22 minute cd-r
Composed Performed Produced by Christopher Orczy
Christchurch New Zealand April-May 1993
Released June 1993 as a cassette under the name of Chris Prentice.
3. Toward Trianon
5. Count Apponyi
On Tuesday March 23 1993, at 10:30 am, TV 1 in New Zealand played a film entitled Forget About Me. To quote the write up in The Listener: "Two soldiers, on their way from Germany to a Simple Minds concert in Budapest, pick up a Hungarian hitchhiker who will alter one of the soldier's lives forever". Also from The Listener, under a picture of the two stars it reads :"10.30am. A touch of romance for Szuszanna Varkonyi and Ewen Bremner in Forget About Me". With not much else to do on a cold Tuesday morning, and being a huge Simple Minds fan (at the time), I watched this film. I was aware of the fact that my ancestors came from Hungary, but I wasn't aware of what the culture was like: the language, the music, the history, the people. This film showed me for the first time. I became obsessed with all things Hungarian: food, music, the language, and especially the history. One chapter to Hungary's history both fascinated and infuriated me: The Treaty of Trianon. The treaty was signed at the end of WW1, and the end result for Hungary was the loss of 2/3's of her land and 3/4's of her people to Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia and Austria.
The effect of this was strong on my music. Although I had been composing on keyboards for over a year, the music that I wrote as a result of this extra-musical influence was far stronger and focused than anything I had composed before. I believed in the work, and decided to release it to the public.
Listening to TRIANON now, I hear that it is unfocused and quite pompous. The militaristic drums, and mellotron choirs are quite over-powering due to excessive use. That being said, I can hear my later work in embryonic form, in particular 3,500,000; a solo mellotron track, very influenced by Edgar Froese Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. Some of the chords and melodic turns would not be that out of place within Harmonium Diaries.
Sequential Circuits Prophet-600
Sequential Circuits Six-Trak
Sequential Circuits Drum-trax
Recorded on a Fostex X-28 4-track
"Ambient music by a local boy. A definite East European feel to this. Prentice says the inspiration comes from his Hungarian heritage. Against a wall of synthesized sound Prentice has painted in bits of cello, violin, and drum. Very moody. It reminded me a little of some of Bowie's work on Low and Heroes. Good production values on this. A promising debut."
SC (Steven Cowan), Presto No. 10, July 1993
"Christchurch musician Chris Prentice has released a 20-minute instrumental tape, "Trianon". The concept EP is about the Treaty of Trianon and its effects on Hungary and Hungarians. The treaty, signed in 1920, made peace between Hungary and the "Allied and associated powers". Hungary's complete independence of Austria was recognised. The six-track recording was made using a mellotron, an analog synthesizer and a drum machine, and mastered to DAT at Nightshift Studios. The tape is on sale at Echo Records for $8. Prentice, aged 21, has started work on an album, which he hopes will be released later this year."
Nevin Topp, The Press, 30 July 1993
"Chris Prentice is a 21 year old Christchurch musician who has written, performed and recorded this ambient concept EP himself. It is available at Echo Records on cassette for $8 and is worth investigating. Trianon is a 6-track instrumental inspired by a 20th century chapter in Hungarian history and Prentice has used traditional Hungarian folk scales to achieve the desired "eastern bloc" vibe throughout. However, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and perhaps even Vangelis seem to be more obvious influences and touchstones. All the music is produced using various analog synthesizers, a drum machine and a mellotron (an antique keyboard favoured by 1960s bands like The Moody Blues). The gentle synth-timbres are quite soothing, making Trianon the ideal sound to "chill-out" to. Like much ambient music, however, it does meander a little here and there. It might be interesting to hear some more structured material from Prentice."
James Darby, Christchurch Star, Wednesday August 4 1993
"In his first official release, Prentice changes direction (From last year's Televisual, a sample/ Gothish demo) to produce this six track which would make a great soundtrack with each track based around an event in Hungarian history. Combining wind instruments, percussion and a droning keyboard background to produce a mix a Magyarian folk and haunting symphony. Occasionally pretty, often bleak, Prentice could easily become Christchurch's answer to Laibach."
John Greenfield, Rip It Up, No. 193 August 1993