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Reverse engineering Buck 65 

The turntable legend reunites with Symphony Nova Scotia

click to enlarge ROB CAMPBELL
  • Rob Campbell

Seven years ago, Buck 65 and Symphony Nova Scotia delivered a legendary concert of orchestral hip-hop. They're plotting another this weekend, and The Coast caught up with Buck 65 to chat about how he's been prepping and if that night seven years ago can possibly be topped. 

How did you decide what new songs to get orchestrations for?

It took some careful planning. Some of the songs already had orchestral elements. But I also threw out some challenges, forwarding songs that were completely electronic and asking, "What can you do with this?" I'm excited to hear how that will sound. It's like reverse engineering, taking something made with software and electronics and giving it to humans to play on hand-made instruments.

Tell us about the first Symphony gig in 2008.

It was terrifying, but also the highlight of my career. I was floating a few inches off the stage at times, and I still feel those moments on my skin today. There are recordings of the concert online, but I can't listen to them, because in my mind that show was so perfect and I'm afraid to break that spell.

Can you top that show this weekend?

Well, you have to have a lot of confidence to say you're going to outdo the best moment of your life! But this time I know what to expect and I know what I need to do. I had to figure that out on the fly the first time, which was terrifying. All the elements are in place, and certainly that is my goal. But I'm going to have to be on the top of my game. 

Interview conducted and edited by Will Pearson

Symphony Nova Scotia w/Buck 65
Friday, October 2, 7:30pm
Rebecca Cohn Auditorium 6101 University Avenue


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