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An idea: Obscura for string quartet?

An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 03:16:56 AM
Would anyone find the idea of the Obscura album by Gorguts be played by a classical string quartet compelling?

The content of the two guitars and bass (and possible the voice, in some parts) be not only transcribed (of course) but adapted and rearranged for classical string instruments in a way that takes advantage of the capabilities and techniques used in those instruments.

Frankly, the idea is incredibly tempting for me.  If anyone is not already doing it, I am making an entry in my to-do list for next year to at least start to get down the guitars and bass lines into music scores.  I think that would be a first step.  I am not an expert on this nor am I a music major, so when I get it done (if someone didn't do it already), I'd like to see if someone can do the adapting to string quartet done.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 11:39:37 AM
I've toyed around with a few of these before.  String quartet is a fairly good medium for transcribing metal, although if you don't have some experience writing for string quartet it's unlikely that you will realize the full potential of the medium.  If I get time over the next couple of days I'll try transcribing something from that album.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 11:48:34 AM
Quote
if you don't have some experience writing for string quartet it's unlikely that you will realize the full potential of the medium

I'm fully aware of that.  If it is done it should be done well.  It shouldn't be just OK, it should be great.

What I had in mind was to get the songs into a music sheet, transcribing as correctly as possible.  Maybe make annotations of the special techniques used too (rasping of strings, whammy dives, etc), and in any case the recording is there.

After getting it all decently on paper, get someone who is actually capable of doing a good of adapting metal to a classical string quartet to do it.  A music composition major would be ideal.

So there are several distinct steps:
[1] transcription
[2] double check with peers
[3] adaptation for classical string quartet (someone else, I am not prepared for this, hopefully in some 5 years, I will be...)

Quote
If I get time over the next couple of days I'll try transcribing something from that album.

Thank you for your interest!  If you could tell me where you'll start, that'll be a great aid so that we do not transcribe the same song.  After, we can swap our music sheets to double check for mistakes. What do you think?

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 01:20:39 PM
Well, I did major in music composition.  Although I haven't been directly involved in the classical music scene here for a couple of years so getting anything recorded may take some time.

Anyway, I think I actually did an arrangement of the title track from Obscura for piano a few years ago.  But I've been through several computers since then and I may not be able to find the score.  If I can I will start from there, otherwise I will decide on a track to start with tomorrow.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 02:35:49 PM
Wow, it's really exciting to meet someone like you!  (a Music major who is genuinely interested in underground extreme metal)
And thanks (again) a lot for being interested in this.

PS.  If you have a blog or write artciles/reviews/analyses, I'd love to read them.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 29, 2013, 02:37:44 PM
Well, I did major in music composition. 

Well, then the moment I get a song down on paper, the first thing I'll do is inform you and share it for you to revise.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
November 30, 2013, 04:28:14 AM
I just downloaded the album in FLAC just for this purpose.  Now I need to get my hands on the best headphones I can.

I was listening to the album and I think one of the things I think I might have problems with is discerning the bass line clearly.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
December 02, 2013, 01:56:33 AM
This certainly sounds interesting. Actually one of the first 'classical' CDs I really enjoyed and still do was a NAXOS compilation called Norwegian 20th Century String Quartets. It might be a bit on the modern side for some but the similarities with death-metal are just uncanny.

Atonal string music ---> Horror Movies <--- Death-metal
(or something like that)

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
December 02, 2013, 03:31:20 AM
Well, I did major in music composition. 

Well, then the moment I get a song down on paper, the first thing I'll do is inform you and share it for you to revise.

As it turns out I do have a transcription for the title track in a piano score, although I would need to revise it thoroughly to be suitable for performance.  I've commenced work an an arrangement for string quartet although it will take a little longer than I had anticipated.  The main difficulty is finding ways to avoid literal repetition when you have a riff repeated 4 or more times.  This kind of repetition is common in metal and almost goes unnoticed but sounds very clumsy when done with classical instrumentation.

This might be a good time to suggest a rebirth of the metal score project that we had here a few years ago.  I had done some work in that regard but I lost most of it when megaupload went down.  My arrangement skills are much better now than they were then so if anyone else is interested in working with me I'll have plenty of free time over the next month or so to kickstart this project.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
December 02, 2013, 04:48:35 AM
Getting the three instruments down on the music sheet is already a task for me...  but I'm serious about doing it.

I would be very glad if I could learn a little about arrangement and writing in general from you.

Re: An idea: Obscura for string quartet?
December 02, 2013, 05:28:40 AM
Usually I have a look for any tabs that are available to start off with. No point starting from scratch if you don't have to.  Transcribing metal by ear is very time consuming so I tend to avoid it if I can, although I don't mind doing it if there is no alternative.

Anyway, I'll send you a pm regarding this topic for further discussion.