Could 2022 be the year of drum & bass orchestras?
Having launched it to incredible acclaim in January, Fabio & Grooverider are currently touring their incredible Outlook Orchestra collaboration at key festivals this summer. As part of their 30th anniversary celebrations the mighty Ram Records are working with the Guildhall College Of Music & Drama to create three special OrchestRAM showcases of the label’s catalogue later this year.
Meanwhile, across the channel in The Netherlands, there is Polyphonic. They reinterpret bangers like Noisia‘s Tommy’s Theme into epic music moments like this…
Arguably one of the best interpetations of Noisia ever recorded, it’s been saluted by the Groningen trio themselves and it’s performed by Polyphonic – a live concept that comprises various musicians (some of whom are highly respected and performed to stadium sized crowds with acts like Armin Van Buuren and Scooter) and members of the renowned Dutch philhamonic ensemble the Phion Orchestra who have a track record in experimenting, bringing musical worlds together and making usually high brow and expensive classical shows accessible and for the people.
The creative brains behind it all is Tijmen Veltman, a talented musician best known as The Fiber Pianist, an artist who went viral several years ago thanks to his ability to hear a record once and recreate it instantly on the piano. During the 2020 lockdown he set about writing a show that could be performed by a full band and orchestra and he scored each musician’s part himself.
The show took place on July 3 2021 and we interviewed Tijmen and his right hand man / Fiber founder Rafael Leeuwis just days ahead of it taking place. “Polyphonic is a homage to drum and bass, and an experiment to see what drum and bass can sound like if you let top-class musicians have their way with it,” explains Rafael at the time.
“What I set out to do was arrange music in a way that people would instantly recognise the original and do the original song justice, but also make something new that sounds cool in its own right and make it playable for the specific instruments,” explains Tijmen. “It does force you to think of new ideas in the process, for example we would divide melodies into different melodies and echo each other in a way, which actually reaches the exact goal of making it sound recognisable but new, which was born out of necessity but turned out to be very cool.”
Very cool indeed. Polyphonic‘s take on Tommy’s Theme is one of several videos and releases that Fiber will be releasing over the coming months. “We made it with a love of drum & bass and to emphasise the musicality of the genre,” Rafael explains. “Polyphonic is a celebration of that. We hope it catches on and gets enough traction to bring Polyphonic around the globe. We want to show what we can bring to the scene, and it’s also an invitation to anyone who wants to dabble in live drum & bass. Feel free to contact us for guidance, musicians or arrangements!”
Fresh from announcing a five date live tour across The Netherlands, for more information on how Fiber and Polyphonic came to be (and to get your head around just how brilliantly talented The Fiber Pianist is) check the full interview we run last year. In the meantime, follow Polyphonic’s socials for more videos, updates and live dates as they reveal them.
Contact Fiber: email@example.com