I think it’s really dope that a group of young classical musicians decided to get together and make an era relevant collaboration with another genre of modern music. What was the inspiration behind the collaboration with Kinetics & One Love’s ” Sign Language “? Also, did you run into any significant difficulties blending the two worlds of ” classical ” & ” pop ” which are two terms that appear the polar opposite of each other?
Genre blending is definitely a very sensitive topic. Shattered Glass is most definitely a “classical orchestra”. While we are confident in how versatile we are, to pretend to be something other than that would just be a blatant lie. That said, the inspiration for this collaboration came from a friend of mine introducing me to the original version of the song “Sign Language”. The lyrics struck me in a huge way. The way the heart-wrenching story that is conveyed by Kinetics reminded me almost of an opera story. And with that kind of “operatic” inspiration it was easy for me to arrange this great hip-hop song with strings. We didn’t have to pretend to be hip-hop sampled strings or anything of the sort. We could just be ourselves and let Kinetics flow organically over what we laid down. That’s why I feel that this collaboration doesn’t sound forced in any way whatsoever.
Who is ” the shattered-glass ensemble? ” is there a conductor or leader?
Shattered Glass is a group of 11 of the most talented, young, string players in New York City. The group was founded by myself [Max Jacob] and Elizabeth Woo. As well as running the ensemble Elizabeth and I also play in the group. As far as the artistic process goes, though, there is absolutely NO leader or conductor. When we rehearse a piece of music it is the meeting of 11 minds and ideas to try to come up with the best product possible. We are all close friends and have the upmost respect for each other as people and musicians.
Whose responsible for the composition of the music for the ensemble, more specifically for this collaboration?
For this particular collaboration with Kinetics & One Love, it started by me [Max Jacob] composing the entire string arrangement and presenting Kinetics & One Love with the idea of using it in some way. But it would be truly unfair to call what we played in the end “my arrangement”. Using my arrangement as a foundation, Shattered Glass began to rehearse the song and various members of the ensemble made suggestions for little changes here and there. One Love is a fantastic pianist as well as a producer and wrote his own piano part for the collaboration.
How was it incorporating the vocals of Universal Republic recording artist ” Vita Chambers” and leaving space for the MC to do his thing during the composition process?
Throughout the entire process we stayed in touch constantly with Kinetics & One Love. When we honestly put all the pieces together in one rehearsal! Kinetics & One Love came in, knew exactly what to expect and just did what they are best at. As for Vita; She is just so fantastically talented. She came in and laid everything down with grace and ease. Such a pleasure to work with her.
How many different instruments were involved in the making of this composition? What do you play?
I am the bassist of the ensemble. Kind of the “offensive lineman” of the group; you don’t notice the bass until it’s not there haha. The instrumentation of the song starts with a string quartet which turns to full string orchestra in the first chorus. One Love on piano. And of course Kinetics and Vita.
What can we look for in the future of ” Shattered Glass Ensemble”? Any further cross- genre collaborations or future concerts in the NYC area?
Well there are many things in the works that I can’t talk about just yet. You know how protocol goes with booking! But I will say that Shattered Glass has our NYC Premier concert on May 4th on 114th street and Broadway. We will also be performing on a TEDxEAST event on May 11thwhich also features the likes of Eminem and the legendary Roots Crew. As for collaborations, you can definitely expect some in the near future! That’s about all I am allowed to say about that haha.
To follow what we are up to check out:
For booking, questions, etc. contact Max Jacob
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