Goldie’s Proms commission will be scored in Sibelius

Credit: The Guardian
Credit: The Guardian

BBC Radio 4’s daily culture and arts programme, Front Row, this week interviewed drum-and-bass musician, artist and actor Goldie about his new exhibition, The Kids Are All Riot, and his commission for this summer’s Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Goldie rose to prominence in the world of classical music last summer when he participated in BBC Two’s reality show, Maestro, which pitted an unlikely bunch of celebrities against each other in an elimination-style competition to see who would be good enough to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert at last year’s Proms. Goldie has now been asked by Roger Wright to provide a seven-minute composition for this year’s concert series, commemorating the double centenary of the death of Charles Darwin with a work themed around evolution. He says:

“I’m transferring MIDI information that I’m playing on the keyboards [into the computer]… When I play a chord, the F, the C… I need all of those notes to be ready for Sibelius, which is the program which orchestras know, to know what all of those notes are. Once I’ve got that basic MIDI information down, I can start playing around, and saying, ‘hmm, I wonder what that would sound like played by the French horn, or should it be layered with a flute?'”

Here’s an MP3 of that whole section of the interview. (If you live in the UK, you can listen to the whole show (but only for a few more days!) here.)

The BBC will be following Goldie as he works on his commission, and a documentary about the process of putting it together will be screened on BBC Two TV in the summer. The work itself will receive its premiere in Prom 21 on 1 August 2009.

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