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Stewart Copeland

The Education of Stewart Copeland


Going from drummer of The Police to composer of operas and concertos, you learn a few things


Stewart CopelandTake a rock drummer and plunk him into the role of orchestral composer, and he will likely reach for something to bang on to set the rhythm, as a rock drummer would. But he soon learns different. “I’ve discovered that percussion’s role in orchestral music, in general—and this is a big breakthrough—is not rhythm, which really came as a surprise,” says Stewart Copeland, who rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s and ’80s as the drummer for The Police but has gone on to compose operas and other music for orchestras.

“The rhythm in an orchestra is best driven, carried and expressed by the strings,” he says, counting off another of the many things he’s learned in three decades of composing orchestral music.
His opera The Cask of Amontillado, which he wrote more than 20 years ago, is being revived in January in New York, and with that comes another lesson.
He wrote it for four players and two singers, but in dusting it off and applying his acquired wisdom to expand it for a stage full of singers, he found that his original melodies still hold up (“I stand by every note!” he says.)
“As a musician you pick up tricks, you develop your technique, you get deeper into your grasp of the medium and can do bigger things with what you learn about how to use musical forces,” he says. “But the fundamental quality of the tunes in your head, you’re born with.”
The orchestral road for Copeland began in 1985 after he wrote the film score for Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish and was invited to write a ballet for the San Francisco Ballet. His score for the ballet King Lear was dismissed by a critic as “jejune noodling,” which sent Copeland to the dictionary for another lesson.
Opera was next—a commission from the Cleveland Opera—which led to four years of work and the well-received Holy Blood and Crescent Moon in 1989.

Through all of his composing, he searches for ways to bring the liveliness and interaction of rock concerts to orchestral performances.
“I come from Jimi Hendrix and Stravinsky,” he says. “It would be tempting to try and re-create Puccini or Mahler with the orchestra because that’s what we imagine the orchestra is for. But I discovered they can do all kinds of cool things that can be very exciting. They can rock! You have 60 guys on the stand!
They should be able to burn the building down!” - Greg G. Weber


Listening to Stewart Copeland Copeland's operas and orchestral music are front and center this winter

Jan. 16–19: A revival of Copeland’s opera The Cask of Amontillado. Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St., Manhattan.
americanmodernensemble.org

Jan. 18: A workshop performance of Copeland’s fifth opera, The Invention of Morel, which is in development. Trinity Church, 75 Broadway (at Wall Street), Manhattan.
operaamerica.org

Feb. 19 and 21: The Tyrant’s Crush, a Copeland concerto he will perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, 600 Penn Ave.,
pittsburghsymphony.org

April 7 in Albany and April 8 in NYC: Copeland performs in “Off the Score” with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, violinist Yoon Kwon, bassist Marlon Martinez and electronic valve instrument player Judd Miller.
The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, strose.
edu; Schimmel Center at Pace University, 3 Spruce St., Manhattan, 
schimmel.pace.edu

Source : www.arrive-digital.com

Happy new year 2016 !

Here we are again, a new year has begun.

I wish you all an happy new year !
Sting will soon unveil his 2016 projects, Fiction Plane has hit the USA with Mondo Lumina, Eliot will release her new album later this month, Stewart will tour with "Off the score" and other compositions Andy had a busy year with his documentary and his new album.
2015 was a great year for them, 2016 will surely blow it away !
Happy new year 2016 !

The 12 records that changed Stewart Copeland's life


Copeland picks a dozen discs that deliver

Stewart Copeland is a big fan of satellite radio. The Police drumming legend and composer regularly tunes into ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s channels, and in doing so, he’s developed a newfound love for a number of groups and artists who passed him by the first time around.

The 12 records that changed Stewart Copeland's life

“The Electric Light Orchestra is a great example,” he says. “That stuff was the enemy when I was growing up, and it was the opposite of everything I was trying to do. It was slick, it was produced, it was for the masses, and it was not for me. But now Jeff Lynne is a good buddy of mine, and I’m like, ‘Dang, that guy’s got some talent!’”

Copeland has also become a convert of the early ‘70s band Hawkwind. “I did a million gigs with them when I roadied for their support acts,” says. “To be honest, they always kind of sucked live. They never got played on the radio, and I never listened to their albums. Now I listen to them, and I think they were way ahead of their time. They might have sucked on stage, but in the studio they really rocked. They had a unique sound. Hawkwind – who knew?”

As for Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure show on SiriusXM, Copeland raves, “He’s got the same tastes as me. I had no idea. And then there’s Tom’s own music, which I completely missed at the time – I guess because he was the competition. Now I think he’s incredible. I went back and checked out his records. Fuck, man, they’re great! How did I miss them?” 

“It’s always been about The Song,” he says. “Even if a band is established and popular and they put out an album that doesn’t have ‘the song,’ they’ll fade. Led Zeppelin famously never put out a single, but that was the apotheosis. After them, it went back to song culture. I don’t think the album format is a huge loss, although there is benefit to filler tracks. Sometimes that experimentation yields things you don’t get with a hit single. So hearing myself speak, I find myself learning toward album culture.” 

