Friday, October 8, 2010

10/8 If Beethoven Played Guitar V2 (String Quartets)

Today I'm posting again about my humble attempt to arrange Beethoven's music for guitar and rock ensemble.  As a guitarist myself, these renditions provide an interesting alternate insight into his compositions and what B. might sound like if he had been born at the same time as Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin.

These arrangements were created using the Synthfont program and the "Squid Orchestra" sound font.  The drums are from Ken Ardency's drum sound font.  Basically I made the 1st and 2nd violins into 2 different guitars, the viola became organ and the cello became acoustic bass.  The drums were based largely on the cello sequence.  Because of that it sounds a little jazz-fusioney - ala Chad Wackerman, maybe. This may take some getting used to depending on your usual musical diet.  I fully expect most regular classical listeners to hate these, and for most rock fans to cringe at the MIDI nature of these recordings, but if you love Beethoven as well as Squarepusher, Van Halen, Devo, Zappa, videogame soundtracks and "kraut-rock", maybe you can get into these.  I know the trills sound pretty bizarre, but Marc Bolan did the exact same kind of effect with some electronic effect in the 70s so I'm going to leave them for now.  Personally I had to get used to those "artifacts" but if I could get used to Merzbow well...I used to be into avant-garde music but your mileage may vary ;)

I'll probably continue to refine these so perhaps these are "version 1"....

UPDATE: 2/24/11: I re-did the videos for all my rock-sequenced Beethoven string quartets so that there was more to see than a billboard screen. Now all 17 quartets have been re-done into 17 LONG videos with indexes for each movement, accompanied by MAM player visualizations. I deleted the individual tracks below because they were just crowding my Youtube channel. The 3 links at the bottom of the post will go to playlists where each quartet can be accessed and individual movements can be cued up if desired. I personally think these are about 100 times better..
Here's a few:
String Quartet Opus 59.1.2 (the opening rhythmic motif is pretty rockin')
String Quartet Opus 132.5 (beautiful melody - who ever said B couldn't write melodies?)
String Quartet Opus 18.4.4 (crazy rocker - don't drive to this)
String Quartet Opus 131.5,6,7 (had some fun with this epic masterpiece)

A "best of" playlist here.

String Quartet 8, in Em, Op.59 No 2 (1806) (Rock Arr, with MAM)

And here's playlists for all 17 String Quartets arranged for "Rock Ensemble"!
If anyone cares to try performing any of these please let me know!  I've half a mind to give them a shot myself (the other half is too lazy however).

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