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Lamb of God's Randy Blythe Composing Music for Richmond Ballet

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Over the last few years, a lot of artistic directors and choreographers have sought out contemporary music as a way to grab the attention of an audience that was looking for dance that was more 21st-century than 19th. And, a lot of it has been spectacular. Locally, Dayton Ballet’s Tommy and Cincinnati Ballet’s Frampton & Cincinnati Ballet Live were both great showcases for the marriage of ballet and rock. Richmond Ballet is the latest company to jump on this trend, albeit with a more out-there collaborator. It was announced the last week in February that Randy Blythe (frontman for metal band Lamb of God) is scoring a piece for their New Works show. Apparently, he’s a friend of the choreographer.
So, maybe you wouldn’t expect a metal vocalist known mostly for his wild stage presence and growled vocals to be creating a piece for a ballet company. You wouldn’t be alone—this one seems to have taken the metal world by surprise as well. Having seen LoG in concert in 2012, it certainly surprised me to think of Blythe scoring a ballet. He’s the kind of performer who can get a circle pit going with a twist of his finger, but that doesn’t say much about what he would bring to a ballet piece. But, LoG is taking some time off after years of extensive touring and Blythe’s acquittal on manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic earlier this year. And, so far, there hasn’t been any clue about what the finished piece will sound like. Blythe did say that he might bring in metal/jazz guitar wizard Alex Skolnick for some “atmospheric” touches (he’s worked with the Testament axe man on a side project). It will be interesting to see what happens as this piece comes together.

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