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When I grew up with progressive music such as those of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, it is inevitable that other lay listeners would have this perception of “progressive music is always so gloomy and moody, I wouldn’t want to be listening to it all day long, especially on my commute to work”

And they would be right, as it is what (partially) drawn me to this genre of music; in many times, I simply cannot relate to music that is excessively/overly happy, because that is not what life is about. Sometimes, life brings grief, sadness, frustration, and these “serious” moods are explored in depth by the aforementioned progressive rock musicians. Its what brings me to the observation that progressive rock music is one of those genres with “depth”.

Yet, conversely, one can argue that life is not always only about grief, sadness and frustration as well. Music with depth does not always have to be written in the minor keys, riddled with root-based suspensions giving out tonalities that focus on the negative side of the human psyche; life is sometimes also about the positive.

That, is where Plini's music shines. “Electric Sunrise” does not carry the angry riffs of John Petrucci, nor the overtly cheesy melodies of 80s guitar music a la “summer of love”; it rightfully falls within the genre of “progressive instrumental rock”, but one that is content, happy, and joyful, and that, really opened my eyes on how much more there is to explore in this genre of music.

As a guitarist, Plini’s playing can be described by “non-pretentious” and “tasteful” - he really reminded me of the playing styles of John Petrucci in the earlier days of Dream Theater (think Images and Words, Awake and Falling into Infinity).

As a composer, I am really inspired by the possibilities one can have with a proper, grooving bass line in the context of semi-heavy progressive music instead of the ever so supporting but bland roles we guitarist-composers condemn bassists to.

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About The Curator - Oliver Cheung

Oliver Cheung is a musician based in Hong Kong. Although he has recently released his debut instrumental progressive rock EP (titled Remembrance), it is only a part of what he wanted to create, as he pursue his passion in music and art with the question, “what else is out there?”

 

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