Aeterna Orchestra is by far the biggest project I have ever taken on..
It has been in the works for over ten years, and even now.. in its 'middle stages' - represents many hundreds of hours work.
The idea really took on a life of its own around 2000 with the Ode to Joy recordings. The hours I spent arranging and producing that material (the Bach and Beethoven) were wonderful, and I proclaimed loudly to everyone around me that 'someday I'm going to do a whole record of this stuff..!'
I am happy to tell you that, at present.. there are no less that four consecutive records 'of this stuff' in the works.
So what is it..?
Well.. it's me, re-imagining what I consider 'eternal' melodies and themes in ways that I think are interesting and fun.. and collaborating with incredibly talented people to bring those ideas to life. For several years, I was calling this project 'Andy Happel Orchestra' - in the back of my mind.. but it never felt right. It was during a discussion with my friend (and brilliant pianist) Ben Birkbeck, and his wife Rhonda, that the name was born.
As the first set of recordings is to commence in 2012, I will keep you abreast of the progress..
Music of the Spheres
I'm working on a Music Of The Spheres project...
This piece is 90% math.. 10% composition. I 'sped' the solar system up by a factor of 23, so that the Hz conversions would fall within range of human hearing..
If you have 24 minutes to spare.. sit back and enjoy the music of our solar system. (whoops!.. original file was too big for server ~ I have replaced it with 16 minute edit.)
Umm.. it's a bit scary at times and causes tinnitus, seizures and insanity.
Just fair warning...
This piece will be played by an orchestra in the end...
but in the meantime, here's a demo track.
The idea for Earth Anthem came to me following the death of Neda Agha-Soltan. Her death had a profound impact on me, and I was left feeling helpless and ineffective.
To be totally honest.. I became depressed. What good is a musician anyway..? What function do we really serve? What good are we in the face of such horror?
In a lucid-dream state.. the answer came to me. I want an anthem that we can all celebrate - a piece of music that can connect us all - heal the world, even! Is that too much to ask..?
I don't think so.
I am painstakingly arranging, re-assmbling and collaging 'chunks' of the anthems of the 200 countries on this earth.. (or 196.. depending) into an orchestral piece of music. The end result (I expect) will be meditative and introspective.. not full of pomp and pride. I am pairing or layering, matching or re-harmonizing phrases or themes form one anthem with pieces of another from all over...
I invite one musician from every country in the world to join in...
Just let me know.