My classical remix album OldStyle is finally available, and in celebration I’ll be doing a series of brief posts talking about each of the tracks. My goal in this project was to reach a broader audience with the repertoire that I study and love, so I wanted to give some historical background on each of the tracks.
Mysterious – Les Barricades Mystériueses – Pièces de Clavecin, François Couperin (1668-1733)
Genre: Solo Suite, 18th century, French, Trap
Listen to the original piece here
Les Barricades Mystériueses, or The Mysterious Barricades, is a piece for solo harpsichord. The harpsichord is one of the keyboard instruments used before the modern piano was invented. On a harpsichord the strings are plucked as opposed to hammered, which gives a different timbre and quality of sound. In our remix we used chiptune sounds, synths in the style of 8-bit video games, to highlight the staccato nature of the instrument. This movement comes from a larger work by Couperin, Pièces de Clavecin, which is a collection of harpsichord pieces.
Trap music, though characterized mainly by its drum beat and groove reminiscent of hip hop, typically has a dark sound. Mysterious Barricades works well with trap rhythms but offers a lightness to an otherwise heavy genre. This juxtaposition makes this track an interesting listen regardless of the historical reference.
More about OldStyle
OldStyle: Classical Music Gets Electronic Remix Album by Brother and Sister duo
Baroque cellist Emily Davidson teams up with DJ/Producer brother Chris Davidson to reimagine her early music repertoire as Electronic Dance Music
OldStyle is a new album of classical music that’s been remixed and reinterpreted. It’s a collaboration between Emily Davidson, a classically trained baroque cellist, and brother Chris Davidson, a music producer who makes his living remixing video game music. The album is available now at http://OldStyle.bandcamp.com
The brother/sister duo fuses two opposite sides sides of the music industry to create a work that reflects both their passions. Emily comes from rigorous training, receiving her Bachelor’s in Cello Performance and her Master’s in Early Music Performance. Emily’s experience in historical performance inspired her to seek new ways to share this repertoire to a broader audience. “I think the more we explore music, the more we see how much of it is the same,” says Emily. “The more I study baroque music, the more I find parallels with present day. It’s remarkable that something created 300 years ago can still convey a human experience.”
Chris worked for years as a sound engineer in a recording studio in Ithaca, NY. After moving to Philadelphia, he began DJing as a way to continue working with music. An avid gamer from childhood, Chris was attracted to the music of video games, and began remixing under the pseudonym Dj CUTMAN. “I’ve always loved the classical feel of old video game music,” Chris explains. “With a rising popularity of electronic music today, it’s cool to hear some of the best songs were written 20 years ago by composers working on video games.” Chris owns the online record label GameChops, which specializes in reimagining classic video game soundtracks through remixing.
OldStyle includes both 17th and 18th century selections, multiple nationalities (Italian, French, German), high Baroque composers like Bach and Vivaldi, and other favorites like Couperin and Ortiz. The album highlights the differences of these genres by arranging in various styles like pop, house, trap, and hip hop. Chris’ video game influences can be heard as the 8-bit chiptune sounds ornamenting the baroque arrangements.
The album is available for immediate download at http://oldstyle.bandcamp.com and will be making its way to iTunes in the coming weeks.