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Watch Aphex Twin Conduct an Orchestra by Remote Control

November 29, 2011  |  1:34pm
Watch Aphex Twin Conduct an Orchestra by Remote Control

Richard D. James — better known by his moniker, Aphex Twin — has continued to prove he’s on the cutting edge of things. Like Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, he recently collaborated with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki and was commissioned to compose music for Poland’s European Culture Congress. But as Pitchfork points out, James took things a step further while in Wroclaw, Poland, and controlled a full orchestra with a remote control.

More specifically, James utilized MIDI controllers, plenty of headphones and visual images replete with dynamic cues to conduct and shape the sound of the orchestra, which had 48 instrumentalists and 24 choir singers. The end result is a highly experimental offering and features extensive electronic sound manipulation and terrifying, dissonant musical arrangements. With its free-form structure and constant sense of tension, the piece plays like the soundtrack to a suspenseful horror movie, or maybe the aural equivalent of a nightmarish acid trip.

Although the performance took place on Sept. 10, video footage of the otherworldly experiment has just recently surfaced, which you can watch below.

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