Everything louder than everything else? Not at all…

In preparation for Jon Lord’s upcoming concert in Liverpool on June 16, one of our readers, Richard Archer-Jones posted a message to Jon Lord on this website. Here is Jon’s reply:

Dear Richard

Thanks for the questions and your interest.

>I’ve just seen that you are on in Liverpool shortly and that you combine pop and classical music.

I prefer to think of what I do, or at least part of what I do, and have done for over 40 years, as combining electric and acoustic music. I don’t so much mind the term “classical music”, although it is so often mis-used, but I do rather object to the term “pop music” as it applies to my work!

>I’m interested in booking a ticket

Jolly good! Please do come along.

>Will all the acoustic instruments in both … groups receive exactly the same amplification?

First let me explain what the concert is all about. In the 1st half, the main piece to be played is my new work To Notice Such Things. This is a work for Solo Flute, Piano and String Orchestra and has recently been recorded and released by The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. It lasts about 27 minutes. This will be followed by a couple more short pieces of mine for similar forces. This music is all acoustic in nature and will be played without amplification.

After the interval we will play my Concerto for Group & Orchestra from 1969. This music is for Full Orchestra plus Hammond organ, Guitar, Bass guitar, Drums and Vocalist. This piece, by its very nature, will be amplified. I have played this piece all over the world – more than 20 times in the last 2 or 3 years – and I am confident that I have found the way to present it without compromising the sound of the orchestra OR the sound of the group. An over-amplified Orchestra is an unnatural and often ugly sound and is anathema to me; therefore I work hard to make the piece sound as “natural” as possible in the concert-hall. This piece was written in order to present the merits of both styles, not to exploit their relative short-comings.

>I am concerned that all acoustic instruments receive exactly the same treatment i.e. all either amplified or all not amplified …

Please don’t be concerned. What would be the point of engaging a 75 piece orchestra only to have them drowned out by an over-loud group?

>When mixing both musical genres I think it is vital that equal treatment should be given.

Again I agree, and re-iterate my point about the reason for writing the piece in the first place.

I do hope that you will come to the concert and enjoy it’s diversity – a diversity which has defined my musical life these last 40 years and more.

With kindest regards


June 16 – Liverpool, England – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall – get tickets
Concerto For Group and orchestra + To Notice Such Things + Evening Song performed by Jon Lord with Steve Balsamo (vocals), Steve White (drums), Don Richardson (bass), Mark Zyk (guitar) with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.

One thought on “Everything louder than everything else? Not at all…

  1. The Liverpool concert sounds brilliant. I’ve been a Purple freak all my life but also found the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, which I bought in approx 1974, helped get me into “classical” music as well. I hope to be there.

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