"Mellodrama, the Mellotron Story" explores the rising and falling fortunes of the Mellotron and the Chamberlin the first musical keyboards to sample the sounds of other instruments. The story swings though 1960s London, the epic pomp of 1970s progressive rockers, and the keyboards use in 1990s and 2000s by artists like Radiohead and Kanye West. The Mellotron freed pop music, enabling the orchestra-in-a-box sound of progressive rock bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Genesis. Nearly forgotten during the 1980s, the Mellotron is today again a highly desired and sought-after device. "Mellodrama" is based on hundreds of original interviews with members of the Chamberlin family, the studio musicians who played on the tapes, the artists most closely associated with Chamberlins and Mellotrons, the producers and engineers who tapped the secrets of the machines, and the engineers who continue to produce and keep analog sampling alive in the 21st century.
About the Author
Dianna Dilworth is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and journalist covering technology, books, and culture. She is editor of Mediabistro's eBookNewser, and contributes to GalleyCat, "The Believer," "Businessweek," "Dwell," "PRWeek," and "Architectural Record." She directed the feature documentaries "Mellodrama: the Mellotron Movie" (2010) and the award-winning "We Are The Children: Michael Jackson Fans and the 2005 Trial" (2007).
Praise for Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie:
If you’re interested in the history of electronic musical instruments, Mellodrama is not to be missed.” Electronic Musician
Mellodrama is easily one of the most entertaining, informative, and educational music documentaries I have seen in ages.” MetalSucks.net
. . . the insight it gives into the development, the rise, fall and partial rise again of the Chamberlin and Mellotron make this essential viewing.” Planet Mellotron
Surprisingly fascinating.” Philadelphia Weekly
A study in the unpredictability of innovation.” Rhizome
Fascinating . . . and full of interesting details” The Best of NAMM 2010, Synthtopia.com
A fascinating story that does in fact contain elements of drama.” The Wire
An insider’s view of the history of the Chamberlin and the Mellotron, which isn’t always pretty.” Echoes