It is nigh-on impossible to categorize the music of Uli Jon Roth or, in fact, the man himself. Actually, with each new album this task seems to get more difficult.
However, if one looks at the amazing musical journey this man has undertaken, certain traits are very much apparent throughout. U.J.R. is best known for his transcendental mastery of the Sky Guitar, which in the eyes of many remains unrivalled today.
Having been a founder member of one of Rock’s all time most successful bands was a mixed blessing for Roth, who left the Scorpions while still in his early twenties. There was maybe a tendency to try and pigeonhole him as a great metal guitar player and no more than that. Nothing could be further from the truth; the artistic evolution and transformation U.J.R. underwent AFTER he left that band is simply incredible.
Uli Jon Roth’s towering early achievements and constant later innovations as a guitarist have sometimes overshadowed his considerable talents as a musical all-rounder and multi-instrumentalist.In recent times, however, U.J.R. has been increasingly recognized as a master of the art of composition and as an inventor of new musical forms and structures. From the beginning Uli was a visionary and innovator - and his journey of artistic expression and musical explorations has now reached a new plateau with “Metamorphosis Of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons”.
Each of Uli’s albums and each stage of his journey bears certain similar hallmarks - they all display plenty of artistic conviction and courage;. they also have in common the fact that they are all noticeably different from one another, thus they stand apart from anything else that is on the market. It is also a common trait to virtually all of his compositions of the last 20 years that they are full of beautiful melodic content.
Over the years Uli Jon Roth has created several conceptual approaches to give a framework to his musical output. All of these will be dealt with in more detail under the heading of “Bands & Concepts”. The most important of these are:
I) THE SYMPHONIC LEGENDS - SKY OF AVALON
The Symphonic Legend is a new artform which is unique in the history of music.
Perhaps closest in spirit to Franz Liszt’s Symphonic Poems,
Uli Jon Roth’s creation is decidedly more universal in its approach.
The S.L. are essentially combining symphonic, concerto-like and operatic elements.
The result is a vibrant mixture of instrumental and vocal elements.
All Symphonic Legends have in common a vast musical scope and they are imbued with metaphysical themes which strongly interconnect them .
Symphonic Legends to date are:
EUROPA EX FAVILLA (1992-1993)
HIROSHIMA DE PROFUNDIS (1994-1995)
SOLDIERS OF GRACE (1986-1997)
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF PEACE (1996-2001)
REQUIEM FOR AN ANGEL (1996-
UNDER A DARK SKY (2006-2008)
All Symphonic Legends have something else in common: none of them have been released as albums, although excerpts have appeared and Europa Ex Favilla has been performed in its entirety by the Brussels Symphony Orchestra in 1993 and was broadcast several times on German TV.
Two official releases to date:
PROLOGUE TO THE
SYMPHONIC LEGENDS - (1996)
U N D E R A D A R K S K Y - (2008)
II) TRANSCENDENTAL SKY GUITAR
TSG is essentially devoted to the exploration of the instrument Roth created -
the legendary 7-String Sky Guitar. It also provides a flexible frame work for him to perform some of his favourite great masterpieces written by classical composers of the past, while seeing and presenting these in an entirely new light.
Transcendental Sky Guitar releases to date:
Vol I - THE PHOENIX (1999-2000)
Vol II - THE DRAGON (1999-2000)
Vol III - METAMORPHOSIS (2000-2003)
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