Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Under the Covers

Ever since Clare Sudbery turned me on to Instrumental I've been thinking of what one could do with a string quartet and rock music. Of course, the Kronos Quartet have recorded arrangements of Ornette Coleman, Jimi Hendrix and Willie Dixon, but how far could one go? Little Fluffy Clouds would seem pretty extreme. But no, here come radio.string.quartet with their tribute to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. Just listen to Celestial Terrestrial Commuters on this album to hear how far a quartet can go. And they make it sound so natural, too, as though it had been written for a quartet to begin with.

And while we're on the subject (ever dear to my heart) of cover versions, how about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention doing The Handsome Cabin Boy on this album? Apparently Zappa was a long-time fan of Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd. While I would never have bet against FZ's taking an interest in any kind of music, I hadn't suspected that.


At 09 April, 2008 15:25, Blogger Chip said...

Interesting that you should mention this as what I'm writing for the Edinburgh Quartet is heavily influenced by Anthem Rock of the 80's - Styx, Kansas, Yes.

I'm not planning on putting any amplification on the instruments (although we toyed with it) just because the musicians would need a fair amount of practice to get used to what can be done in terms of effects - and we just don't have time (not with everything else we're trying to accomplish with this bloody concert).

But... it should be interesting.


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