20 July 2005

Orchestral Aphex Twin

The idea of transposing electronic music for an orchestra or ensemble is not as outlandish as it might sound at first- as this review points out, Philip Glass arranged and conducted a version of Aphex Twin's Icct Hedral many years ago (and it's a VERY cool track). Now, a group of musicians known mainly for playing Steve Reich compositions have made an entire album of Aphex Twin arrangements...

From the review:
As fascinating as such chaos is, however, it's the selections from Selected Ambient Works, Volume 2 that drive home the point that Acoustica is more than a simple display of showoffery. Both "Blue Calx" and "Cliffs" are exercises in restraint, the former featuring exquisite string harmony over a repeated, metronomic percussion that approximates the slow dripping of water, and the latter highlighting more slow string work over vocals, horns, and tuned percussion each echoed several times over. [...] the translations and the performances are perfect, providing further proof of one of the maxims of classical music -- any hack can play fast, but only a true musician can pull off a slow work while avoiding utter boredom. Alarm Will Sound passes this test effortlessly.

Now I'm REALLY anxious to hear this. :)


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

This actually sounds really awesome. I'm not hugely into Aphex Twin/RDJ, but it's pretty cool, and it'd be awesome to hear the orchestral versions. (I tend to like that kind of thing, particularly when the source material isn't orchestral at all. Or the stuff like Bjork did with the Brodsky Quartet a while ago. That stuff was pretty cool, actually.)

2:11 PM, July 20, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Now see, I *AM* a huge Aphex Twin fan, to the point of buying almost everything of his I've ever been able to find (but barring the pricey, vinyl-only Analord releases he's been doing lately- I'm hoping he'll put those out on CD someday). Also the Philip Glass ICCT Hedral is a real favorite of mine. (I tried to find a sample of that online, to link in the post, but with no luck.)

6:17 PM, July 20, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Someone on MeFi linked this over the weekend, and included an mp3 to one of the cuts from the record, so, yeah -- it's pretty cool! I'm not sure if I'll pick up this one, but it is still pretty cool. I dug it.

9:23 PM, July 24, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

BTW, I picked this album up this week, and was initially disappointed with it, but then realized that I liked it after all.

The problem is that I was mistaken: these are not ORCHESTRAL arrangements of Aphex Twin songs. I got that idea because one of the reviews I read compared it to Philip Glass' take on "ICCT Hedral," and that was done with an orchestra.

What these are, are just what the title says- acoustic versions. There's piano, and violin, and percussion, and so on, but not in a traditional orchestra format (also played by a much smaller group of people). So anyway- it's not quite what I'd hoped for, but still pretty cool nonetheless.

6:45 PM, July 29, 2005  

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