Hidden Beyonce: the truth about Turnage’s new piece

Oh, wow. As Alex Ross points out in a recent post on The Rest is Noise, critics in the media are gradually picking up on the idea that Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Hammered Out, premiered at the BBC Proms last week (discussed in a previous post here), has more than a nodding reference to Beyoncé.

Ring of truth ? Beyonce Knowles

Some bright spark has superimposed Beyoncé’s hit Single Ladies, released in the UK in February last year, onto the first three minutes of video footage of the Turnage piece on YouTube, and it’s hard not to be convinced. Brass riffs imitate vocal lines, chords on the piano and strings are following patterns in the pop song: even the speed David Robertson takes the piece at is the same. Turnage is a confessed jazz and pop enthusiast as well as being a ‘classical’ composer (if the term can be said to have any meaning these days).

In an interview about the piece, Turnage acknowledged several pop references, but also mentioned secret ones that he would prefer listeners to discover for themselves. This seems to be one of them.

Watch it for yourself and make up your own mind.

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