Baroque Remixed: Will Gregory’s Sarabande
BBC Radio 3’s ‘Baroque Remixed’ night at The Roundhouse featured a specially commissioned collaboration between the BBC Concert Orchestra, Charles Hazlewood and the vintage synths of Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory.
A Moog, Korg Monopoly and a Roland SH9 joined the orchestra for a beguilingly elongated take on the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita No.1 in B flat major, BWV825.
Walter Carlos’s famous “Switched on Bach” is an obvious comparison but it has far more in common with the trippy ambience of Mixmaster Morris’s Irresistible Force with of course Johann Sebastian weaving throughout.
Listen to the full concert on the BBC iPlayer.
In an interview with SinfiniMusic, Gregory said ‘I wanted to suck Bach down a big black hole, It’s a three-minute piece and in my version I stretch it to three times its original length. To do this I used a gizmo called the Eltro Information Rate Changer, which allows you to slow down material electronically while keeping the pitch the same. Otherwise, if you play something at half speed, its pitch will drop by an octave. That material is played by my synthesizer ensemble as the orchestra moves very slowly underneath, almost like a drone.’