Now for something completely different..! A lofi remix of 'The House in the Woods'. 'Lofi' music uses sounds from the early days of electronic music playback to invoke nostalgia. Some find it relaxing and you'll find copious playlists featuring 'lofi music to study to.'
This is not music to study to necessarily. Rather, I thought of how to put this raga poem into another setting where some listening ears may be more familiar: that is, into a beat-based composition with the familiar crack and thump of the snare and kick. It is also a step towards the hip-hop tradition, where poetry and narrative is presented over a beat.
The remix was created by Blue Glass Productions out of Antigua, WI and myself. Blue Glass did a great job of grasping the concept of raag quickly; all of the melodic elements added (bass and synths) adhere to the melodic structure of Charu Kesi.
Our track falls squarely within the category of "fusion" music, as we are intentionally "fusing" multiple mature styles together to create this outcome. The foundation for the piece was Gordon and my recording of The House in the Woods, which combined spoken-word poetry and the exposition of raag Charu Kesi on the Indian slide guitar. The melodic aspect of this piece is wholly raga-based; that is to say that all of the melodic elements utilized adhere to the structure of Charu Kesi (in the key of C, the scale would be C D E F G Ab Bb C). For the "lofi hip-hop" aspect of the fusion, Blue Glass added bass guitar, electronic drums and some synthesizer sounds. The bass line and all synth notes utilize the notes of Charu Kesi, but function more in their traditional roles as supporting elements of arrangement. The rhythmic aspect of this piece is entirely drawn from hip-hop: there is no taal or rhythmic cycle like what is used in Indian classical music and the beat (known as a "break") is a simple 4/4 pattern. The pattern used invokes classic hip-hop that utilized the MPC sample machine's ability to sample sections of records, loop the samples and then layer them to re-imagine drum parts from different recordings.
This music is an example of how concepts from Indian classical music can be implemented in other artistic forms to enhance the effectiveness of expression and draw in extra-musical elements of association to increase the music's impact. Or at least that's what I think.
What about you?
I would love to hear your feedback about this experiment in music.