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GVSU New Music Ensemble: In C Remixed

img  Tobias

After your take on „Music for 18 Musicians“ was it always clear that „In C“ would be your next project?
I had the idea for doing an In C remixed CD very soon after the MF18 CD was released, but wasn't sure if or when I would pursue it. Shortly after, the Kronos Quartet invited my group to take part in a big In C 45th anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, and so when preparing my players I decided to go ahead and realize my idea of another CD.

How many of the members of the Reich-ensemble are still a part of „In C Remix
Six performers were also on that disc.

What, from your point of view, makes „In C“ so utterly special and also continually relevant?
I think during this past year I've heard this piece more than anyone - and somehow to my ears it remains fresh. There's a bit of mystery as to how exactly this happens, but I think it has to do with how flexible the material is, and the democratic process the performers go through to realize it. This communal, social spirit isn't duplicated in many other works. Also, no matter who performs it, the personality of the ensemble easily comes to the foreground, all tied together with Terry's motives.

You mentioned that a simple recording of „In C“ would have been silly. But isn't one of the qualities of that work - that it truly sounds different each time?
What I meant was that another recording would not have been seen as that unique. True, it's different every time, but I thought a remixed album (also containing our original performance) would be more interesting.

What was it you liked about the Reich-Remix CD? At the time, it seemed even Steve Reich wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it ...

I liked the concept of it. DJs were already using Reich's music, and this album was a way for the classical community to discover - and either embrace or not - what was already going on in more popular music culture.

Reworking a piece of contemporary composition is not for everyone. In which way could you trust these remixers to be „up to the job“?
I had worked with about half of the remixers on other projects, and was a fan of the rest. I trusted them because I think they are all strong and talented artists. All I hoped they would do was to sound like themselves, which they all did.

Did the remixers make use of your recording or were they free to start from scratch?

The raw material shipped to each remixer was 3 DVDs of audio - 17 individual instrument tracks plus the ensemble mix. The only requirement the remixers were given was to make a remix 4-8 minutes long. Some used just our material, others added electronic parts, others added themselves performing.

Did the finished remixes possibly tell you something new about the original composition?

They really just confirmed to me that In C is a timeless work, a groundbreaking work, and one that will be interesting and relevant for quite some time.

What will the remix live performances look like?

For our live performance the ensemble performs In C as it was meant to be, for an hour or so, with the addition of one of the remixers, Dennis DeSantis. He provides an interesting, evolving  pulse, plus adds remixed material from the CD, plus samples from the group's original recording session. He leads and responds to the group just as the other performers are doing. In addition, remixer Luke DuBois provides an interactive video that runs over and on the ensemble during the performance.

As you seem to start thinking about your next album before recording your current one: What are your plans for the future?

I do have a few ideas, but not sure which direction I want to go. As this has been an intense year producing this project, I think what I want to most do is sit back and relax for a while, and see where this album goes.

Homepage: GVSU New Music Ensemble
Homepage: In C Remixed Project Page
Homepage: Innova Records

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