The short version? Almost impossible to describe – in an extremely good way.
Want to join in on the amazingness? You still can by buying it from the Electronic Opus website. I highly suggest getting the $25 silver package as the minimum, since that will give you the 24-bit/96 kHz version. Only getting the MP3 version is just cheating yourself out of an amazing sonic experience.
What is Electronic Opus?
Watch this video:
It’s BT taking a bunch of his tracks and converting them into working with a full orchestra. Sounds amazing, right? It is!
It’s no secret that I have the utmost respect for BT and his talent, and then having him doing something like this just further emphasizes what calibre of artist and visionary he is. Being a fan of both his music, electronic music and classical music, it’s just an exciting thing to have come to life. And that it did, with an impressive result.
There are a few tracks that stand out to me, which isn’t to say that the rest are in any way of sub-par quality, because they certainly aren’t. These tracks just resonate with me a bit more for various reasons.
A true BT classic from his ESCM album, that of course had to be included and it’s the track that open up Electronic Opus (EO), and it’s a fitting opening at that.
It starts off slowly, but then soon kicks into gear and just blasts off from there, letting you ease into what you’re about to journey through, to then hit you full on and telling you “it’s on now!”, with the orchestra stretching its legs and blending well with all the electronic sounds still present.
Just a wonderful version of a classic track that starts EO off in a superb way. What more can you ask for?
A Million Stars
This is already a track I really like off These Hopeful Machines. JES does wonderful vocal work in this rendition, very soulful and very fitting. The added thunder and rain is quite nice too, adds another dimension to the track.
The orchestra creates a wonderful sense of tension through the track and it all ends up in a wonderful re-imagined version of the track, one that keeps true to the original, but makes it stand on its own as well.
I hope for Electronic Opus 2 (because that surely has to happen) The Light in Things will get a similar treatment.
These Silent Hearts
A track BT did with Armin van Buuren, which in this rendition has the vocals done expertly by Christian Burns.
This orchestral version again creates wonderful tension and has some fantastic moments of release, fitting well with the song as a whole. Overall the EO version is just wonderfully powerful and one of the highlights of EO, at least in my opinion.
This track off of Movement in Still Life closes out EO, and it does so excellently – just a really nice pick to end the journey.
The vocal is a bit more in focus here, meaning the orchestra isn’t as dominant, but never the less it plays its role well. Just builds a solid foundation for the vocals and track to live in. Everything just builds to emphasize the message and emotion of the track as a whole.
How does it fare sonically?
I remember reading that mixing it was quite the task, and I can understand that. You’re dealing with a full orchestra, which alone takes up a lot of frequency space (well, all of it really), but then you also have to fit in all the electronic sounds, where some of these can also be very frequency demanding.
But they did it. And did it really well. The mixing and mastering was pulled off to near perfection, which is impressive considering the challenge. It’s dynamic and powerful, yet quiet and calm when it needs to be. There’s space for the instruments to exist in and there’s only a few places where you’re nearing complete overload, but it’s still controlled and doesn’t end up being an issue.
You should also listen to it on headphones, since there’s a lot of sounds that work well in that scenario. However you should likewise also listen to it on a proper stereo setup, because this is an orchestra and that deserves a good setup to be properly unleashed – headphones can’t make up for that, no matter how good they are.
It goes without saying that I highly recommend Electronic Opus. It’s a magnificent journey through a wonderful pairing of electronic and classical music, from the mind of one of the most talented musicians alive. It’s something that should be experienced if you have the slightest interest in either of the genres, even more so if in both.
BT is extraordinary and with Electronic Opus he further proves just that. Thank you for doing this, Brian. And thank you to everyone who backed the project on Kickstarter so that it could become a reality.
If I recall correctly BT mentioned that it was a very demanding project and it took a lot out of him to do it, but I also think that with the response he’s gotten, it has all been worth it. He, without a doubt, created something special and I hope he knows how special it is to a lot of us.
The problem now is that we want more. So BT, start thinking about a follow-up, because that must happen at some point in the future. And with the success of this first one, I’m sure there’d be no problem getting a second one off the ground, when the time comes.