This Saturday, November 15th, Nathan Fake performs at Nonclassical, an event held at Bloc, London.
The quick sell: it aims to clash modern electronic sounds with organic classical arrangements, bringing together practitioners from both disciplines. So, on the night, alongside Fake’s set (with Multi Story Orchestra) will be performances from Gabriel Prokofiev, Klavikon, Tom Richards and Dirty Electronics Ensemble.
As a preview of sorts, here Nathan expresses his affection for three classical pieces.
Gavin Bryars – ‘Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet’
“This is probably the first contemporary classical music I ever heard. My friend Vincent played it to me while we were at college in 2001 or 2002, and it’s based around the recording of a tramp singing in the street in London, a real tramp. You can hear street ambience in the background and everything. Then, these really beautiful strings build around it, and gradually more and more instruments are added – the whole piece is over an hour long. Tom Waits starts singing the tramp’s part at the end, which is pretty cool.
“The repetition and hypnotic quality of it really struck me, as I’d never heard classical music do that before. It’s trance inducing, and kind of made me see what Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works’ stuff was maybe influenced by. I was thinking of including one of Aphex’s ‘Drukqs’ piano pieces in this list, but thought I’d look like a bit of an electronic music meathead putting him in a classical music list.”
Max Richter – ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’
“This is quite recent, I think. Again, a friend sent it to me, but it’s one of those pieces that stops you in your tracks with its painfully beautiful chords. Being an electronic musician, I sometimes get wound up in production techniques when writing music – but this shows you how powerful just musical notes can be. I’ve worked out how to play it on the keyboard as it’s pretty simple, but it sounds ridiculous whatever sound you play the chords on. It’s one of my favourite pieces of music in general.”
Brian Eno & Harold Budd – ‘First Light’
“I guess this counts as classical music? It’s just piano with Eno’s production, so it sounds completely otherworldly, like music you dream about but can never remember when you wake up – even though it’s played on something as normal as a piano. I actually couldn’t listen to this track for years as it used to reduce me to a blubbering wreck, over nothing in particular – it’s just that the piece is that heavy and moving. The whole album, ‘ambient 2’, is wicked but this track is the most heart breaking.”
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