Here’s the second installment in my series of posts talking about the tracks from my new album OldStyle. 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.
Sonata Pop – Cello Sonata no. 5 in E minor, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Genre: Sonata, 18th century, Italian, House
Listen to the original piece here
Sonata Pop takes one of the most popular movements from Vivaldi’s cello sonatas and turns into a house anthem. Vivaldi wrote around 10 sonatas for cello and continuo, accompaniment typically played by another cello and a chordal instrument like the harpsichord.
Vivaldi, in true Italian style, loved to show off the virtuosity of the instruments he wrote for. His music is typically dramatic, exciting, and features lots of running 16th notes.
The core portion of Sonata Pop is the “chorus” we created by looping one beat of the melody over sweeping synth chords. The chords reharmonized the melody and created a new sound for the track that modernized it. We kept all the original segments of the sonata (A section, B section, themes, developments, etc.) and interjected our new chorus throughout. It makes for a progressive house track that has the high-energy and virtuosic writing of Vivaldi.
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.