The Effa Lente Configuration: Parts 1-4
(Effa Lente Music)


Most musicians would have trouble writing a fourteen minute instrumental track but not the band known as Effa Lente. On the 2015 CD release of The Effa Lente Configuration: Parts 1-4, group founder / guitarist and multi-instrumentalist David Alfred Reilly has crafted a 45 minute instrumental opus that is clearly influenced by early 1970s and mid 1990s King Crimson. The one track CD is comprised of four distinct parts yet it works magic as a one-piece magnum opus. With Reilly handling all the guitars, keyboards and more, the 44 + minute CD also contains orchestral samples from the Vienna Symphonic Library—yet it remains incontrovertible that Effa Lente makes original, hard-hitting instrumental sounds that creates a swift cascade of industrial strength prog-rock. Speaking about the reasons for making this first Effa Lente CD as one complete 45-minute piece of music David explains, “I kept it as one 45 minute piece for a couple of reasons. Whenever I work on music I generally try and write something that I would want to hear, and I wasn't hearing something like this anywhere else so I decided to just do it for myself. Very selfish! It is also challenging for the audience to listen to one 45-minute track. It was a way to turn off casual listeners, as it is a piece that demands your attention from beginning to end.” Also of note here is the excellent CD packaging, which enhances the effective music on hand. Other influences on this first Effa Lente album include Muse, Opeth, Black Sabbath, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and even Frank Zappa. With so much all-original music on hand you will soon forget the influences and just marvel at how unique a music project Effa Lente is. Effa Lente is the future of instro prog and it's a trip worth taking. www.EffaLente.com

mwe3.com presents an interview with
David Alfred Reilly

: Tell us where you’re from originally and where you live now and what you like best about it? Being from Ireland, do you travel to other countries and cities in Europe and have you been to the US?

David Alfred Reilly: I am originally from Donegal in the North West of Ireland, but have been living in Dublin for the past 20 years. I moved here in the mid 1990s and just stayed.

Yeah, I have visited Europe quite a bit. I have been in the US a few times also actually. The most recent being 2013. I visited San Francisco, and Las Vegas for a few days.

mwe3: I read that you were originally in a band called Graveyard Dirt, which is a pretty wild name for a band I must say! What’s your background as a recording artist and performing musician?

David Alfred Reilly: I played lead guitar in Graveyard Dirt in the early ‘90s before leaving to study music in college. After that I spent a few years working in a recording studio in Dublin, working mainly on music for TV/Film, that kind of thing. This is where I got a lot of my recording/engineering skills, such as they are. It was good training as there was a quick turnaround in delivering music to people, so you had to be pretty fast. After this I went back to Graveyard Dirt around '05 to try my hand at recording a band. The result was the Shadows Of Old Ghosts EP which came out in 2007. We released an album in 2010 but I left the band soon after that. I also do some mixing for people from time to time.

mwe3: Music fans in the know have compared your new album The Effa Lente Configuration Pts. 1-4 with all kinds of music including Red era King Crimson as well as Tubular Bells. Although it’s clearly more Red than Tubular! Is that a fair assessment? I was going to add the CD sounds like a perfect mix between Crimson and Black Sabbath, albeit instrumentally done.

David Alfred Reilly: It probably does sound more Red than Tubular but I would say that Tubular Bells was definitely a bigger influence on the album. I kinda wanted to do something like it but more with a band feel, even though it is all me. The fact that Tubular Bells is one long piece, as well as being instrumental, was certainly an inspiration. That first batch of King Crimson albums were a big influence also, from In The Court Of The Crimson King all the way through to Red. All amazing albums.

The Crimson meets Sabbath comparison is a good, and flattering one, thanks. I did want the start of the album to have a similar kind of impact to that of the opening of In The Court Of The Crimson King actually. Just a 'What the hell is this?!' kind of feeling. As for Sabbath, I really like how they progressed from Black Sabbath to Sabotage. It sounds like they just wrote the kind of music they wanted to write, and didn't feel obliged to do what others thought they should.

mwe3: Why did you set out to make The Effa Lente Configuration a massive 45 minute single composition? I guess you didn’t want to edit and cut the piece down to bite-size tracks? Did keeping it as one piece make it all the more challenging to complete and can you also tell us how you came up with the name Effa Lente? Sounds Italian to me!

David Alfred Reilly: I kept it as one 45 minute piece for a couple of reasons. Whenever I work on music I generally try and write something that I would want to hear, and I wasn't hearing something like this anywhere else so I decided to just do it for myself. Very selfish! Plus, whenever I told anyone about my idea they would always look at me like I was crazy, and ask why would I not break it up into 'bite-size chunks'. Crazy first of all because of the amount of work, and secondly because “Who the hell is gonna want to listen to it?!” When I heard that resistance, that's when I knew I was doing the right thing.

