A four-part instrumental synthesizer piece from Jean-Michel Jarre's album Revolutions, total length 16:47. Personally, I consider this one of Jarre's greatest works.
One day, I was browsing Furnation. They had optional MIDI soundtrack, which I turned on - and much to my surprise, I really liked it. I downloaded the MIDI file and looked at the comments. Oh yes, my favorite synth composer, of course, I should have guessed. =) The piece in question was the Overture.
As the very title of this work suggests, the tunes are almost mechanical in nature, but have a lot of "human" content - it was the days when machines came, but people still needed to do a lot of work.
The overture is a nice example of this. The background is a repetitive two-tone beat, with near-divine, human-like melodies on top of them - and percussion beats that are rhythmical but somewhat out of synch with the background. The whole piece reminds me of some gigantic machine from the early industrial age - runs with steam, coughs steam, makes weird noise, but what the heck, it works.
The first part (after the overture) opens with sounds that can be even more easily associated with early industrial monsters. Then, it changes to very, very fast orchestral string music. The music is not about the Machine itself; I feel it's more about the increase of speed it gives to industrial production. At ocassions, the music slows down, and we again hear the "breath" of the steam-powered machine; While the machine is slow and bulky, it makes things happen faster than in earlier days.
The second part is faster, with no mention of the machine sounds; The third is again slow, in synch with the machine's heartbeat; with an electronic choir backing the beat, "pa-pa-pa-pa"...