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1998, September 02
Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Sony Center

- Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony -

Details

Date1998, September 02
VenuePotsdamer Platz, Sony Center
CityBerlin
CountryGermany
Line-upEdgar Froese, Jerome Froese


Set List

Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score (Section 1) (3:15)
Opens with synth-harp trills. Some heraldic synth-tones and soaring string timbres lead into a classical-sounding pastoral passage dominated by an "oboe" lead line; a subtle "harpsichord" motif runs in the background.
Wormhole Number Five (2:30)
The pastoral section suddenly gives way to a some drum rolls and then a techno drumbeat, a rather shifting, start-and-stop drum-and-cymbal sequence that doesn't keep a consistent beat for long. Ends with some synth-cello bridging that leads into the next section.
Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score (Section 3) (2:00)
Basically a part of the track Mars Mission Counter, but played a good bit differently (and, possibly, better) than on the studio release or at the 1999 Osnabrück debut concert. New voices are overlaid, notably a choir, giving the track more depth; also, a new complementary backing sequence augments the main body of the track. Presumably, due to the date of the concert versus the date of the Mars Polaris - Deep Space Highway To Red Rocks Pavilion studio CD release, this must have been an early version of Mars Mission Counter.
Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score (Section 4) (5:35)
Another neoclassical bit -- a slow-beat interlude with a wistful sound and the familiar harpsichord patch, then oboe, picking out the lead melody. Cymbal highlights are scattered throughout. A brief "string" solo at the end of the movement presages a second string-section bit that reminds vaguely of Museum Walk on Miracle Mile. Then another brief heraldic passage, led by strings and bells.
Terra Gravity (2:30)
A brief neoclassical interlude -- quite beautiful -- before the neoclassical tones break into a short techno percussion piece again. The lead this time is played on a flugelhorn patch. This section winds down relatively quickly.
Red Ocean (3:00)
A few seconds of quietude, before a familiar 'drainy'-type noise and the piece launches into a stately marching-rhythm closing piece. The backing and melody slowly gain austerity and force as the movement progresses. Here TD rolls out the choir voices, the harpsichord, and the strings as backing; some effective electric-piano strikes are nice subtle highlights. The piece seems to be building a crescendo of sorts, but it instead actually just fizzles out with a sudden cutoff and choir voices to an unexpectedly sudden finish -- almost as if the track had to be unceremoniously truncated for time or other reasons.

(All times rounded to nearest 15 seconds and include bridges following song, if any.)

Large parts of this section have been taken from the site What Dreams Are Made Of by kind permission of the authors John A. Burek and Mark Schaffer.


Notes

This brief concert, performed as one continuous suite, was part of an event celebrating the topping-out of the new Sony Center skyscraper on the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. TD (Edgar Froese and Jerome Froese only) played onstage accompanied by a troupe of dancers interpreting the music. The music was ultimately released as the ultra-rare CD single Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score, which was given to certain attendees of the show; some copies of the single were included as a bonus gift in the pricey Millennium Booster pack.
 

 

From Dream Collector #26, September 1998

The Building, the Music and the Ballet Dancers

TD's Gig for a Sony Ceremony in Berlin

"This was something new for us", Edgar Froese said after 31 years of Tangerine Dream. The band has performed a special concert on September 2nd for the topping out ceremony for the new Sony building, an architectural landmark on the famous 'Potsdamer Platz' square in the new center of the re-united city of Berlin. "We have never played on a construction site; this was a completely new experience for us", he added.

Thus, it became a unique kind of concert in several ways: The audience were not TD fans but some 600 invited guests from politics, construction companies, business partners and the head of the Sony company. The main part of the event was not the music but the speeches of Sony chairman Norio Ohga, of the Berlin governor Eberhard Diepgen and of the famous Chicago architect Helmut Jahn. And TD had to face tough conditions on the tent roofed stage; during the rehearsals they had two severe electricity breakdowns.

And more, this was Tangerine Dream's shortest concert ever. Edgar and Jerome Froese played an 18 minute composition titled Meet The Future, accompanied by a ballet performance of the dance ensemble of the 'Komische Oper' ('comedian opera'). The dance consisted of six chapters featuring various aspects of the future using of the Sony center. Solo artist Gregor Seyffert was let down to the stage by a crane, holding a torch in his hands, and opened the dance performance. Seyffert had been awarded with the Unesco prize 'Prix Benois' for the world's best dancer in 1997; his father, a Berlin professor for choreography, wrote the ballet score based on TD's composition.

TD's music combined smooth sounds and very rhythmic parts - some of them reminding of The Dream Mixes - for the different dance chapters. The band performed with two e-pianos, two computer sets and electronic drums (Jerome Froese). All of the music material has been previously unreleased.

TDI music has issued a promotion CD (Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score) which was handed to the V.I.P. guests of this event, featuring the 18-minute score.

© 1998 by Christian Horn, Siegfried Lindhorst, Rolf Sonnemann and Peter Stöferle

 

 

 
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