A contemporary phrase about flamboyant jewelry? An overused hip-hop reference? Further proof that language is in a constant state of flux? Yes, to all of the above, and also the title of composer Michael Daugherty’s most recent piece entitled Bling Bling for Full Orchestra and Break Dancers. You can catch a short video excerpt of this work at www.thecereallist.com
The venerable publishing company, Boosey & Hawkes, sponsored the commission of Bling Bling as a way of bringing classical music to underprivileged inner city youth. It reminds me a something similar that the Chicago Sinfonietta created for its educational program, Audience Matters, which provides an introduction to classical music for 5th - 7th graders in Chicago Public Schools. We created a 31-song CD that pairs contemporary recordings that use either classical melodies or samples of classical recordings with traditional recordings of the music. The kids love to hear both versions and it provides a great lesson in the timelessness of this music.
Bravo to Boosey and Daugherty for their innovative work. Plus, it’s kind of cool to watch break dancing accompanied by a full orchestra!