Conceptual Blending and Musical Performance

Listed below are the examples of musical performances that I would wish to analyze as first efforts in devising a "Conceptual Blending Theory of Musical Performance".

1. CLASSICAL MUSIC: Three Performances of "Winter" from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"

"Classical" by Yehudi Menuhin

"Romanticized" by Nigel Kennedy

"Vigorous" and "Hungarian dance like" by Nemanja Radulovic, originally from Nis, Serbia

2. SPIRITUAL MUSIC: Different performances / versions of "Let All Mortal Flesh", from Liturgy of St. James

"Classical", the Protestant/Anglican version, based on Picardy, a French carol, arr. Gustav Holst/Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed by Royal School of Church Music Choir

"With contemporary harmony", Catholic version, Choir of King's College London, the sequencing of the voices is quite different, and the harmonies (even tuning) of the organ provide interesting effects (perhaps also the version arr. by John Rutter, sung by Cambridge Singers).

"Modern instruments", saxophone and arrangment by British composer and soloist Christian Forshaw, esp. 3:38 - 4:18

Orthodox, in Russian, music by Fr. Peter Ivanovich Turchaninov, sung by Sretenskie Monastery Choir. The liturgy of St. James is seldom performed in Orthodox Churches, as it was superseded by the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the 9th century. This rare 18th century version of "Let All Mortal Flesh" in East Slavonic is performed only during the Holy Saturday liturgy. The entire Liturgy of St. James was translated from the Greek into Russian in the 20th century, by Fr. Philip Gardner, a Russian Orthodox priest of Scottish descent, who first conducted it while in exile in Belgrade, Serbia in 1938. Another performance here, and the version composed by Alexander Gretchaninov here.

3. POPULAR MUSIC: Two examples related to "James Bond" - the original theme and parody; the skiing scene from "A View to a Kill" and its parody, with specific musical effects:

The original James Bond theme, by Monty Norman / John Barry

Johhny English (a James Bond parody) trailer, with original James Bond music mixed. Check also the Johnny English theme, which mocks the harmonies and arrangments of the Norman theme, thus creating semiotic effects itself).

The parodized version of the Bond theme by the Serbian comedian Dirty Inspector Blaza. Towards the end, the instrumental also introduces a blend of guitar solo pieces by Goran Bregovic and Santana.

The skiing scene from "A View to a Kill", music a cover of Beach Boys' "California Girls" (two-tier conceptual blending involved)

The skiing scene from the Serbian parody, music Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" (quadruple conceptual blending involved).

4. Folk music: Four performances of the traditional Serbian song "Hajde Jano" ("Come On Yanna")

The traditional version, sung by Serbian folk singer Vasilija Radojicic

Version with lyrics, sung by American world music artist Talitha MacKenzie

Jazz-improvised instrumental version, performed by Serbian double bass player Nenad Vasilic and his international Balkan Band

Nenad Vasilic Hajde Jano (click to play the mp3 audio file).

Another "international" version, performed by Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke Band, sung by Belgian/British/Arabic singer Natacha Atlas