If you've read any of my previous blog posts, you've probably noticed that I love when my classical music world collides with my taiko world. When Calgary soprano Michelle Minke wanted to incorporate taiko into her new collaborative piece with rapper James Noble (entitled: Carmen Unplugged), my colleague Lisa and I were excited and up for the challenge of writing a taiko part to accompany the piece.
Mixing taiko with other musical forms can be a challenge when it comes to balance. The volume and resonance of the taiko can easily overpower most forms of classical instrumentation. We worked on an arrangement that complimented the piece, but didn't overpower the singers when they were singing. I have to say, I was a little shocked, but very excited when I first heard the track. "Habanera" is a very famous seductive soprano aria from Bizet's opera "Carmen", and the track features Michelle singing the solo, with backup from members of the Cowtown Opera. She was then joined by James who entered the piece with a great groove and energy.
This gig was very fun and exciting to work on. It was something vibrant and fresh, and also something completely new and pushing boundaries of the artform. It was also very fun because all of the artists involved were really fantastic people and great fun to work with. I look forward to future collaborations!
Video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/i9U_H6KzZbQ