A few years ago, Seattle’s classical music station, King FM, went public and is now a not-for-profit enterprise. Commercial free, community supported, and still running strong. Er, that rocks.
Almost three years ago, with the motto, “Rethink Classical”, they added to their charter an on-line radio station called Second Inversion. You can listen to them streaming, read their blogs, and see what they’re all about on at www.SecondInversion.org . They also have a YouTube station https://www.youtube.com/user/RethinkClassical , and I’m sure they have a foot print in other media.
I discovered them by picking up a business card they’d placed at a local record store. Key point: while you ignore as much noise as possible, never ignore a free opportunity to learn something new. There’s a fine line there somewhere.
Seattle record stores always have free shit laying around near the exit – CDs, posters, flyers, cards, newsletters; generally, stuff. (Is this true in other places? My excursions in England have failed on this point. Portland, sure, lots of stuff. Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco: I can’t remember. Other?)
The idea for Second Inversion is to re-imagine what classical music can be. This includes re-interpreting 250-year-old pieces using different arrangements, different instruments, different combinations, or different tempos. It includes using a full orchestra to play rock and roll. It essentially includes doing anything you can think of when considering “classical music”. The results have been outstanding. I can list the reasons why I don’t listen to Second Inversion more: 1) I still have a day job, 2) there’s so much other stuff going on, and 3) I’m a rocker at heart.
I want to be clear, I love classical music. I’m not terribly knowledgeable, but I love the stuff. I’ve enjoyed going to the symphony a few times and listening to various things from time to time. Classical music doesn’t need help; I like it the way it is. Still, it’s always, always, a great thing to re-imagine what could be. And thus we have Second Inversion.
My entire mindset is supportive of what these folks are trying to do. For this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite finds from this virtual station; I’m interested if other people see connections between this project and more typical popular music.
To close, this concept isn’t new to me. I’ve been a big fan of John Cale for a very long time. His adaptation of Dylan Thomas poems to an orchestra is well known and has been a personal favorite. From The Falkland Suite.
Moreover, here is a sample of his musical scores for the debut of two Andy Warhol films, Eat and Kiss.
© Community Noise 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
Photo credit Ram Mallari Jr.; see Steampunk Tendencies on FB.