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Symphonic prog rock

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Last night’s Intersections concert by the KW Symphony was called Prog Rock. But this was not symphonic versions of rock songs, per se. It was symphonic music that either inspired, or was inspired by, heavy rock. For example, there was a composition by Matthew Hinson called, I kid you not, “Homage to Metallica”. It contained not a lick of Metallica music, but definitely had the Metallica spirit.

There was also Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, which has been covered by tons of rock bands, including The Who. And Anton Mosolov’s Iron Foundry, which was inspired by actual heavy (industrial) metal. And a more modern piece by Paul Stanhope called Throbbing, evoking the sound of a police car chase around the neighborhood.

All of this loud, heavy music was a challenge. (Definitely the first time I was handed ear plugs at a symphony concert—though I didn’t find I needed them.) In fact, Edwin Outwater included a couple lyrical Satie Gymnopédie numbers as interludes. “This concert,” he said, “needs a palate cleanser”.

The grande finale of the evening was a piece by Nicole Lizée commissioned for the KW Symphony: 2012: Concerto for Power Trio. This one was inspired by, and did include bits of, Rush music, but elaborated upon, distorted, sped up… Like hallucinogenic Rush, Lizée (who was there) said. It included the classic Rush music trio of guitar, bass, and drums.

It was my favorite piece of the evening. And Jean’s least.

I guess Rush is always polarizing.

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Also, some interesting material about the last Intersections concert, Quantum: Music at the Frontier of Science.  First, Paul Wells, from Macleans Magazine, has written an article about it, and the positive response to it from the people of KW (two sold-out shows).

And you can sample of it yourself, from YouTube. Excerpts from the show:

 

And a documentary about the making of the show:

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