• Cover/Rearrangement
    And I Will Kiss

    This post includes music.

    Underworld's soundtrack to the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony was undoubtedly fantastic, and the track 'And I Will Kiss', which accompanied the Ceremony's Industrial Revolution segment, apparently was the biggest mixdown in music production history with about 1,000 tracks.

    Background

    I feel privileged to have been one of the 1,000 drummers playing along to the track as a volunteer performer, and indeed drumming in the recording, and you might know by now that this experience was so overwhelming for many volunteers that they keep being active.

    So when I organised the Open Mic Ceremony, which featured the musical skills of many other volunteer performers, I wanted to build on the London 2012 experience and decided to create a new version of 'And I Will Kiss' and run a spontaneous surprise jam around it.

    I gave my cover the title 'And Will I Kiss?' to clarify that this version would be a little different to the original.

    Ideas

    The original idea to the cover had two roots: While the Pandemonium Drummers were at a video shoot with Alistair Griffin and the Games Maker Choir, we had some time to kill and started to jam, and with a piano around, I spontaneously played And I Will Kiss and the drummers did their thing - a piano version was born.

    Then in early 2013, I discovered the music production abilities of the iPad in the form of the apps GarageBand and Geo Synthesizer, leading to the idea of a surprise jam at the Open Mic Ceremony based on a home-made playback.

    Production

    As the organisation for the Open Mic Ceremony pretty much tied up all my time, I only had a single day scheduled for producing a playback that we could jam to - me on the piano and the iPad, and other musicians on their instruments, even though they had no idea what would be coming, but that is the nature of a jam.

    While I do have access to more professional production equipment, the whole cover was created on an ageing MacBook with GarageBand plus an iPad within a single day.

    Creative Decisions

    It was clear from the outset that I did not want to recreate the original track of 'And I Will Kiss' for a variety of reasons.

    This decision liberated me from the constraints of keeping too much to the original, and while the cover still takes many elements from the original, these elements are sometimes heavily tweaked, and occasionally just twisted a little bit.

    One example of a little twist is the brass section, which in the original plays 11 notes against 8, but GarageBand's grid did not easily allow the notes to be shifted to their real positions and required too much practice to play live, so I used a simple 6 over 4 pattern.

    There are many such examples that were obviously taken from the original, but changed either for creative reasons, or more often than not because I did not have the time to work on these elements properly.

    The two most obvious changes, apart from the much faster tempo, are related to the structure of the song: after the first break, there seems to be an 'empty' period without any harmonic change - this was used in the live performance to animate the audience to sing. 

    And as we did not have any Olympic Rings, I cut the complete ending to arrive at a 9min version with a nice dramatic curve.

    Have a listen

    The recording below includes recreated piano and iPad parts, which were originally played live at the Open Mic Ceremony.


    Live Performance

    The live performance came as a complete surprise to the other musicians, as I did not tell them what song they would play - I just scribbled down a few chords and told them that they will recognise the song.

    We ultimately ended up with one bass, one electric guitar, a ukulele, congas, two singers, and three percussionists with spoons from their table - the Pandemonium Jammers!


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    And I Will Kiss

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