Iron Maiden have got ‘epic’ pretty much sewn up. You want a 13-minute track based on a Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem about a bird that shits on a sailor’s shoulder? Here’s Rime Of The Ancient Mariner for you. What’s that? An 18-minute blockbuster about a giant balloon going down in flames? Here’s that Empire Of The Clouds you ordered.
Despite that, they’ve never gone down the route of re-recording their songs with an orchestra, unlike many of their peers. Luckily, one classical conductor is here to rectify the situation.
Ulf Wadenbrandt, baton-twirler-in-chief for the Sweden Symphony Orchestra, has decided to turn Maiden’s 1993 showstopper Fear Of The Dark into a full-on orchestral number by enlisting 160 classical musicians from around the world.
The results of this virtual classical jam are pretty stellar, ramping up the epic to maximum levels. We’re experts (Johan Sebastian Bach is the guy from Skid Row, right?), so we’ll let Ulf himself explain.
“This song has everything from nice melodic lines with lots of energy and a thumping tempo," he gushes. “It's a magical arrangement that releases the orchestra's energy and fantastic sound. Iron Maiden have quite simply written a great song that works perfectly for symphony orchestras and their wonderful timbre.”
But there’s more to it than just an entertaining video. Our man Ulf cooked the idea up in order to highlight the importance of music in tough times.
“Music makes you feel good and helps to develop people,” he says. “We need to show the world that we are needed and must get to play. I have gathered everyone from absolutely world class musicians and excellent music teachers to talented amateurs and students from music and cultural schools from all over the world. I want to show the value of diversity and emphasise how everyone is important in the ecosystem of music.”
We couldn’t agree more. Ulf and friends, we salute you!