It's always exciting to be putting on another Filthy Lucre event, but this one has particularly sparked my imagination. We're doing a whole gig in invented languages, with music from Hildegard to the Talking Heads.
I've written three arrangements, two of chants by Hildegard and one of Warszawa by David Bowie and Brian Eno.
The Hildegard arrangements tap into something I've been thinking about a lot recently: a strange confluence of medieval drones and the steady harmonies of electronic music. In my big synth suite I'm working on, microtonal chants intersperse each movement.
I built on these to create my Hildegard arrangements, aiming to sound dusty and ancient yet thrillingly alive. Hildegard's words excited me with their strange, specific visions of the divine. Here's a little clip:
Arranging Warszawa was a harder task. Brian Eno is a master of synthesiser writing, and trying to cover his work in a way that didn't seem obviously inferior was true a challenge. So I took on the task from another angle, thinking about the cod-Polish language that David Bowie created for the track.
I decided to take the 12 most common phonemes of Polish, and get the choir to speak them through a vocoder, creating a synth-y cloud of nonsensical language. It was a bit of a challenge to imagine this sound, so I got my friends to come over and speak some phonemes into a microphone at a house party. It produced a fun, rough-and-ready demo, that you can hear a little of below:
There are still discounted tickets available, so do book them from Hackney Showrooms before the 10th February!