The next track I’m featuring from OldStyle is the driving rock-inspired anthem “Savages.” 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, and also explain my process in rearranging them.
Savages – “Air pour les Sauvages” from Les Indes galantes, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Genre: Dance Suite, 18th century, French, Rock/Dubstep
Listen to the original piece here
In a time with no movies or TV shows, opera was everything. Nearly all the great baroque composers were writing operas or at least oratorios (operas without staging). Rameau wrote dozens of operas, dedicating a portion of his career to the craft.
Les Indes galantes, the opera this piece is taken from, is considered an opera-ballet because dance is an integral part of the production. Dance was a huge part of baroque life, but especially in France, where many historical dance treatises originate.
“Air pour les Sauvages” is a song for savages as they enter in the final act of the opera. It has an infectious melody and a driving bass line in the original piece, so it immediately hooks the listener in any form. Changing the lead instruments from violin (original score) to electric guitar quickly turned this boisterous march into a powerful rock ballad. The couplet sections, which are different than the rondeau or “chorus,” use inventive sounds like chiptune synthesizers to highlight different characters.
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.