The Guardian reports that, “[Thom] Yorke is one of 11 musicians – among them Simon Tong from Gorillaz, John Maclean of the Beta Band and Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson of the Russian composer – who have contributed to the classical remix album Cortical Songs, released this month on Nonclassical. Yorke et al have remixed an original work for string ensemble and solo violin by musician and physicist John Matthias and sound designer and producer Nick Ryan.
According to Prokofiev: ‘This is a way of searching for new sounds and direction in music. Yorke’s remix in particular – the first he has ever done of a classical work – is really adventurous and avant garde.’ ”
Here’s the track listing from the back of the album courtesy of Prokofiev the Younger’s mySpace page:
And, in case you were wondering, cortical is the adjectival form of cortex, which is the outer layer of your brain, coming from the Latin for bark. (think trees, not dogs) If you’ve got access to academic journals and the ability to wade through some pretty heavy medicalese, you may find [Ikegaya Y, Aaron G. “Synfire chains and cortical songs: temporal modules of cortical activity”. Science. 2004 Apr 23;304(5670):523-4] to be useful. Since Miss Mussel has neither of those, she’s hoping for liner notes that explain everything with words containing three or less syllables.
According to Pitchfork Media, Cortical Songs the composition is, “a process-oriented piece in which players are prompted to play based on the firings of a small computer-simulated brain.”
It this the first truly intellectual music then?
Only one way to find out. Watch this space.