Gene Pritsker - guitar, Di.J., Rap ensemble KONTRASTE
Hans Rotman - conductor
Videos by Frieder Weiss
COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE RECORDS
Release Date 11/7/2020
‘EroicAnization’ came out from a collaboration of Gene Pritsker and ensemble KONTRASTE. Gene was commissioned to write a piece based on Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, to be premiered on New Year’s Day 2020, in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. The piece he wrote was ‘EroicAnization’ for Di.J. and Chamber Ensemble.
“I was interested in playing with the name of Eroica and I knew I wanted to mess with this title in a way that reflects the music. The main title "EroicAnization" plays with the word ionization which means "the process of forming an ion or causing something to form an ion." Here, I ionize the "Eroica" Symphony and create "EroicAnization."
It harkens back to Edgard Varèse’s piece Ionization. Musically, there is no real correlation, only that both the "Eroica Symphony" and "Ionization" are iconic pieces of music. I then go to name each of the six movements with Eroica plus an ‘E’ word. Sometimes the titles suggest the music, and sometimes the music influenced the title. But, they all work together to present a 25min coherent 21st-century statement on Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony.”
Gene also wrote for this project a short encore piece which plays with
Beethoven’s famous piano piece, "Für Elise," which Gene calls "Für Elise Charleston." “I took the early 20th Century Charleston rhythm and applied it, along with harmonies and other melodic influences, to the famous Beethoven melody." This piece closes the album, but, the album needed one more piece to be complete. "We were in the middle of the pandemic and decided to remotely record a new composition/arrangement by Beethoven. The result was "Ludwig’s Night Out" for electric guitar, keys, electric
bass and drum set, based on Beethoven’s Violin & Piano Sonata No. 4. The idea of this composition is Beethoven has a night on the town and has this sonata in his head. As he goes from club to club (jazz, rock, metal, techno and reggae), the music reflects each of those styles.” Gene Pritsker recorded his guitar part in New York City, while the ensemble KONTRASTE trio recorded their parts in Nuremberg. Gene put the music together, mixed it, and it’s the opening of the ‘EroicAnization’ album.
1 Ludwig’s Night Out
(for guitar, keys, bass and drums)
(for Di.J. and chamber ensemble)
2 . Eroica Erupted
3. Eroica Extracted
4. Erotic Eroica
5. Eulogy Eroica
feat. Chanda Rule
6. Erroneous Eroica
7. Eka Tala Eroica
8. Für Elise Charleston
(for chamber ensemble)
Recorded at: Tafelhalle Nuremberg & Noizepunk Studios NYC Cover art: Frieder Weiss & Matthias Härtig
Sound engineer: Bernd Distler
Mixed by: Gene Pritsker
Mastered by: Tonstudio Baumann, Austria
We would like to thank Tafelhalle im KunstKulturQuartier Nuremberg for the technical support.
More program notes, reviews & quotes:
"Gene Pritsker is part of a terrific generation of the most creative and imaginative composers the New York music scene has to offer today. His inventiveness has no borders or limits. It was a great pleasure to collaborate with him on many different projects. Gene is what the art world needs right now - a successful pioneer who defies societal gravity and defines what the new music path is." - Philippe Quint (violinist)
"From bombast to lyricism, that's both Ludvig van B and Gene Pritsker. Is there a secret dedication? It would not surprise me for this portentous work." - Robbie Fields (Posh Boy records)
1 Eroica Erupted
For this movement, I had an idea of taking the first Eb chord and repeating it in various forms while writing new melodic material over it and Di.J.ing it. I googled the chord and to my happy surprise found a youtube video that has a chronological survey of the various recordings of the chord - playing the opening from recording dating back to 1924 up to 2011. I took this, put it into a tempo and am able to live manipulate it while over it I wrote my own melodic material that interacts with these recordings. An introductory eruption of this piece.
2 Eroica Extracted
For this movement I took short extracted samples from the 1st movement and turned them into minimalistic grooves, counterpoint, counter
melodies etc. BUT I use only accompanying material from the 1ts movement not main melodies, so its a lot of the music that is hidden, music Beethoven wrote to support the main catchy material.
3 Erotic Eroica
I wanted to combine a few very different things. The main melody from the 1st movement of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, music from porno movies of the 70’s (funky, disco) and actual sex sounds. I recorded a wha-wha guitar playing Beethoven's famous melody, studied up on 70’s porno music and wrote that for the orchestra and sampled many sex sounds which i will Di.J. live over this music.
4 Eulogy Eroica
The main melody of the 2nd movement from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony is turned into a pop song. Beethoven’s movement is called The Funeral March, so I wrote words about a eulogy, but since its a pop song the eulogy is for a romance. I recorded my friend and vocalist great Chanda Rule, I Di.J. her voice and a track along with the orchestra. I use the exact melody of Beethoven, but the harmonies and rhythms around it are r&b/pop/hip-hop thus turning this melody into something very different.
5 Erroneous Eroica
So when I came up with the funny title of 'Erroneous Eroica' I was trying to figure out what this music will sound like. So much of this movement is Beethoven’s music from he 3rd movement with written in mistakes and fails. The Di.J. part has recordings of the symphony slowing down or crashing etc. iIs fast fun and and maybe a bit silly.
6 Eka Tala Eroica
For this movement I combined Indian Carnatic rhythms using one of the Talas (Beats) bases. Eka tala is one of the sapta (seven) talas in Indian Carnatic classical music. Sticking to my title challenge of having an ‘E” word for the title of each movement, this one worked very well. The music is the 4th movement of the Eroica where phrases are played as Beethoven wrote them and are repeated with an Indian raga scale an original melody is played by the orchestra with Indian vocal samples following the Eka tala rhythms.