Producer Olugbenga Adelekan's How I learned to stop worrying and love, a remix of 3 Pieces for Violin and Piano by composer Kate Whitley, is released today. Olugbenga, best known as the bassist with Mercury-nominated electronic band Metronomy, talks us through how he produced his reworked version.
"I heard a great deal of optimism in ‘3 Pieces’ as well as a very stark beauty. I wanted to retain that whilst also creating a remix that stood very much as its own thing. It was only my second time remixing something with no vocal track or big melodic top line to hang things around. I had a lot of fun trying to get my head around that! I treated all the audio parts from Kate’s piece like a new sample library – I took some bits to create a piano pad and others to build a new string section. So the only sounds that came from elsewhere were the drums. The sun was shining through a little window into my studio while I was working on the remix and I think some of that light made its way into the music."
Born in Lagos to a Kenyan mother and Nigerian father, Olugbenga now resides by the sea in Brighton. He has travelled the world working as a bass player, vocalist and DJ, performing with groups such as Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, Paloma Faith and La Roux.
As well as touring with Metronomy, Olugbenga has lent his talents as a remixer to the likes of Laura Marling, Janelle Monae, Mew, Alt-J, Depeche Mode and the Scissor Sisters. He was flown out to New Orleans in 2016 to write music for Solange Knowles’ A Seat At The Table. His track Don’t You Wait (co-produced by Sampha, Kwes and Adam Bainbridge) garnered positive comments from fans and critics alike and the album flew to #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 off the back of 36 million streams in a single week.
Olugbenga's remix, How I learned to stop worrying and love, and Kate Whitley's album I am I say are both available now.
r:strng, NMC's new app which allows you to create your own version of Gbenga's remix, is coming soon.
NMC holds a distinctive position in the recording industry: we are both a record label and a registered charity.
At first glance, this may seem a fairly unusual business model for a record label. However, for NMC it enables us to fulfil a vitally important role in the classical music industry that traditional models would restrict. We are able to act as an advocator and promoter of high quality new music that may otherwise not be given the life it deserves due to its commercial viability.
Whilst NMC does earn income in the usual way from the sale of CDs, downloads and streaming, being a charitable organisation allows us to fundraise like other charities do. This means we can work towards our mission by taking on projects based on their artistic merit, without the overwhelming influence of sales potential and the restrictions that may come from relying solely on commercial income. NMC raises funds each year from:
- public sources, such as Arts Council England
- charitable trusts and foundations
- individual donors and supporters
Generating and supporting new audiences for contemporary music is an important aspect of our work too, and the coming year will see a raft of new education projects and resources for young people to support this. We also collaborate with artistic organisations and charitable partners on special projects, such as our 2015 project with Aurora Orchestra and the Science Museum Objects at an Exhibition, allowing us to reach new people and expand public interest in contemporary music on a wider scale.
What does being a charity mean?
All of NMC’s activities are guided by our charitable objectives, and enable us to share exceptional new music that inspires and challenges audiences. These objectives are:
- to produce high quality recordings of outstanding work by composers from the British Isles
- to work with leading artists and ensembles to promote these recordings
- to expand worldwide audiences for contemporary music
- to preserve this creativity for generations to come
What makes NMC essential?
Our charitable status enables our non-deletions policy. This means all our recordings remain permanently available in digital and physical formats, and creates a living, ever-expanding archive of new music from the British Isles that is accessible at all times. We provide the crucial link in the chain that ensures investment in commissioning and premiering new works leads to an international listenership, and a long-lasting legacy for new music.
Although the music NMC releases isn’t necessarily commercial that doesn’t mean there isn’t a growing, receptive audience. Engagement with NMC’s work grows every year, and with increasing use of digital technology we have been able to reach more ears than ever before. In 2016 alone we were able to promote the work of over 300 composers across nearly 150 territories, generating 1.5 million downloads/streams and 4,500 physical album sales, with 30% of CD sales and 70% of streams from audiences outside of the UK.
Our extensive reach and the level of active engagement with the recordings we release highlight just how important NMC is to enabling composers’ work is heard across the globe, cementing our reputation as a living archive of contemporary music. Our achievements and support for composers is made possible through our status as a charity, and with the help of our many supporters, donors, customers and advocates.
- If you are interested in supporting the charitable work of NMC, head to the Support Us section to find out more.
- Discover more about our forthcoming Education projects here.
