My Inspiration: Gary Wilkinson – CAGE FIGHTS///Symphony | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ashington composer Gary Wilkinson is a creator of orchestral music and uses cut-ups, loops and layers of public domain classical pieces to create unique and wonderful sounds.

Inspired by the MMA fights that used to take place in Gateshead, he releases a new piece of music called CAGE FIGHTS///Symphony, as a series of short video posts throughout November across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. By the end of November the full symphony will have been posted and the completed piece will be available to stream on YouTube and IGTV. 

Here, Gary explains to us what inspired his latest work…

The main inspiration behind the symphony is the Ultra MMA cage fighting events that used to take place in the Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead.

It has been suggested that cage fighting is popular in the north because it allows the male population to regain an identity of themselves that was lost following the depletion of the heavy industries in the area. However, the symphony won’t ‘comment’ on that suggestion, instead it will ‘commentate’ on the actual fighting, describing the punches and counter punches, aggression, kicks, chokeholds, chaos and rhythms of the violence of cage fights.

The symphony has been created using cut-ups predominantly from ‘Symphony no 1 in C Minor’ by Brahms and ‘Mars, The Bringer of War’ by Holst, it combines those pieces together to capture a mood of aggression and confrontation.

The orchestral outbursts that feature in the work of Polish composer Witold Lutosławski acted as an inspiration for the visceral quality of CAGE FIGHTS.

A major influence on the symphony is the irregular and complicated kicks of flashcore (a subgenre of speedcore and IDM) and the rapid pounding and beat skipping of Chicago juke/juke house music, the syncopation and energy of the beats representing the footwork and violent blows of the fighters.

The symphony is separated into a series of three minute rounds and just like actual cage fights these rounds are divided by the sounding of bells. In these sections the influence of Einstürzende Neubauten and Test Dept can be heard.

The symphony is being released across social media as a different way to make music available during the current crisis and this project was only made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 

It will start to become be available from Monday 2nd November at:-
Instagram: @garywilkinsonmusic
Facebook: @garywilkinsonmusic
Twitter: @garywilkinson_

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