Week Two of my lead up to release of my “Plugged-In Bach” tribute to Wendy Carlos and her “Switched-On Bach” sees me attack a Brandenburg Concerto. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048.
I actually did the bulk of this work several years ago as a semi-tongue in cheek demo of sounds from a ReFill. Everyone seemed to want to hear huge EDM pieces suggesting that using my product would instantly make them the bangingest dude out there. So I did the opposite.
Yes, that is Sebastian Bach there (on the right). Lose a J and see what becomes of you! He was the lead singer for Skid Row and now solo.
The Heroin Diaries
When I started this I was only going to do Toccata & Fugue In D Min, submit it to the (soon abandoned) project and move along. As soon as I realized I had a track with no purpose it struck me I could make my own EP with this piece.
The thing with Bach tho is that he sucks you in. At first, this piece, in particular, was a barrage of notes. Over time though, the parts firstly become hypnotic, then they start to reveal their story or intelligence.
People seem to get very anal over Bach and his works but now I begin to understand why. You start with a piece, then you need more, and more, and more…
You need to get it right.
Rock Me Amadeus
Would I have put in the drums this time?
I put some drums into this version when I first did it and was loathe to remove them as they seem to not only add such a kitsch charm to the music (the horror), but they do help move the piece along if you aren’t already entranced. And I must assume the latter.
I thought about drums in other pieces but quickly discarded the idea. The Brandenburg Concerto feels like such a show-off piece, like EDM in some ways, that the drums fitted here.
The other pieces have other, deeper stories to tell so drums weren’t the right solution there.
We Are The Damned
Sadly there is still a huge feeling of divide between Classical & Pop audiences. In some ways, I understand this because there is a gulf between the approach used in melodic development in the two schools.
In Classical, the melody and its development was everything, but Pop has increasingly thrown it away in place of effect. the circle is closing as orchestral pieces are increasingly devoted to huge (and often ugly) sound effects.
Deep Purple’s “Concerto For Group & Orchestra” from 1969 is a good work, but after that where people have tried to cross the two over, like playing KISS or Metallica with an orchestra or even 2 Cellos, I have to say that as a musician (and fan) I find them very wanting. It seems more about saying look how clever I can be than honoring the music in any valid way.
This is where I think Wendy Carlos a) got it so right with “Switched-On Bach” and b) was so lucky with timing in that no one had quite managed such a bold but respectful statement before.
Ok so not entirely accurate as many Swing Big Bands had adapted Classical repertoire for their uses and had hits because the music was honored instead of used. That said, “Hooked On Classics” still managed that with its melange of Classical Themes, Disco and can’t-help-but-love-it kitschness. I know that some Techno people have dabbled with it but I can’t say I know of any who managed to make it really work (incl. William Orbit’s “Barber’s Adagio For Strings”).
Here’s an interesting and very sad thing. So far YouTube and every other place I have posted these pieces have gotten straight back to me (well the bot has) and told me that I am using someone else’s owned material so they can’t play it on “radio” or monetize back to me.
Ummm, correct me if I am wrong but you can’t copyright music from before 1900 and Bach is way past slightly dead. Now while I don’t claim either the Composition or Performance (unnamed MIDI Files off the internet) Sony is making a claim which means that YouTube is handing any coin made off my video to them. Yay for honoring who done what as my input is denied in ways that would have been called STEALING only a few years ago. It seems that yet again in the name of “fair” that the rights of the genuinely entitled (because I did something) are denied in favor of a few noisy people.
If you like this work of mine enough to think I deserve the reward for my work then please pop over to Bandcamp and make sure I get paid (as they don’t discriminate there).