📺 The sound that connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars


If you listen to the first few seconds of Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” (hint: listen to the Cardi B remix) you’ll hear a sound that immediately creates a sense of 80s hip-hop nostalgia. Yes, Cardi B’s flow is very Roxanne Shante, but the sound that drives that nostalgia home isn’t actually from the 1980s.

Robert Fink and the inventor of the Fairlight CMI, Peter Vogel, help me tell the story of the orchestra hit – a sound that was first heard in 1910 at the Paris Opera where the famed 20th century Russian composer Stravinsky debuted his first hit, The Firebird.

The video above is, in short, a history of the original orchestra hit sample from The Firebird Suite to the 1982 hit “Planet Rock” to “Finesse.” And as a treat, here’s a playlist of way more songs with orchestra hits than you probably wanted.

2 responses on “📺 The sound that connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars”

  1. James Vyver explores the development of Fairlight in the 1980’s, a musical instrument that involved the ability an extensive sound library, a multi-track sequencer and a sampler. Vyver speaks with a number of those involved in the development of the instrument, including Peter Vogel, Kim Ryrie and Peter Wielk. MESS have also put together a great piece in conjunction with Google Arts & Culture, with links to a number of other resources, including Vox’s video on the origin of the orchestra hit.
    It is amazing to consider that in its time, a Fairlight cost as much as a house. Whereas now I can purchase an app like Koala Sampler, and easily capture and create sample base music.

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