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I don’t attend many conferences in the music industry, but for a reason that I won’t outline here I was at a Billboard Music event in Chicago about 10 years ago that I realize now helped to shape the Atomic Symphonies. 


It wasn’t anything said during the two days of presentations that originated this shift, but at a Happy Hour gathering after the first day’s proceedings where a DJ was playing dance hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. What struck me wasn’t the selection of songs, but the duration of the tracks as he wove one into the next. He only played about 30 to 60 seconds of each hit before moving on to another. 


Essentially, if you wanted to dance to a track you liked, you only had a few seconds to do so, and if you hated the song he was playing, well – it would be over in a moment.


Now my own clubbing days as a kid were in the 80’s when the extended remix was the DJ’s most common weapon of choice – so this hyperclip approach to party music was a bit of a shock to the ear. But I understood where the paradigm was coming from, and how a mindset newly framed by social feeds would inform the almost rapid-fire approach to delivery.


I began to wonder what it would mean if an artist transposed this structure from the set to the song – to build a single piece that wandered from one motif and beat to the another within the confines of a single track.


It is this idea, ironically coupled with the older notion of an extended remix that came together as the foundation for the movements in each Atomic Symphony. Of course, the practice of returning to an earlier motif or rhythm plays a great part in the movements as well – an experience that is common to both popular and classical forms of music.


This structure of wandering from one section to another gives the listener an experience of discovery and surprise, while the underlying rhythms and returns to earlier phrases and phases allows for a realization of its overall coherence.


The intent of the Atomic Symphonies is to let the audience discover the groove long enough to dig into it, and them move them on to something just as surprising, epic and a bit of a thrill.

– Nicholas Korn



The Atomic Symphonies reinvents the classical symphony for the digital age by creating a massive four-movement opus based on the beats and instruments of pop, funk, techno, hip-hop and EDM. I have been working on this epic music series since 2018.

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