MATRIXSYNTH: Spiraling Prism (Herbie Hancock) - performed by Jon Opstad/Tom O'Grady/Byron Miller/Mark Mondesir

Monday, March 08, 2021

Spiraling Prism (Herbie Hancock) - performed by Jon Opstad/Tom O'Grady/Byron Miller/Mark Mondesir


video by Jon Opstad

"'Spiraling Prism' (Herbie Hancock)

Performed by:
Jon Opstad - analogue synthesizers
Tom O'Grady - fender rhodes
Byron Miller - electric bass
Mark Mondesir - drums


'Spiraling Prism' was a masterpiece of analogue synthesizer orchestration by the legendary Herbie Hancock, originally from his 1980 album "Mr Hands". Here we recreate the track using entirely the same models of vintage synthesizer that Herbie Hancock used on the original recording, with no digital synthesizers, samples or software instruments.

Featuring the track's original bassist, electric bass legend Byron Miller (Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Sonny Rollins, Luther Vandross, Beyonce).

Taking the place of the track's original drummer, the late drum legend Ndugu, is the great British drummer Mark Mondesir (John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, Courtney Pine, Kevin Eubanks).

The Fender Rhodes electric piano is performed by Tom O'Grady (Resolution 88, The Blackbyrds, Incognito, Myles Sanko).

The project was conceived and produced by Jon Opstad (film & TV composer - Black Mirror, The Feed, Rainbow Six Siege), who programmed and performed the analogue synthesizers.

The back cover of Herbie Hancock's 1978 album Sunlight showed an iconic photograph of his analogue synthesizer setup from this period. The original version of "Spiraling Prism" from Mr Hands was recorded during the Sunlight sessions. Here we have recreated that original synthesizer setup, using instruments such as the Mini Moog, ARP 2600, Oberheim Polyphonic and Prophet 5 that were key elements of Herbie Hancock's music in the 1970s.

This video is a celebration of Herbie Hancock's 1970s music, and the instruments on which it was performed."

And one from earlier:

Recording Juno Synth for Alex Roth's #MultiTractionOrchestra​ Project
video by Jon Opstad

"Recording some Juno 6 through Strymon Timeline & Big Sky pedals for an experimental project by my friend, guitarist Alex Roth, involving recordings by multiple musicians."

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