- You can explore our back catalogue and recent releases, as well as delve into the Music Map.
- Contact us by emailing email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.
Christmas gift guide videos featuring recommendations from NMC Staff and Trustees. #christmascrackers
Steve Martland MARTLAND
Errollyn Wallen PHOTOGRAPHY
Mark-Anthony Turnage UNDANCE
Mark Simpson Night Music
Judith Weir The Welcome Arrival of Rain
Kenneth Hesketh Wunderkammer (Konzert)
Martin Butler Dirty Beasts
Tansy Davies spine
NMC Highlights 2016: awards, accolades and reviews
'It's wonderful to hear such a thrilling performance ... a virtuosic showpiece' The Times
Leila Josefowicz violin | BBC Symphony Orchestra | Oliver Knussen conductor | Anssi Karttunen cello | Rumon Gamba conductor
Royal Concertgeouw Orchestra | Riccardo Chailly conductor
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 BEST ALBUMS OF 2016
‘One of the most important brass band releases ever’ British Bandsman
‘For me, this is one of the discs of the decade so far ... A vital and exceptional recording’ Brass Band World Magazine
Tredegar Town Band | Ian Porthouse conductor | Cory Band | Phillip Harper conductor | Robert Childs conductor
BRITISH BANDSMAN MAGAZINE CD OF THE YEAR 2016
BRASS BAND WORLD MAGAZINE CD OF THE YEAR 2016
‘This album – the first devoted entirely to Wallen’s orchestral music – features vibrant performances … a fine portrait of a wide-ranging artist’ Guardian
NPR TOP 10 CLASSICAL ALBUMS OF 2016
'All four musicians play with impressive technical precious and unified ensemble ... the sound quality and balance are excellent' Fanfare Magazine
‘Brilliant scoring, superbly realised’ BBC Radio 3 Record Review
‘NMC provides expert sound and erudite accompanying notes … the music has such immediacy, charm and fluency’ Gramophone
'What hits home immediately in this magnificent collection is the music’s individuality and strength' BBC Music Magazine
'The solo percussion writing in Heartland shows how subtle and inventive Bowden's textural imagination can be' The Guardian ★★★★
'A confident, major orchestral debut ... Scientific ideas brilliantly articulated in a score whose shimmering colours and essentially tonal trajectory are easily assimilated' Radio 3 Record Review
'It's proving gently evocative in my kitchen, with its sensitively layered watery location recordings, traffic noises and wonky, finespun, industrial-ish prepared piano sounds' The Guardian
Congratulations to all the recipients of the British Composer Awards on Tuesday night including:
all of whom feature in the NMC catalogue, or will very soon (Kate Whitley).
A special mention to Mark Bowden who won Best Solo or Duo for Five Memos which features on his Debut Disc album Sudden Light.
For the full shortlist and winners click here.
We are delighted to announce that Judith Weir, Master of the Queen's Music, is the new ambassador of our Debut Discs series.
Judith Weir was our special guest at the launch of our Debut Discs fundraising appeal on 13 October, held at Faber and Faber in Bloomsbury, London. She is a firm believer in British contemporary music as an artform of national significance. She is passionate about the importance of music education in all schools, and a keen supporter of new talent. We are deeply grateful that she is lending her support to Debut Discs.
During the evening she spoke of NMC 'at the beating heart of British music', and of its work supporting new generations of highly talented British composers. Here is an extract:
'This record label is by, with, and for British composers.
It is absolutely essential that composers on the brink of an international career can gain a major album release. NMC is making this happen with Debut Discs.
We need to support them to create more.'
DEBUT DISCS: Launched in 2012, the series currently
features 12 albums; many have achieved exceptional reviews and awards from media worldwide. This exposure has led to a variety of opportunities for the composers involved, including commissions, performances and residencies.
NMC’s Debut Discs are musical calling cards, crucial for talented composers in the early stages of their careers since they enable promoters, commissioners and audiences to hear their work.
NMC is a charity and needs to raise funds so we can produce further Debut Discs. The new series starts with Kate Whitley and Philip Venables, with further composers to be announced.
We need to raise £24k from individuals to ensure the future of Debut Discs.
Any level of gift will make a difference. For a short time only, for every £1 you donate to NMC, Arts Council England will donate another £1.
This means your donation will enable NMC to do even more for new generations of composers and listeners.