Adam Schoales
Editor. Geek. Tea Drinker.

Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.


Viva la Vida Suite

A few years back I put together a musical suite based on Coldplay's 2008 album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. Constructed using tracks from the original album, its follow up EP, Prospekt's March, recently uncovered instrumental versions, and newly constructed sonic soundscapes* to seamlessly blend them into a coherent whole.

Taking a cue from The Beatles' "Abbey Road Medley", as well as albums like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, the songs weave together to form a musical narrative. I remember thinking how easy it was to do, almost as if it was intended to be this way all along. I had been travelling for work and listening to the recently uncovered instrumental tracks and remarked at the beautiful orchestrations and wanted to come up with a way to highlight them. At the same time, it also popped into my head that it might be fun to make something like the Abbey Road medley that weaved multiple songs into one. The idea originally was going to be an entirely instrumental "orchestral suite", but eventually evolved into the current version after many hours of experimentation.

MKXI, made up of lots of bits and pieces and lots of automation.

I tinkered with the piece for almost a year, going through 11 different variations, before eventually putting it out anonymously 2 years ago. Today marks the seventh anniversary since the original album was released (hard to believe it's been so long) and so it felt right to put it out there again. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends is by far my favourite Coldplay record (in fact, so much so I think I've bought it over 5 times... don't ask), and this is my way of paying tribute to that.

If you want to download the whole thing you can do so at its mini site, and please, if you enjoy the album pick up a copy of the original (if you haven't already).

And as the liner notes say, please don't sue me...

*There's a super-fan hidden reference in the "Poppyfields (School Interlude)" segment; the opening half of the track "Death and All His Friends" was originally titled "School", and so I incorporated school playground sounds into the instrumental track as a lead in. No one's ever commented on it, but I'm really proud of it.