Opus One Memphis Interview Part 5

Memphis Symphony Orchestra String Section

You originally wrote Zydeco Madness for solo accordion. What prompted you to write it for String Orchestra?

By expanding it for string orchestra, I was able to reach a larger scale of sound, create different textures with the original material and give the piece wider exposure. Also, we all saw horrific news reports of people’s stuff floating, drifting and burning in currents slick with oil. I had this vision of someone’s accordion floating in this mess, and morphing into some giant monster accordion dripping with the fallout of toxic sludge. In a sense, the string orchestra was like a giant accordion.

Solo accordion and String Orchestra obviously sound very different. Do you prefer hearing this piece one way or the other?

No preference. I love the way Stas plays this piece and he usually amplifies himself in order to get the scale of sound I’m looking for. I also am very happy with the way the string orchestra version came out. They each make a powerful statement in their own way.

Do you like that your piece will be performed in a non-traditional venue? MSO Opus One always performs in non-traditional venues.

Very much. I am very excited about this performance with the MSO at the Rumba Room. I think the MSO Opus One Series has the right idea about how to reach a wider audience. Hopefully there will be people at the Rumba Room who having never heard a live orchestra may consider coming to a concert hall performance in the future. For anyone attending, it’s a cool vibe to sip a drink in a relaxed atmosphere and connect with the music up close.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It’s such a pleasure to be working with the MSO and I am very excited to hear them play!

Thank you so much for your time! We are really excited to hear your piece!

Read the whole interview at Opus One Memphis

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