Orchestra and pop culture, which often ends in a misunderstanding: Either the former want to tweak themselves with the latter without too much effort – or the latter use the former as a better keyboard replacement and high-quality paste that goes without ‘explanation. In this regard, it is remarkable how much exciting and original Australian chef Gordon Hamilton understands …

Orchestra and pop culture, which often ends in a misunderstanding: Either the former want to tweak themselves with the latter without too much effort – or the latter use the former as a better keyboard replacement and high-quality paste that goes without ‘explanation. In this regard, it is remarkable how Australian conductor Gordon Hamilton knows how exciting and original it is to reconcile the two worlds: in the series “Machiavelli Sessions” he arranges orchestral versions of rap songs. for the intercultural radio show “Cosmo” by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) which move away from cascades of rhythmic effects and in which instead selected melodies and hooks tracks are combined with the great classical instruments to create veritable symphonies, which then recount the images of text like music. The resulting friction is part of the sound, perceptible and audible on the one hand, but also courageously and artistically staged on the other. It opens up some big new aural impressions, is quite demanding, and doesn’t rely on courtesy – but it also does justice to the rappers’ lyrics, which are given such a different frame.

In the first season, in which each song session was prepared with an elaborate video for the network, the WDR Funkhausorchester under the direction of Hamilton accompanied rappers such as Jorja Smith, OG Keemo, Ebow or Kraftklub frontman Felix Kummer with his solo song “Ship”. There are also artist interviews – all available for free on platforms like YouTube or in the ARD media library.

In the second season, the Australian now conducts his extremely colorful and biting arrangements of the Robert Schumann Philharmonic Orchestra in Chemnitz – the videos are therefore recorded in the city opera house. The prelude is the song “Fair” from the recently released new album by German rapper Nura. The whole thing is a cooperation with the Chemnitz Kosmos Festival, which is currently pushing such initiatives, especially behind the scenes, after the second edition fell victim to the corona pandemic the following year after the successful start in 2019: The ” Kosmos “wants to continue to have energy, which was born in Chemnitz on September 3, 2018 from the concert” #wirsindmehr “, in civil society. The key question: How do we want to live together? Nura’s “Fair”, who was on stage at the time, is an appropriate first contribution from the opera, especially since the concert, as she puts it in an interview with series initiator Jan Kawelke, was the trigger to reorient herself as an artist: After that, she didn’t want to do anything unnecessary, or just wanted to pay homage to the party. And she talks about her own classic experiences when her teacher led the school class to opera: “There were only old people. And I was the only black. For Kawelke, it is therefore an important concern of the “Machiavelli Session” that “these pieces, which are very old and very white, be dismantled”.

The music video for the song “Fair” by Nura and the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz