British studio collective. It redefined ambient music and spawned the ambient house genre. It was founded in 1989 by Alex Paterson (Duncan Robert Alex Paterson) and Jimmy Cauty (see also KLF). Their first records together, including A Huge Ever-Growing Brain that Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld (WAU, 1989), blended ambient washes with intermittent dance beats, vocal and environmental samples, and became classics of the rave clubs' chill-out rooms. Their first and best album, Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (Big Life, 1991) appeared with an array of remixes of artists as diverse as Laibach, Gary Numan and one of Paterson's influences, Pink Floyd. Cauty was replaced by Kris ‘Thrash’ Weston, Paterson's studio engineer before the massive commercial success of UFOrb (Big Life, 1992) and The Blue Room, which at 39 minutes was the longest single to have been released in the UK. After the live compilation Live ’93 (Isl., 1993) Paterson was joined by Thomas Fehlmann, a pioneer of Berlin's early 1990s ‘teutonic beats’ scene. Orbvs Terrarvm (Isl., 1995) disappointed early fans but enhanced the band’s commercial appeal. The Orb have picked up many fans from the progressive rock scene, including Gong's Steve Hillage (whose 1990s releases as System 7 included much collaboration with the Orb) and King Crimson's Robert Fripp, who joined the band to create an off-shoot album released as FFWD (1994).
(b Tirgu Mureş, 12 July 1947). Hungarian composer of Romanian birth. He studied composition with Toduţă and Eisikovits and music theory with Jagamas at the Cluj-Napoca Academy of Music (1968–73), remaining there to teach music theory and counterpoint (1973–9). After moving to Hungary, he worked as a music editor for Editio Musica Budapest (1979–90), and became professor of music theory and composition at the Liszt Academy of Music in 1982. Orbán was awarded the Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 1991. His early style, tending towards Western avant-garde techniques, culminated in the Triple Sextet (1979), a recommended work at the 1989 Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs in Paris. In the mid-1980s he turned to a neo-romantic style, and has continued to use formally classical models in his instrumental works. Belonging to the Hungarian choral tradition, his church music, intended partly for liturgical use, displays influences such as jazz, while grotesque and humorous characters enliven his many choruses and songs. In the series of Duos (1979–89) he sets traditional texts with an air of nostalgia for rural life.
Masses: no.1, solo vv, chorus, ens, 1990; no.2, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1990; no.3, solo vv, chorus, org, 1990–94; no.4, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1991; no.5, solo vv, chorus, cl, vc, db, 1991; no.6, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1991; no.7, solo vv, chorus, 1993; no.8, solo vv, chorus, brass, perc, kbd, 1995; Missa sacri monti Pannoniae, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1995
Other choral: Motet, vv, ob, 1979; Kóruskönyv [Chorus Book] (A. József, D. Szilágyi, J. Pilinszky), I–II, 1983–7; Második kóruskönyv [Second Chorus Book] (József, Szilágyi), 1985; Medáliák könyve [Book of Lockets] (Jószef and others), 1987; Regina martyrum (orat), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1993; Rorate caeli (orat), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1993; Passion (orat), solo vv, chorus, org, perc, str, 1997; Christmas Orat, solo vv, chorus, org, perc, str, 1998; mixed and single-voice choruses on Lat. and Hung. texts
B.A.Varga, ed.: Contemporary Hungarian Composers (Budapest, 5/1989), 259–61
M.Hollós: Az életmű fele [Half of the oeuvre] (Budapest, 1997), 64–9
Orbison, Roy (Kelton)
(b Vernon, TX, 23 April 1936; d Hendersonville, TN, 6 Dec 1988). American singer-songwriter. The son of an oil driller, Orbison formed his first group, the Wink Westerners, at 13. While studying geology at North Texas College, he watched classmate Pat Boone attain chart success and, with a new rockabilly group, the Teen Kings, Orbison auditioned first for Buddy Holly’s producer Norman Petty and, at the suggestion of Johnny Cash, for Sam Phillips at Memphis’ Sun Records, with whom he signed in 1956. A recording of Oooby Dooby, co-written with two college friends, became a minor hit in 1956. After a couple of years spent recording and touring, Orbison moved to Nashville to concentrate on writing and bought out his Sun contract in 1958. He subsequently signed with Monument: his first record for the label was Paperboy; this was soon followed by Up Town (1959), which was a modest success. His next record however, Only the Lonely (1960), established him in both the USA and Britain. Like many of his hit records to follow, it combined introspection with drama and was a skilful and sophisticated marriage of black and white musics that was in stark contrast to prevailing trends. Loneliness, despair, guilt and fear were to become recurring themes in Orbison’s songs, and the tension of his romantic vignettes was often built to a heart-stopping falsetto climax: only in the last seconds of Running Scared (1962), for example, does the singer triumph over his rival.
A major influence on The Beatles, by 1963 Orbison was nevertheless eclipsed by the rise of beat groups. The late 1960s and 70s were marked by personal tragedy and ill-health, and it was not until 1986 that his career was given new impetus when his song In Dreams featured prominently in the film Blue Velvet. A duet version of his 1961 hit Cryin, rerecorded with k d lang, and used in the film Hiding Out (1988), was also a chart success. With George Harrison and Bob Dylan, among others, he recorded as the Traveling Wilburys, while his album Mystery Girl (Virgin, 1988) was a posthumous hit.
His melding of country music’s Sturm und Drang with pop’s beat, delivered in a quasi-operatic voice, was compelling, and his ballads, often melodramatic, brought maturity to a genre preoccupied with the adolescent angst.
C.Escott and M.Hawkins: Sun Records: a Brief History of the Legendary Record Label (London, 1980)
P.Reel: ‘The Story of O’, New Musical Express (20 Dec 1980)
S.Barnard: ‘Only the Lonely’, The History of Rock (London, 1982), 412–6
A.Clayson: Only the Lonely: the Life and Artistic Legacy of Roy Orbison (London, 1989)
S. Pond: ‘Roy Orbison 1936–88’, Rolling Stone (26 Jan 1989); repr. in The Rolling Stone Interviews (New York, 1989) 331–9
E.Amburn: Dark Star (London, 1990)
C.Escott and M.Hawkins: Good Rockin’ Tonight (New York, 1992)