Image © Decca Music Group 2004
(22 October 2004) Four women. Four beautiful women. Four beautiful and musically talented women. These four women comprise Bond, a classically inspired string quartet with a twist. They take classical music to a new level and explore African and electro beats, hip hop, Latin, and jazz. Vanessa Mae fans and contemporary classical crossover enthusiasts will appreciate the intensity and explosive musical variations that Bond employ in Classified (Decca Recordsc (USA) B0002332-02, 2004).
These amazing artists hail from Australia and Great Britain. Bond is Haylie Ecker (First Violin), Eos Chater (Second Violin), Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello) and Tania Davis (Viola). Their training is purely classical, although this CD is not. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra joins in this classically influenced nouveau style to produce an awesome set of thirteen tracks. “A full symphony orchestra is a lot more of a unified sound than playing with a session orchestra which may have great musicians but they only get together on the day," says Tania.
The idea in the formation of Bond was the creation of Gay-Yee and Eos, who both used to do backing for pop artists. Gay-Yee performed with Primal Scream, Spice Girls, Talvin Singh, Bryan Adams and Barry Manilow, while Eos played with The Divine Comedy and Cocteau Twins. The group was a source of controversy in Great Britain, where purists swayed opinion to successfully ban Bond's music from the UK classical charts. Haylie says, "I think the UK is very traditional and people have a set image in their mind with the 'classical' music. Classical music is really exciting and passionate! Maybe the term 'classical' should be dropped so that people's minds aren't made up before they have heard it."
The entire album is filled with unbridled exuberance to produce a stunning mix of classical and disco dance music. The lush rhythms, filled with an hypnotic beat transport the listener to the club scene. Gay-Yee says, "Image plays a part in classical music, but the music is always the priority. Presentation is so important these days, and that's what we are just trying to do, present a positive image for classical/pop music."
Some of the tracks origins, of course, are from some famous classical music including Pachelbel's Canon, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, Carmen's Habanera, Brahms' Hungarian Dance no. 5, and Barber's Adagio for Strings. The pulsating dance beats and passionate world rhythms are played with tremendous talent, flair and gusto to the great enjoyment of the listener. Eos says, "Classified is more classically influenced than the previous two albums, but still is quite pop. My favorite tracks are 'Explosive' and 'Dreamstar.'"
Classified is a top-notch, well produced album, showcasing the expansive talents of these four impresarios.
The music is explosive and full of panache, capturing the
essence of the classical and creating a contemporary flair.
Classical music--Bond style--has certainly made its mark in the twenty-first century and more of their virtuoso interpretations
are anxiously awaited!