The Seattle Symphony and 90s rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot wowed a roomful of fans Friday night with a full-figured performance of "Baby Got Back," complete with a stage-full of dancers from the crowd. It was all part of the Symphony's summer "Sonic Evolution" series, a 3 year-old project to feature Seattle's musical heritage by commissioning composers to produce orchestra music inspired by Seattle artists or songs.
Mix-A-Lot and the symphony began with an orchestral version of "Posse On Broadway," then opened the floor to the orchestra's audience for Sir's signature body image anthem.
"Since tonight is orchestral movements from the 'hood night, I'm going to leave this open," he said. "If a couple ladies would like to get up on the stage..."
The rest you can watch below:
London-based composer Gabriel Prokofiev, who has a background producing for the stage and the dance floor, composed the orchestral variations for Friday's performance. The grandson of famed composer Sergei Prokofiev outlined the challenge on his blog, saying that he was inspired by hip hop growing up:
So, the chance to compose an orchestral piece that is explicitly inspired by a hip-hop icon, was naturally very interesting to me, but, as is always the case with this kind of cross-genre project – quite dangerous, with the potential of being an embarrassing ‘cross-over’ rail-crash between two musical worlds. But I think these risks need to be taken; many musical innovations have been made in hip-hop music that can bring new energy, sounds and rhythm to the classical world. But it would essential that I was continuously critical of what I composed and make sure that the piece was had musical integrity.
The result: a performance that Seattle won't soon forget.
H/t: Rolling Stone