Classical Turntablism - Mixonline

Classical Turntablism

A most unusual spin on classical music performance debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York City this fall: the Concerto for Turntable. Composed by Raul Yanez
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DJ Radar (left) and conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos prepare.

Photos: Francois Portman

A most unusual spin on classical music performance debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York City this fall: the Concerto for Turntable. Composed by Raul Yanez (www.raulyanez.com), the scratch-happy suite in three movements was performed by DJ Radar and the Artsechro Orchestra and received a standing ovation from the discerning audience.

DJ Radar and the Red Bull Arts

“My inspiration for this piece comes from many entities,” Yanez said. “The first is my relationship with my good friend DJ Radar. We have spent many hours developing a bridge between turntablism and prepared music. The Music Education department at ASU was also a huge inspiration. In 2001, I was working on a Masters in Music Education degree at ASU, which provided a hands-on relationship with orchestral instruments, as well as philosophies and theories that I adapted for turntable pedagogy. My mentor Chuck Mahoronic was an inspiration for his insights on jazz trio and orchestra collaborations. I really need to include my wife, Gloria, as a major influence in all my work.”

The orchestra was put together by none other than Red Bull. “It was made up of musicians that auditioned from NYU, New England Conservatory, Julliard and other major schools from the East Coast,” Yanez continued. “Red Bull is known for its extreme sport productions; I think they took that extreme mentality and applied it to this project. Carnegie Hall is considered one of the most prestigious halls in the world and the final performance was unbelievable.”