What­ever gap ex­isted be­tween the night­club and the clas­si­cal mu­sic con­cert hall is no more

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - JIM CAR­ROLL

There comes a time in ev­ery young mu­sic-lov­ing buck’s life when the usual rounds of gal­li­vant­ing be­gin to wear thin. Slowly, the lure of the club and gig­ging cir­cuit start to wane and a crav­ing de­vel­ops for dis­trac­tions that don’t in­volve the dance­floor.

Some turn in des­per­a­tion to re­peats of clas­sic episodes of

Top Gear. Oth­ers be­gin to de­velop an in­ter­est in high-grade cof­fee, a pur­suit that leaves them more jit­tery and highly strung than they’ve ever been at 4.30am. It also turns out to be a hell of a lot more ex­pen­sive than club­land’s thrills, but that’s an­other story.

For those who still want to go out and ex­pe­ri­ence a bit of cul­ture, the con­cert hall was of­ten viewed as a means to an end. You got the night out, there was mu­sic, the park­ing was handy and you’d be home be­fore 11pm. Con­cert hall pa­tron­age was a sign that maybe – just maybe – you’d left those fool­ish things be­hind.

But what­ever gap ex­isted be­tween the night­club and the con­cert hall is no more and it’s the clas­si­cal mu­si­cians who’ve made sure of that.

They’re the ones who’ve joined forces with DJs and elec­tronic mu­sic pro­duc­ers to cre­ate events that are pulling the kind of au­di­ence you’d never see turn­ing up at a more se­date clas­si­cal mu­sic event.

It’s a great num­ber for the dance mu­sic world as they get to ex­tend their reach be­yond the late night econ­omy. But the clas­si­cal lads and lasses seem to be the ones rel­ish­ing what is go­ing on as they take their vi­o­lins, cel­los, brass, vi­o­las and wood­wind yokes to a very dif­fer­ent party.

You can’t ar­gue with the ev­i­dence that there’s a de­mand for this. 2fm DJ Jenny Greene’s jaunt with the RTÉ Con­cert Orches­tra in a tent at this year’s Elec­tric Pic­nic was one of the fes­ti­val’s high­lights. They’ll be at­tempt­ing to re­peat the trick with those 1990s dance clas­sics at the much larger 3Arena next month. Sold-out-show That same orches­tra join forces with techno mae­stro Jeff Mills when he vis­its Dublin’s Bord Gáis En­ergy The­atre for a sold­out show on Oc­to­ber 30th.

Mills is a dab hand at this stage when it comes to col­lab­o­rat­ing with clas­si­cal mu­si­cians, hav­ing pre­vi­ously per­formed with the BBC Sym­phony Orches­tra, Mel­bourne Sym­phony Orches­tra and the Mont­pel- ier Phil­har­monic Orches­tra so he’ll be sav­ing a few bob on the sheet mu­sic at least.

It seems that those RTÉ mu­si­cians are the big win­ners in all of this club/clas­si­cal cross­over. They’ll be show­ing up suited and booted at the 3Arena again in De­cem­ber for Haçienda Clas­si­cal, fea­tur­ing iconic house bangers from the fa­bled Manch­ester club.

Aside from the orches­tra, you’ll also have club res­i­dent DJ Graeme Park, New Or­der’s Pe­ter Hook and Happy Mon­days’ Rowetta and the Manch­ester AMC Choir.

What’s strik­ing about this wave of ac­tiv­ity – aside from the fact that no one told us you had to be a raver to join the RTÉ CO – is that the ma­te­rial works so well in a con­cert hall set­ting. If there was a sense that the orig­i­nal one-off house tunes that sound­tracked raves and clubs in the past only worked in a par­tic­u­lar set­ting, the or­ches­trated per­for­mances turn this logic on its head. Newly minted ver­sions Aside from the eu­phoric re­ac­tion from the au­di­ence to hear­ing newly minted ver­sions of such ever­green hands-in-theair bangers as Black Box’s Ride

On Time, Robert Miles Chil­dren, Roza­lla’s Ev­ery­body’s Free, Rhythm Is Rhythm’s

Strings Of Life and Mar­shall Jef­fer­son’s Move Ur Body, it does set you think­ing if this means a re-eval­u­a­tion for the pro­duc­ers be­hind the tracks.

Orig­i­nally flung to­gether to cap­ture a mood and a feel­ing, the an­thems with their new ar­range­ments make you ap­pre­ci­ate their mu­si­cal­ity all the more, or even, in some cases, for the very first time.

Just let’s not get car­ried away and start com­par­ing them to Brahms or Beethoven – or the let­ters page will have a fit of the vapours.

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