The past couple of months Viola and I have been on a classical meets heavy metal kick. Although the musical styles are different, there is a common element between them. Like classical composers, metalheads are explorers of music. Breaking away from conformity is practically a necessity to be considered respectable in heavy metal. The same is true for classical composers. Breaking musical boundaries builds respectability
Last week, I read an article about Kip Winger writing classical composer published by Noisecreep. I have to confess, I never thought the former hairband singer from Winger would have an interest in composing classical music. However, that is indeed the case. In fact, Winger’s first piece, Ghosts, was premiered by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra last year. In February, the San Francisco ballet is scheduled to present the Wheeldon world premiere of Ghosts, as Winger wrote the first movement of Ghosts for dancer/choreographer Chris Wheeldon.
Here is a little about what Winger had to say about his new musical ambition:
The close-minded people won’t get it and they won’t care,” he muses. “From what I can tell, everyone is really into it. If you’re open to emotional music, then you can listen to my classical music and be moved by it in some way. You can’t underestimate the audience. I think it’s bulls— when people are like, ‘Oh, they won’t get it.’ People get it. They do. As long as you’re doing it with the auspices of what people know, I think people are open to it.
Snippets from Ghosts are available on his website. After listening to the first movement, Winger’s compositional style sounds neo-romantic.
Despite the sonic differences, I continue to be amazed at how many classical musicians love heavy metal, and how many metal artists are inspired by classical music.