The Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra

How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of “all DJs do is press play, they don’t know about real music”. As a DJ, this can be quite annoying. There’s a hell of a lot more to DJing as we discussed last week when news broke of Spotify testing a mixing feature. Reading the crowd and having a deep musical knowledge is essential to creating a good atmosphere. And yes, with modern controllers, beat matching and mixing has become easier but the skill of scratching on vinyl is incredibly difficult and highly respected in the industry.

A group of 30 musicians, including DMC World DJ Championship winners, have come together to form the first ensemble piece using only turntables and mixers. They are called The Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra. The aim was to create Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor as it was the very first 12″ LP record released back in 1948.

Each of the DJs were given a mixer, a turntable and a record with a different sample from the concerto; the samples varied from vocals to strings and everything in between. Basically, they deconstructed the whole thing a put it back together with the swagger and energy of a modern DJ.

One of the orchestra DJs said, “Everything done here was live, and it took three full days of intense practice and rehearsal with the 30 DJs.” We can’t wait to see what else they have planned, perhaps some Beethoven or Tchaikovsky?

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