Groove Symphony #3 | October 2019 Release
Liner Notes: At The Intersection of James Brown and Beethoven
In the biopic Get On Up, there is a scene where Chadwick Boseman as James Brown tells his band that they are all playing drums – regardless of the instrument. The upshot is that for his music – everyone is a member of the percussion section, and serves the rhythm of the song.
On a distant but related note, one of the key element of the Beethoven’s great works from the Fifth Symphony on, is that the mighty composer is always testing the line between rhythm and melody. Each movement is an exploration regarding where the tune becomes the beat, and where the beats find themselves forming into song.
Now, I do not begin to compare myself to either the Godfather of Soul or the greatest classical composer that has ever lived – but these two thoughts deeply influence my work in the Groove Symphonies.
I consider every synth and sonic element as responsible for creating and supporting the rhythm, at the same time that their percussive nature will wander into a place where melody or motif emerges. The result is a 10-12 minute movement that has a definitive rhythmic spine, around which everything revolves, while changing in intonation, tempo and intent.
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About The Groove Symphonies
Usually, when musicians talk about mixing contemporary and classical music, they mean making an orchestral arrangement of a pop or rock song. Taking the forms of today and performing them with the instruments of the past.
With the Groove Symphonies, however, I am navigating that combination in the exact opposite direction.
This series of high energy compositions takes the scope and concept of the classical symphony, and produces a large-scale, four-movement opus using the instruments of EDM, pop, funk and rock.
These beat-driven symphonies might never make it to Carnegie Hall – but they sound great on a long drive down the highway. Roll over, Beethoven, indeed.