Among Copeland’s fleet of current projects is Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, an elaborate film-and-music presentation that he will perform with the Seattle Rock Orchestra on February 29, 2016. The origin of the production dates back several years, when Copeland was commissioned to write the music to an arena show of Ben Hur. This led to him checking out the original silent movie of Ben Hur from 1920 and eventually working on his own edit of the film.

“It took me two years to persuade Warner Brothers to let me have the movie to play with,” Copeland says. “I got the original celluloid from the deep freeze – the thing hadn’t been out of the can since the ‘60s – and I spent a year curating it, cleaning it up and restoring it. It was a meticulous process.”

Copeland trimmed the picture from two hours and 40 minutes to 90 minutes, and using his original music (which he owns), he wrote a new, 90-minute orchestral chart. “We opened at the Virginia Arts Festival with the Virginia Symphony,” he says, “and the best part of all is, I get to play drums. So we run the movie with a big-ass orchestra blasting away, and there’s me on my thundering drum set. This is true chariots of fire.”

Below, Copeland runs down his picks for the 10 records (make that 12) that changed his life.

Ravel & Debussy
Igor Stravinsky – The Right of Spring (1913)
The Kinks – Kinks (1964)
Sandy Nelson – Let There Be Drums (1961)
Buddy Rich – Swingin’ New Big Band (1966)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)
Cream – Fresh Cream (1966)
Frank Zappa – 200 Motels (1971)
Leo Kottke – 6- and 12-String Guitar (1969)
Steve Reich – Drumming (1970-’71)
John Adams – The Chairman Dances (1985)
The Clash – The Clash (1977)

More detail on Classic Rock

San Antonio Symphony drums up forceful concerto


The San Antonio Symphony drummed its way Friday night to the center of the percussion universe with a performance of the heart-pounding “Gamelan D’Drum” by Stewart Copeland.

San Antonio Symphony drums up forceful concerto

The concert was a global event, partly because it was the highlight of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention this week.

Many of the society members attended the concert. Word of this San Antonio performance is sure to circulate in the percussion world for a long time.

Nearly 80 percussion instruments, including a group of them that constitute a gamelan, were arrayed across the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts stage in front of the orchestra.

Copeland, a founder and drummer for the 1980s rock band The Police, premiered his three-movement concerto in 2011, written for the five-member D’Drum of Dallas. The piece has been played by the Dallas, Corpus Christi and Cleveland orchestras.

But Copeland declared before Friday’s concert that the San Antonio performances would be the best yet, just from the rehearsals.

The first movement jumped to life as the five players: John Bryant, Doug Howard, Ron Snider, Ed Smith and Josh Jennings, entered the stage playing hand-held instruments. The second movement highlights were solos by violinist Eric Gratz and cellist Kenneth Freudigman. The movement ended with the spellbinding sound of a rain stick.

A big moment in the final movement came when three D’Drum players pounded poles into a hollowed-out log. The piece was filled with constant cross-currents of melody, rhythm and cadences in a kaleidoscope of textures and colors unique to the composition.

The concert extended its international reach in the second half with a richly realized performance of Maurice Ravel’s masterpiece, “Daphnis et Chloé.”

The work is famous for its pianissimo passages that float like clouds, interrupted by impressive, thunderous crescendos as the ballet music tells the Greek myth of a boy and girl who fall in love.

The wordless choral passages were delivered by the well-prepared 52-member Trinity University Chamber Singers. The orchestra woodwinds had a good night, especially flutist Martha Long in a famous solo passage.

As always, Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing structured the hourlong work perfectly for maximum emotional effect. The “dawn” scene was absolutely gorgeous.

“Daphnis” was premiered in Paris in 1912. In brief remarks before the performance, Lang-Lessing told the audience of about 1,200 people that the orchestra would play the work for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks.

Source : www.expressnews.com by David Hendricks

What happens inside an exceptionally creative brain?


What happens inside an exceptionally creative brain?
Check Stewart Copeland's head...

What happens inside an exceptionally creative brain?
A UCLA neuroscientist and Police drummer Stewart Copeland try to find out in this video.

To illustrate the point, Bilder borrowed the noggin of Stewart Copeland, best known as the drummer for the Police, to scan in an MRI machine. Turns out, Copeland had a bigger amygdala than most people. Those are regions of the brain associated with emotional expression.

The video let's viewers compare your creativity to Copeland’s with a simple test—but you gotta watch it to see.

The video is a pre-taped part of National Geographic Channel’s Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss on October 25, a two-hour event hosted by Bryant Gumbel covering a live deep-brain stimulation surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. The procedure helps treat essential tremor and Parkinson's disease, and is performed on a fully awake patient able to speak and answer questions. (The content will be available starting Oct. 26 for 35 days on VOD and TV Everywhere platforms, including NatGeoTV.com.)

The show—one of a number addressing the brain this fall—will go live four hours into the surgery to showcase the most educational portions. The video is one of several pre-taped packages to air between operating room updates.

Source : www.fastcocreate.com

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