Too Metal To Miss

BrutalI know, we had a video post earlier in the week and doing two in the same week is decidedly outside the norm for Adaptistration but this one was too good not to blog about.

First and foremost, it helps to frame the discussion by saying that I am a fan of good heavy metal and when that can be combined with traditional classical music, all the better. Unfortunately, most of those efforts are a big miss but when it works, it’s usually fantastic.

Case in point, composer/arranger/guitarist Connor Gallagher has been publishing some of his own heavy metal arrangements of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, Mvt. II; Symphony No. 5, Mvt. IV; and Symphony No. 10, Mvt. II.

For fun, Gallagher’s arrangements are juxtaposed next to the originals.

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8, Mvt. II

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Mvt. IV

Shostakovich Symphony No. 10, Mvt. II

If you’re already a heavy metal fan or these vids are making you think there’s something more worth exploring, I highly suggest diving into original material and buying a copy of Brendon Small’s Doomstar Requiem, a full length rock opera, much of which is heavy metal but it does cover a wide gambit plus it includes a full orchestra.

Written by Small and orchestrated by Bear McCreary, who also conducted the 50-piece orchestra, it features all original music and you can even download the libretto in script format free of charge from Small’s website (scroll down a bit until you see it). McCreary also has a page at his site dedicated to the project which includes a five-minute video of him and Small talking about the project.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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