This is my rendition of Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” for Metropole formation.

The Metropole Orkest is a Dutch orchestra which combines a bigband with the rich symphonic palette of strings, woodwinds and percussion to perform a wide range of music: jazz, pop, film, etc.

The RSJO (Rotterdam’s Symphonic Jazz Orchestra) is a project within the Rotterdam’s Conservatorium that mimics the Metropole’s setup to give its students the opportunity to approach these popular genres. I had the enormous privilege of being invited to participate in 2006’s edition with one piece, among some fellow-students and teachers.

I had been wanting to arrange “Fascinating Rhythm” for a long time: it is a funny light-hearted tune about how obsessive a certain rhythmic pattern can become when it really gets in your head. I based this arrangement on this little obsession and how the 7/8 pattern implied in the tune’s melody worms its way until it finds accommodation within a straight 4/4 pop-rock style, rather than the usual swing one.

Singer is wonderful Maartje Rikhof: she and everyone else did a smashing job, given the obvious difficulty of the music and the tight time constraints we had to comply with.

I must apologize for the poor quality of the camcorder recording. The guys at the music production department did a multitrack recording with top-notch equipment, but never got around to editing it, so this was the only one I could get my hands on.