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Start Me Up Monday

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived.  I refer, of course, to Robert Fripp’s 4-second start-up theme for the Windows Vista operating system.  Soon to be the most played musical signature of all time.

On the Window Vista blog, Jim Allchin writes that the new intro is “made of dual ascending ‘glassy’ (Edit note: as in Philip Glassy) melodies played on top of a gentle fading Fripp ‘AERO’ Soundscape.” 

Win-dows Vis-ta…(Click on play under the photo)

Comments

Comment from Ian Moss
Time: November 14, 2006, 2:05 am

That’s the best they could come up with?

Comment from Evan Johnson
Time: November 14, 2006, 9:18 am

Yeesh. That’s… that’s… awful.

Comment from Jeff Harrington
Time: November 14, 2006, 9:45 am

Music by committee… it’s truly awful. And we’ll hear it for-ev-er…

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: November 14, 2006, 10:28 am

Trying to think of what the most memorable musical signatures are. Certainly, the three-note NBC piece is unforgettable. And, of course, the BBC’s Big Ben. Others?

Comment from Darren Nelsen
Time: November 14, 2006, 11:01 am

I agree. It’s funny… they said they wanted something that wasn’t annoying. The first thing I said when I heard it was “that’s annoying.”

I like the background sounds (generated from Fripp’s soundscapes)… but the “Win-dows Vis-ta” sing-song melody… Argh!

Also funny that they say Fripp is best known for “70’s rock band King Crimson.” Nevermind that Crimson’s best work was in the 80’s, 90’s and now. Discipline, Thrak, Power to Believe… anyone?

Comment from Aaron
Time: November 14, 2006, 11:15 am

18 months. Seriously. 18 months to write that. Good lord.

Comment from Jacob Sudol
Time: November 14, 2006, 11:35 am

Why can’t Microsoft just use a simple chord like Apple does?

Note to Fripp/Microsoft executives: Sometimes less really is more.

Comment from Tom Myron
Time: November 14, 2006, 12:06 pm

As a setting of the phrase “Windows Vista” it’s certainly retarded. They’ve got the stress misplaced on “VIS-ta”.

Comment from Galen H. Brown
Time: November 14, 2006, 12:43 pm

The stress isn’t just misplaced on “Vista” — as I hear it the sound is two iambs, whereas “Windows Vista” is two trochees. The Microsoft guys really need to work on their scansion.

I don’t think this new startup sound is bad, per se, it’s just not all that good, and certainly not worth the amount of effort that they put into it. For my money, the best windows startup sound was the original Windows 95 sound, which I believe was made by Brian Eno.

Comment from Seth Gordon
Time: November 14, 2006, 1:31 pm

Also funny that they say Fripp is best known for “70’s rock band King Crimson.” Nevermind that Crimson’s best work was in the 80’s, 90’s and now. Discipline, Thrak, Power to Believe… anyone?

I dunno – Thrak I can take, though some of the lyrics (“People” comes to mind) are just moronic. PtB, on the other hand… ugh. Hated hated hated it. Only good in comparison to The ConstruKction of Light which just flat-out sucKed.

All that aside, the Vista theme is crap. How much did he get paid for that? Yeah, I know, it’s just marketing. But I think they missed a great opportunity – you should be able to buy it with your choice of sound “module” – like, have the Fripp edition, the Glass edition, the Slayer edition…

And is there going to be a remix album? I want to hear Jack Danger’s and The Orb’s spins on FripperVista.

Comment from David Toub
Time: November 14, 2006, 6:20 pm

What a bunch of dreck! And is it really that much different/better than what they use for XP (which I’m using right now, incidentally).

And what does this have to do with Philip Glass? Clearly they have no real understanding of his music.

Personally, I think they should have used an OS X startup sound, since Vista stole so much from OS X anyway that they might as well steal the sounds.

Comment from Seth Gordon
Time: November 14, 2006, 7:10 pm

Personally, I think they should have used an OS X startup sound, since Vista stole so much from OS X anyway that they might as well steal the sounds.

Bah! Mac Proselytizers! Y’all think you’re so freakin’ hip just cause some Williamsburg stoner dude plays the Mac in those commercials.

The NBC signature: way more information than you need, but kind of cool…

Some other memorable musical signatures that came to mind:
THX
Inel Inside
That swirly sound they played with the spinning “SPECIAL” logo before the Charlie Brown holiday specials on CBS
20th Century Fox (or is that more “theme” than signature?)

And my personal favorite: “By…. Mennen.” (Or, as I prefer to think of it: “Co…. stanza”)

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: November 14, 2006, 7:44 pm

Nice gig for Fripp, & I won’t knock him personally since it sounds like he made a whole pile of nice textures & then Microsoft flunkies cobbled this together from a couple completely meaningless fragments. (It sounds a bit like one of those hokey holywood fanfares: “Quick fade to the forest, where Robin and his Merry Band arrive in a clearing”…) They get their sound, Fripp gets the nice paycheck (& maybe $$ for a few cool projects), and I’m still just as happy since I turn off all the little doodly sounds anyway. I’m with Galen; Eno’s is still the all-time classic. Short as it is, you can still hear him in there.

Comment from Ian Moss
Time: November 14, 2006, 11:45 pm

I will stick up for The Power to Believe. I didn’t like it at first, in large part because of the weird electric drum pads, but it grew on me big-time. “Eyes Wide Open” and “Elektrik” are great songs.