Bach N' Beats

Austin Symphony musicians mix it up with DJs at the Parish

If you ever wanted to hear what DJs think about classical music, to see them get inspired by a work of old-school chamber music as it's played live and then work their turntable magic in response, well, now's your chance. That's just what's happening this Friday. It's called Bach N’ Beats, and it's going down on Dirty Sixth, of all places.

This ingenious musical mash-up comes courtesy of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, which goes to show that it is far from being musically frozen in ice over at Dell Hall. The symphony is hip to what other kinds of music are getting played in the Live Music Capital and willing to mix it up with musical collaborators of all kinds. In this case, they're all DJs – Chicken George, Curse Mackey, LouLou, and Shree – and they'll be playing with a string quartet composed of ASO musicians: Joseph Smith, violin; Ashley Cooper, violin; Martha Carapetyan, viola; Anna Park, cello. The quartet came up with the pieces they'd play – a bit of Bach (Art of the Fugue, Contrapunctus 1 and 4), a dab of Dvořák (the first movement of his American Quartet), some moody Rachmaninoff (the second movement of his String Quartet No. 2), and, to edge us into the 20th century, Percy Grainger's Molly on the Shore. Each work was assigned to a different DJ, so that after a work was performed by the quartet, audiences would be treated to a distinctive response.

You can thank the ASO staff for masterminding this novel event as a way of expanding the symphony's connections through the community. Through connections with Curse Mackey and the young professionals support group BATS (Be At The Symphony), the other DJs were invited to participate. After the ASO musicians selected their pieces, staff decided which piece should go to which DJ. Now, it's time to what the beats have to say about Bach – and Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, and Grainger.

Bach N’ Beats takes place Fri., Sept. 28, 8pm, at the Parish, 214 E. Sixth. For more information, visit the ASO website.

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Austin Symphony Orchestra, DJ Chicken George, Curse Mackey, LouLou, Shree

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