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MELLODRAMA: The Mellotron Movie

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    "Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie" explores the history of tape keyboard sampling through Harry Chamberlin's invention of the Chamberlin keyboards, the popularization of the Mellotron, and its influence today.

    Mellodrama explores the rising and falling fortunes of the Mellotron – the first musical keyboard to “sample” the sounds of other instruments – from its birth in a California garage in the 1950s, through its dominance on concert stages in the 1970s, through its almost religious cult of followers in the 2000s.

    The Mellotron is a keyboard instrument that plays prerecorded tapes. It was invented as the Chamberlin organ by Harry Chamberlin who wanted to sell his "orchestra at your fingertips" to every Aunt Mable in America. But his trusted salesman Bill Franson took two instruments to England, and found manufacturers to replicate the Chamberlin. Under this dubious pretense, the Mellotron was born.

    Through the music of the Beatles, the Zombies, and the Moody Blues, the Mellotron became the "instant magic sound." In the 1970s, it defined the sound of progressive rock bands like Yes and Genesis. Though forgotten during the 1980s, when digital synthesizers hijacked pop music, the Mellotron is today again a highly desired and sought-after device, a connection for artists like Radiohead and Kanye West to the mystical lost world of invention.
    Type: Documentary
    Year: 2010
    Total Time: 80 mins
    Styles: Berlin, EBM, Progressive, Space Rock, Synth-Pop
    Formats: DVD
    Liscense: Copyright
    Cast:
    Mike Akerdeldt
    Rod Argent
    Tony Banks
    David Diro
    Jon Brion
    Jesse Carmichael
    Brian Carroll
    Richard Chamberlin
    Damon Fox
    Fabio Frizzi
    Mitchell Froom
    Steven Frothingham
    Pea Hicks
    Woody Jackson
    David Kean
    Brian Kehew
    Don Lawson
    Ian Mcdonald
    Patrick Moraz
    Rick Nielsen
    Mattias Olsson
    Michael Penn
    Mike Pinder
    Zach Rae
    Markus Resch
    Tom Rhea
    Claudio Simonetti
    Matthew Sweet
    Geoff Unwinn
    Mike Walters
    Patrick Warren
    Per Wiberg
    Brian Wilson
    Director: Dianna Dilworth
    Producer: Dianna Dilworth, Elizabeth Kibbey, Trevor Smith
    Soundtrack: Michael Penn, Patrick Warren, Brian Kehew, Mattias Olsson, Dave Biro, and Bigelf
    Editor: Trevor Smith
    Studio: Bazillion Points
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