OldStyle Track of the Day: Ortiz Reprise

This track from OldStyle is the earliest musical sampling on the album, and was a collaboration with electronic producer Absrdst. 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 discuss the electronic arrangement.

Ortiz Reprise – Recercarta Octava Sobre La Folia, Diego Ortiz (c.1510-c.1570)
Genre: Ricercar, Renaissance, Spanish
Guest Artist: Absrdst
Listen to the original piece here

Diego Ortiz laid down serious groundwork for the late Renaissance as it set up the baroque period. His ornamentation treatises are valuable resources, as treatises are the “rulebooks” most classical musicians draw their information. His ricercars often feature virtuosic writing over a simple repeated chord progression.

In the remix, one eight bar phrase is repeated as a chorus, whereas the original piece is through-composed. The original melody is intended for one solo instrument, but this track highlights different sections of the piece by using different instruments. The accompaniment, drums and a distant electronic organ, remain consistent to maintain continuity throughout the track. Featured musician Absrdst (pronounced ab·surd·ist)  takes a modern approach to the oldest reference on the album by bringing in futuristic sounds and atmospheric sound design.

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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.

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