Saturday, May 23, 2009

Classical DJ

Had an amazing night at the SF Symphony last night. The featured peformer was pianist Yuju Wang from China and while she was outstanding it was an earlier set that stole the show for me. Mason Bates is a 32 year old composer living in Oakland. He blends electronic music with classical resulting in an amazing experience.

It is great to see a young guy in a black short sleeve t-shirt with an Apple computer on stage right alongside a full symphony dressed in tuxedos and black dresses. Mason uses unique and natural sounds alongside classical compositions. Last night's work included actual sound recordings from the Gemini space mission, a broom, and a typewriter, among many others. The broom sound came from a guy near the percussion area actually sweeping the floor and to see Mason finger bounding this little mixer hooked up to his laptop was mesmorizing.

Certain parts of the performance incorporated electronic beats and it was amusing to see a few violinists bobbing their heads to the rhythm. Equally amusing was seeing the reaction from the blue hairs in the audience who Mason won over. It was one of the best live performances I have witnessed in years. Check him out.

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