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Stop Motion Orchestra: Lightworks (Megaphone / Knock 'Em Dead)

Fitting squarely in the Rock In Opposition mold, Stop Motion Orchestra is an Austin, Texas-based instrumental chamber rock band orchestrated with sax, violin, guitar, synth-bass, drums, here in their second album bringing a bright and melodic force that reminds of Hamster Theatre, Debile Menthol or L'Ensemble Raye; sophisticated, charming and knowledgeable music.

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product information:

UPC: 769791970892

Label: Megaphone / Knock 'Em Dead
Catalog ID: MEGA 036CD
Squidco Product Code: 26548

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded by Mohadev.


Alden Doyle-violin

Leila Henley-saxophones, vocals

Sam Arnold-bass, acoustic guitar, banjitar

Charlie Duncan-drums, percussion

Henna Chou-cello, keyboards

Mohadev-guitars, synths, piano

Phil Davidson-bass synth

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Artist Biographies:

Alden Doyle is an Austin, Tx violinist, a member of Calle Debauche and Stop Motion Orchestra. He studied at the University of Texas at Austin.

-Squidco 10/26/2020

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"Leila Louise Henley is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist and enjoys participating in the myriad varieties of experimental music and weirdo rock available in Austin. She has been known to sing and play saxophone, flute, clarinet, and various other aerophones to the delight and amusement of other humans (and the distinct displeasure of certain dogs). In addition to multiple part-time projects, she performs regularly with The Invincible Czars, Stop Motion Orchestra, Sam Arnold & the Secret Keepers, Super Creeps, and her very own all-female Ween tribute band, Poon. Her favorite food is the artichoke, in pretty much any form."

-VoyagerFest (

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"Sam Arnold of the Austin, Tx band Opposite Day, is the lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist considers songwriting an industrial habit and guitar playing more effective than shouting. He has collaborated with Sarah Sharp and Sweetmeat as a sideman and composer, and likes to make solo albums non-stop, in styles ranging from Americana to metal and electronic. He plays bass in Austin progressive rock band Stop Motion Orchestra. He's also composed a string quartet for the Golden Hornet project, and has produced and arranged Zirque Bois D'Arc's debut album. For Opposite Day, plays his Yancey guitar through two amps at the same time in order to confuse predators."

-Opposite Day Website (

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Charlie Duncan is an Austin, TX drummer, playing drums and percussion for almost 20 years. He is currently the drummer for the band Stop Motion Orchestra. He is also a research director collecting data from federal, state, and local governments and provides research and mapping pertaining to housing, neighborhood qualities and the socioeconomic conditions of municipalities across Texas.

-Squidco 10/26/2020

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"Henna Chou is a musician and curator residing in Austin, Texas. She has performed and written music for theater productions, arranged string parts for bands albums, and film projects. Henna often participates in live performance as a keyboardist, cellist, guitarist, or sound artist and is the Managing Director of Church of the Friendly Ghost: an avant-garde music program sponsored by the 501(c)(3) organization, Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX."


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Mohadev is an Austin, TX guitarist, a member of Stop Motion Orchestra and Zentraedi.

-Squidco 10/26/2020

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track listing:

1. Sarafini's Cat 6:14

2. Way To Sarov 8:49

3. Nerve Hurdle 5:03

4. Metal Pants 2:32

5. Oceano De Leche 7:22
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Stop Motion Orchestra return with a new lineup and a more organic, ensemble effort which draws inspiration from Henry Cow, Magma, Haniwa-Chan and Picchio dal Pozzo, as well as traditional music from Eastern Europe and South Asia. Five intricate, through composed pieces that are also playful and fun."-Knock 'Em Dead/Megaphone

Stop Motion Orchestra is an Austin, TX based instrumental art rock group orchestrated with sax, violin, guitar, synth-bass, drums. They reference a great list of RIO and advanced improvisers as their influences: Henry Cow, Cardiacs, Anthony Braxton, Thinking Plague, Ivo Papasov, L'Ensemble Raye, Debile Menthol, Henry Threadgill, Albert Marcoeur, Invincible Czars, Opposite Day, Brown Whornet."-Megaphone/Knock 'Em Dea

Lightworks is a long awaited sophomore album by the Austin, TX based instrumental prog-fusion group Stop Motion Orchestra which is directed by composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound-producer Mohadev. Released as digipak-CD and 12" vinyl by the alliance of Knock'em Dead and Megaphone Records, the album includes 5 instrumental compositions clocking in at 30 minutes.

Lightworks was performed and recorded by a renewed line-up: founders Mohadev (guitars, synths, piano), Alden Doyle (violin) and Henna Chou (cello, keyboards) cooperate now with Leila Henley (saxophones, vocals), Sam Arnold (bass, acoustic guitar, banjitar) and Charlie Duncan (drums, percussion). Their music can be described as modern melodic Instrumental that blends together multiple Art-Prog-Rock, World-Fusion, Chamber, Contemporary Classical, and Soundtrack-Cinematic influences in a very own way. Oh yes, it also can be labeled as RIO/Avant-Prog. But it needs to be said, that Stop Motion Orchestra are at the light and positive end of Avant-Prog spectrum. So, the album title reflects the essence of music pretty well. It's intricate, dense, sophisticated, polyrhythmic and polymorphic work, but never abrasive, abrupt, provocative, or epatage. And it's very illustrative and picturesque? In fact, when you plunge into the fairytale and phantasmagoric world of Lightworks you'll forget how complex the music is, you'll simply get caught by the expressiveness of created images and visions. In other words, Stop Motion Orchestra are fantastic storytellers, and their stories (or music pictures) are always pleasant, captivating, and enjoyable. And they definitely know how to deliver their message to a listener without any words being said or sung. The female voicing you can hear in "Way to Sarov" is used as just another instrumental tool in a rich pictorial palette of the sextet.

To sum up, Lightworks by Stop Motion Orchestra is nothing short to a masterpiece which cannot be described properly in words. So, those who enjoy intricate, intellectual, yet entertaining cross-genre instrumental music should try the album for sure. Let me say my "Bravos" to this incredible ensemble! P.S. Of special note is the top-notch sound quality of the CD-edition. The general audio panorama is much better (to my taste) that of the digital version. Whatever it is, huge respect to Mohadev who is both recording and mixing engineer-producer of Lightworks."-Raigor, ProgArchives

Also available on vinyl LP.
Get additional information at Prog Archives
Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
RIO (Rock in Opposition)
Chamber Rock
Sextet Recordings
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New in Rock Forms
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