I had a free hour yesterday and was able to get to five more requests. Actually, I got to six because I combined two in this first bit. Josh Norris had asked for the Widor Toccata in the style of John Rutter. I had initially refused on the basis that I was only doing Christmas tunes. Nate Porath asked for “Joy to the World” in the style of the Widor Toccata. So, I thought, “Why not do ‘Joy to the World’ in the style of the Widor Toccata played by John Rutter.” Normally, I don’t even attempt to beat box, but since Rutter is a fan of the bad trap set, I added some “boots and cats” part of the way through for good measure.
One of my favorites came from Malorie Winberg. She asked for a Berstein “Here comes Santa Claus”. For this I lifted the opening lick from “Cool” and just played.
One of the more beautiful choices comes from Francesca Erni who asked for “Jingle Bells” in the style of a Lully overture. This one could actually work as a piece of music.
Paul Williams asked for Copland’s version of “Winter Wonderland”. I managed it, but this is at the utmost end of my concentration for improvisation. I would have to write it out to go further than this. I played “‘Tis a gift to be simple” on the upper manual with my left hand and “Winter Wonderland” with my right hand over a descending diatonic pedal line.
Finally, Marianne Chance Worthington has been unrelenting in her efforts to get a “Silent Night” in the style of New Kids on the Block. Actually, she originally asked for NKOTB “Silent Night”. I, of course, had no idea what she was talking about. That’s a particularly challenging request because the whole basis of doing this is taking a composers’ harmonic or rhythmic idiosyncratic language and superimposing it on a carol. In the case of NKOTB, there isn’t anything idiosyncratic enough to be recognizable, so you can only do it by quoting actual snippets. My wife’s hair stylist, Lindsey Noden, was excited that I was going to be working on this one. She sang a little snippet of NKOTB. When I went through the painful process of listening to their music, the second song I heard had the same snippet that Lindsey sang, so I just used that and played “Silent Night” over the top.
I’ll work on the other requests as I have time. This ends on 12th night…at least the carols version.