SECRET CHIEFS 3 | Trey Spruance releases Danse Macabre Superdeluxe
It's been a busy year for Trey Spruance and Secret Chiefs 3. In March they added The SYSTEM of ANTICHRIST (Traditionalists) and Bereshith (Ishraqiyun) to Bandcamp (READ MORE). In April came their first 'geek pack' enabling fans to create their own mixes of SC3 music. Then SC3 joined Mike Patton and Dead Cross providing support for tour dates across the U.S. during the summer.
Now we have another deliciously strange release from the band, Danse Macabre Superdeluxe. Described by Trey as an 'alternate Christmas carol' this is two versions of Camille Saint-Saëns' tone-poem.
Here is the write up from Web Of Mimicry.
Danse Macabre Superdeluxe (arrangement 4, Mausolée Méchanique)
Here we have two new SC3 arrangements of Saint-Saëns' immortally bewitching black tone-poem for the undead. We think it can function as a kind of alternate Christmas carol. An endless parade of cheap pixar sugar plum faeries attempting to dance in our heads holds zero enchantment, whereas the winter passage through the gate of the dying sun is inherently otherworldly, and begs for a cold but lively meditation on "Mors Triumphalis".
Some will have heard our initial 2012 arrangement of Danse Macabre, the one we played at hundreds of SC3 shows and on the [sold out] 2013 "Apocryphon of Jupiter/Danse Macabre 7-inch record (which represented the limit of what we can pull off as a 5-piece live band, and of which there is no digital version).
Since then there have been three increasingly elaborate arrangements, hybridizing SC3 with other, larger ensembles. The mother of all these arrangements in scale and depth is the FOURTH ARRANGEMENT "Superdeluxe" (2017) on offer right here. It's a complex weave of obsessively rendered elements built upon the foundation of our own first arrangement, but now incorporating the genius work of many other voices who have contributed to the entire history of this piece,. For example, harmonic inventions from Franz Liszt's solo piano version of Danse Macabre copiously pepper this arrangement, and his ideas can now be heard redistributed among the various instruments of a hugely expanded FORMS Mausolée Méchanique (which is all %100 human playing, irony intended). New contextual inspirations from some orchestrion roller organs of yore, and sonic settings from certain renderings on Mighty Wurlitzer also now find their way deeply into the maze. Read all about it in the liner notes. This arrangement also weaves elements from Liszt's "Totendanz" into the tapestry, a stunt that would require some explanation if we were to digress (and we will later on). Elements from our other previous arrangements are also present, noting especially performances from the SECOND ARRANGEMENT, which we did for the New Music Works Ensemble, conducted by Philip Collins. The "Superdeluxe" arrangement is a very comprehensive presentation that took some doing. Find a $7 coin to drop in the slot and hear for yourself -- behold the thundering sound of the Mausolée Méchanique!
Danse Macabre in Krasnoyarsk (arrangement 3 for Russian Traditional Orchestra + SC3)
2014's Third Arrangement (also presented here) was done as part of a program of SC3 repertoire music adapted for this amazing and adventurous 61-piece Soviet-style orchestra, accompanied by SC3 as the rhythm section. The arrangement, specifically for this ensemble, bursts the whole original Mausolée Méchanique (band-clustered-around-a-Theatrical-Organ thing) wide open, and fully indulges all the opportunities of traditional Russian instrumentation (domra, balalaika, bayan, gusli etc). To accommodate this ambitious hybridization, the entire approach to the piece had to be re-imagined from the ground up, and a host of new counter lines and voicing approaches came up as a result. The recording here was made at the concert in Kansk, Siberia. More info and musical examples in the liner notes.
Fourth Arrangement "Superdeluxe"
Matt Lebofsky: piano, organs
Trey Spruance: organs, guitar, bass, percussion
William Winant: mallets, chimes, gran casa, cymbals
Jennifer Cass: harp
Timba Harris: violin
Terrie Baune: violin
Kristin Garbeff: cello
Teresa Orozco: flute
Kenny Grohowski: drums
Jim Kassis: additional percussion
Philip Collins: conducting
produced, arranged, recorded and mixed by Trey Spruance
Drums recorded by Jason Schimmel.