with his music qualifications, allows him to offer both technical insights and a broader understanding of the unique sound that ABBA made all their very own.
“Kitsch certainly sells records. But I believe even the ‘doubters’ are now conceding that ABBA’s staying force - illustrated by continuing worldwide sales and the enormous success of both the worldwide stage productions and last year’s hit movie, Mamma Mia! - is worthy of an exploration beyond the glam and ‘simple, unpretentious melodies’,” adds Christopher.”
Taking inspiration for its title from the ABBA song I Let The Music Speak, ABBA Let The Music Speak provides answers to questions people have asked for decades.
The book is divided into three, main sections:
1. An analysis of every track on every ABBA album ever recorded - including bonus tracks and unreleased material.
2. An examination of the ABBA sound - how they made it; how it developed; who influenced them – and who helped them get “that sound”; and, how hard all four of the band’s members worked in the studio to achieve “recording perfection” - sometimes recording up to half a dozen versions of the one song.
3 . A note-by-note analysis of ABBA’s melodies - how they were structured; how economical they were; how they utilised centuries-old patterns and melody writing traditions to give them “the ABBA edge”. This section includes musical notations illustrating how their melodies were formed, why they work and how they manage to hit the “right notes” with an international audience.
The book also includes a glossary of music terms, a timeline of the ABBA history and a selected discography and is an excellent resource for students studying music, musical history and composing/songwriting
ABBA: LET THE MUSIC SPEAK is currently available only online at Chris’ website and the ABBA Fan Club Shop, but numerous independent bookshops and music retailers in Brisbane and Australia have been approached to stock the book.
Worldwide orders have already been received from as far afield as Argentina, Israel, South Africa, the UK, USA, and Holland.
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