Keeping it as one piece did make it more challenging because if you alter something at 7 minutes, you also have to alter other parts at, for instance, 22 minutes or 35 minutes, to keep everything flowing, or consistent. Kinda like a “Butterfly Effect”. It is also challenging for the audience to listen to one 45-minute track. It was a way to turn off casual listeners, as it is a piece that demands your attention from beginning to end.

“Effa Lente” is just a name I made up, a bit of a private joke. But definitely not Italian!

mwe3: You mention Quentin Tarantino movies as being a big influence on your music. So you see The Effa Lente Configuration as a kind of movie soundtrack? I heard that you were also influenced by George Martin and also Bernard Hermann’s film scores, so I guess that reaffirms your wide screen inclinations on The Effa Lente Configuration CD. You mentioned earlier you worked on TV music. Which movie soundtracks do you like among your favorites?

David Alfred Reilly: I think people misunderstand what I mean by that Quentin Tarantino influence. I just meant the structure of the music was similar to the structure of a Tarantino movie, or a David Lynch movie, in that it wasn’t linear. It goes off in tangents before coming back somewhere later in the piece to resolve, or maybe even the resolution is before! Anyway, each new listen will hopefully reveal something you missed on the previous one. It isn't meant to be that I was using music to literally tell a story, even though a lot of it does bring to mind different scenarios.

I do listen to a lot of film music and classical music, probably more so, or at least as much as, music with vocals. I think lyrics can sometimes be an excuse for people to write boring music, not always of course, but some of the time.

Some of my favorite soundtracks would be Sleepy Hollow by Danny Elfman, Goodbye Lenin! by Yann Tiersen, all of Bernard Hermanns's particularly Psycho and Vertigo. Another couple worth mentioning is Alexandre Desplat's score for The Ghost (also called 'Ghost Writer') and Jonny Greenwood's music for There Will Be Blood.

mwe3: How challenging was it to record all the parts on the CD versus working with other musicians in the studio? You were also talking about the lack of funding to be able to offer a live show or even a tour where you could play The Effa Lente Configuration in concert. Seems like that’s the biggest problem in music these days with so many artists. I guess one or two trillion dollars channeled by the various governments and put into the musical arts would be a great way to remedy that!

David Alfred Reilly: It was certainly challenging doing it all myself but I think it would have been more challenging to try and get other musicians to play the music. By the time I would have found the right people, shown them what I wanted them to play, I figured it would be quicker to just do it myself.

It is not so much a lack of funding, rather a lack of popularity! If I was really popular there would be people to come see the show, buy the album, therefore I could pay the musicians required to bring it to the stage, etc. I am not saying that in a moaning sense, however. The reality is, I recorded a single 45-minute piece of instrumental music that is pretty uncommercial. I am not gonna sit here now and complain that not enough people are into it. It is what it is.

mwe3: Tell us something about your guitars and other gear you use on The Effa Lente Configuration CD. I imagine you have an enormous amount of gear. Do you have a favorite guitar or guitars and favorite keyboards that you plugged in for much of the CD recording process? Did you use vintage keyboards on the CD too? I hear mellotrons and synths galore!

David Alfred Reilly: You would be amazed at how little gear I used on the album. I used one guitar, a Gibson Flying V, one keyboard that I use for various things, and a bass. I use a lot of 'plugins' for different sounds which helps vary things up a bit.

As far as favorite sounds on the album, I like the harpsichord and glockenspiel. I like the contrast they give when mixed with a Morbid Angel/Black Sabbath style riff. Also the mellotrons. They give it that classic 'Progressive' sound. However, it is more the way each sound blends with everything else, rather than any individual sound, that makes it what it is.

mwe3: Richard Dowling did the CD mastering for the Effa Lente album. What was involved in the CD mastering in order to capture all the sonics without having the levels go into the red zone, to coin an expression?

David Alfred Reilly: The mastering process involved a little back and forth between us. Sometimes what I heard in his mastering studio and what I heard when I got home were slightly different. I just wasn't used to his speakers. It was mainly just a little bit of 'clipping', digital distortion, here and there which I only heard as I listened at home through headphones.

I wanted to get someone to master it just to have someone else's opinion on the final CD. It gets to a stage where you don't know which way is up when you are doing it all yourself, so it was good to be able to hand over the reins to Richard a little bit at the end.

mwe3: There’s been a lot of favorable reviews for 'The Effa Lente Configuration' so I think you feel artistically vindicated. What’s up next for you to further spread the word about the CD as well as writing, recording, live performances and more regarding even more music for 2016 and beyond?

David Alfred Reilly: There are no definite plans regarding anything at the moment, but I am writing and recording new music. It is in a few different styles at the moment but I am sure it will all come together as one soon enough. Some live performances would be great also, but I might wait until the next release is out so that I would have enough material for a longer set.


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