The Eternal Broth is an adaptation of the pop instrumental album, Father. The original music tracks from Father were done in a contemporary pop style, and this collection is meant as a companion piece to that album, which journeyed across a wide spectrum of modern musical genres.
I wanted to showcase a more mainstream form of classical music, by using simpler pop melodies backed by a virtual strings orchestra consisting of violins, violas, cellos and bass. In keeping with a more pop music type of structure, the tracks are only between 3 to 5 minutes long. But taken as a whole, it is meant to be a part of a larger musical suite that tells the story of the Jin Brothers as documented in the original Father.
While some tracks like "Brothers" and "Father" suited themselves almost naturally to this classical backdrop, others like "The Italian Kitchen" necessitated a lot more rewriting as some genres like R 'N B were harder to adapt to a classical arrangement. Nevertheless, it does prove that contemporary pop can be translated into a form of modern classical music with some creativity and effort.
I was also conscious to use only authentic virtual instruments as additional instrumentation, and avoided any use of electronic or modern musical instruments. There are no drums or any forms of percussion on the final album, and acoustic guitars and grand pianos replaced the more current electric guitars and organs respectively. A dobro and a mandolin are also featured in a few tracks.
Using only acoustic and strings instruments presented quite a challenge, but it also meant pushing the restricted number of instruments I had at my disposal to the utmost limits. It also allowed me to create a more expansive and cinematic soundscape to the original music.
In the end, all of the tracks benefitted immensely from the classic strings arrangement, and every track has now taken a whole new dimension because of this. In fact, some of the tracks sound even more majestic and intense than their original incarnations, which goes to prove that classical instruments can add so much more to a simple melody.
My original goal was to infuse traditional classical music with modern pop sensibilities and vice versa, and I hope I have at least achieved part of this objective. I believe that the end result is a beautiful and elegant listening pleasure and on a personal level, The Eternal Broth is my most satisfying work so far.
I hope you will enjoy this music as much as I have had making it.
12th March 2012
Music composed, arranged and produced by Ian Low.
Featuring the Silver Strings Orchestra on the the GarageBand for iPad.
Album cover design and photography by Ian Low.