“Sound and Vision” Comes to Life, Again

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Musicians have been covering, remaking, and remixing classic songs for as long as we’ve been listening. Yet what Beck is doing with David Bowie’s 1977 classic, “Sound and Vision” is something well beyond a cover.

Beck is using this Bowie song as the starting point to assemble a massive collection of various musicians, including an orchestra, a collegiate drum line, a row of electric guitarists, a musical saw, modular synthesizers, a Theremin player, a yodeler, 2 different choirs, a harpist, a range of percussionists from around the world, and the Dap-Kings. Led by conductor David Campbell, they are combining sounds and music styles you’d never expect to hear on the same continent, let alone the same room.

And this is not just any room. Imagine a small circular stage for Beck, which is surrounded by an audience spread across a rotating platform that orbits the center stage, further surrounded by more than 160 musicians who join Beck to play a set list. It’s a musical experience that’s not been seen or heard before, by the audience or the performers – a concept in which the various musicians clearly delight.

It’s a unique experiment to combine such a vast number of musicians on a 360-degree stage, but Beck has certainly made sure that by the time the last note is played, the song will be new, again.

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