Kings Theatre, in association with the Catskill Jazz Factory, will play host to a must-see musical event: The Stereo Hideout Orchestra, led by virtuoso composer/conductor/producer/arranger Steve Hackman, will marry the likes of two seemingly disparate entities, Brahm's 1st Symphony and Radiohead's OK Computer, through the good graces of a 55-piece orchestral sprawl, three guest vocalists, and a ton of ambition.
Steve Hackman, whose hybrid works effortlessly blend the classical and contemporary, has been engaged by many of the country's leading orchestras, including Boston Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony and Nashville Symphony. But May 19th marks a special occasion: the first time this music will be played under his musical brand of Stereo Hideout.
Says Hackman of the project, "Stereo Hideout is all about originality, boldness, virtuosity and disruption. It is its own new hybrid strand of music- informed by masterpieces of the past but electrified by the techniques of today."
Hackman has sought to create a new path ever since graduating from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. To date, he has melded together the likes of Björk and Bartók, Bon Iver and Aaron Copland, and many others. Says the Maestro of the May 19th program, "The Brahms 1st and OK Computer share a brooding angst and pathos; this is music full of anxiety. In Radiohead's case, anxiousness over increased social alienation, obsessive consumerism, political toxicity and emotional isolation. As for Brahms, he was under enormous pressure to deliver a spectacular first symphony, having being heralded as the successor to Beethoven- so much pressure that he took 15 years to complete the piece. In a vast majority of the work we feel this pressure and anxiety."
He continues, "But another important quality that ties this music together is their ingenuity within convention. Both composers pushed their respective art forms forward with these works, yet still within the parameters of convention- in Brahms' case, the symphonic form, and in Radiohead's, the concept album."
The result? Well, musing on last year's performance of the synthesis in Portland, the music+art+culture blog, FOUND. said, "... At every point it cleverly recognizes points in Brahms' work where Radiohead motifs and lyrics can be layred in seamlessly. Like only the best mashups, this performance of Brahms V. Radiohead felt complete and whole, rather than some chopped-up, cut-and-paste kind of monster one might expect from someone without Hackman's talent."
"It is almost defiant, the way Brahms V. Radiohead tackles the concept of originality in modern music. It never pretends to be new, or claims to be underived. It embraces the richness of its source material and comes across as a refreshingly authentic homage to musical history."
For the Kings event on May 19th, Hackman has set himself about the task of finding Brooklyn-based musos to fill out his orchestra, in keeping with the Kings' trademark ethos of creating community-focused interactivity. Hackman says, "I cannot wait to introduce Brooklyn to the Stereo Hideout Orchestra. This is not your typical symphony orchestra: this is the new breed. The fact that they are at the highest level of technique and virtuosity on their intruments is only the beginning. They are all creators themselves- composers, arrangers, multi-instrumentalists and multi-genre."