By @KiaTheWriter

The Charlotte Symphony concert that I knew I needed to attend was coming to the Queen City on January 27, 2017--Brahms v. Radiohead. It was an orchestral music and popular music mash-up that I knew would clarify, inspire and become a case study for the Hip Hop Orchestrated Pillar Live Music Appreciation. However, a ticket to the concert was not in the budget.

Then my mentor Charles Thomas hit me with a surprise last minute email message.

Charles: “I have an extra ticket to the Brahms v. Radiohead Concert. You want it?”  


The budding DJ in me and that musical mash-up ear of mine was ready to take in this live performance musical blending and mixing of Brahms and Radiohead that would takeover the sonic vibration in the Knight Theater.


Music-Induced Emotional Synesthesia

Knowing that I had a guaranteed ticket to this Charlotte Symphony Alt Sounds sonic adventure that was Brahms v. Radiohead had my synapses flooding with multiple dopamine-filled musical memories.

  1. My days first learning how to properly beatmatch at Kingston University of London during those weekly Kingston University DJ Society meetings spun into my mind.
  2. Late nights playing on my DJ controller in the Traktor software in my Kingston Uni dorm room flashbacked into my mind.
  3. Moments of pure wonder and excitement when building a set list for my With These Hands DJ Academy exams brought a big smile to my face.
  4. Reminiscing about those moments when songs that seemed starkly different just work, and blend so beautifully for my DJ battle set for With These Hands Battle of the Broadcasters, consumed my mind.

Those memories connected to the art of the mash-up had me geeked. I could not wait to experience the pure pleasure and joy of experiencing a live symphony orchestra wall of sound going through my body in mash-up form.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was going to be an awe-inspiring experience.

Indeed...IT WAS!


The Hip Hop Orchestrated Proof of Concept Rest in the People

There were two other unexpected awe-inspiring aspects of the Charlotte Symphony Alt Sounds Brahms v. Radiohead Symphonic Musical Mash-up experience.

  1. The mixture of the types of people that composed the crowd. 
  2. The story behind the creative process of the young conductor of the symphonic mash-up, Steve Hackman.


To understand the type of mixture this symphonic mash-up concert brought out in the Queen City read the Creative Loafing article Mary Deissler Brings a Little Hendrix and Radiohead to the Symphony.


To understand the vision of the sonic direction that Hip Hop Orchestrated will be moving toward as more funding and more instrumentalists come our way, watch the TEDxTalk Beethoven and Beyoncé: Who’s Violating Whom? from Brahms v. Radiohead arranger, producer and conductor Steve Hackman


The Takeaway

This concert verified and validated that the concept of the orchestral mash-up will work and pull in an eclectic crowd of people. It validated that Hip Hop Orchestrated, using established tunes from old Western Music styles and newer music styles is the right route to go when working to achieve the core vision of Hip Hop Orchestrated.

Hip Hop Orchestrated has been created to disrupt and shift classical music culture & traditional art culture through Hip Hop music and Hip Hop culture. We are here to disrupt the notion that ‘classical’ is code for ‘classism.’ We are here to shift the belief that ‘cultural experiences’ are only luxuries connected to those in a high-income tax bracket. Art has the power to connect and unite us. Hip Hop Orchestrated will blend musical genres to connect people.
— Octavia Darko | Founder of Hip Hop Orchestrated

Hip Hop Orchestrated can point to Steve Hackman to show those future funders and doubters (who may be part of the status quo) that Hip Hop Orchestrated can and will work. Hip Hop Orchestrated will make a positive impact on the demographic of people we are working to reach by blending musical genres to connect people.


"If you're not controversial, you'

re not much."