In an interview with USA Today, Giles Martin talked about working with his father to remaster and remix original Beatles recordings for the new Cirque du Soleil production scheduled to open in Las Vegas. As a boy, he admits he didn't understand ...
"My dad just sits around all day playing the piano," he would answer.
At 80-years-old, Sir George Martin came out of retirement to work on the soundtrack. Since he now suffers from hearing loss, he asked his 36-year-old son Giles help him remaster and remix original Beatles recordings for the new Cirque du Soleil production scheduled to open in Las Vegas later this month. Sir George explains:
"He's my natural selection for someone to work with because I trust him implicitly, and he's a very good musician, and he happens to be a guy I love very much."
The 90-minute show they have scored contains about 25 complete Beatles songs and snippets from over 100 others. (The opening guitar riff is all they used from A
Hard Day's Night for example).
Giles, Sir George's youngest child, was born on John Lennon's birthday in 1969. He doesn't remember if he ever met John, however."We weren't surrounded in a Beatles world coming up. We didn't sit around and say, 'Let's put on the Yellow Submarine.' When I was a kid, The Beatles weren't a band everyone was talking about."
Although Sir George tried to dissuade his son from a musical career (fearful that his son would be compared with his own success) Giles became a songwriter and producer anyway. He has produced the British psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker and 2004's Pure, one of the UK's fastest-selling classical albums. It was Giles who digitized the Beatles tapes and remixed them for the "Love" production. In doing so, he made some rather radical changed, such as placing the drum track from Tomorrow Never Knows on to Within You Without You. Sir George is pleased with the results. He claims he wishes he had thought of that for the original tracks:"We would never do anything that I think is alien to The Beatles. To me, everything that has been done is available anyway. If the people don't like (this), they can stay with the stuff that's already there. It's not the Holy Grail. If anyone has the right to do this, then I have."
Giles sees his role as that of an emissary bringing The Beatles to a new generation:
"The whole idea behind what we did with the music was to try and make people listen again as opposed to taking the songs for granted. We wanted it to be like a performance again for the Beatles, and not just playing CDs."
In addition, the experience has helped him to know his father better. As a boy, he wished his father had a more glamorous job - like being a fireman or a policeman. When asked about his father's occupation, he'd reply, "My dad just sits around all day playing the piano." Now he has a new respect for his father's legacy:
"The greatest thing about this is that I've listened to a period of my dad's life where everyone was at the top of their game. The Beatles were creatively brilliant, my dad was in his prime. I never thought I'd be working with him again. I never thought I'd be working for The Beatles ever. So it has been a remarkable time."
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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