MITCH GRASSI ON THE CHALLENGES, NUANCES AND TWEAKS THAT YIELDED THEIR
SEAMLESS GRAMMY-WINNING A CAPPELLA TOUR DE FORCE
April 28, 2015 -- 4:34 pm
By Mitchell C. Grassi / GRAMMY.com
(The Making Of GRAMMY-Winning Recordings … series presents firsthand
accounts of the creative process behind some of music's biggest recordings.
The series' current installments present insight and details about recordings
that won 57th GRAMMY Awards.)
We knew this wasn't going
to be a particularly breezy task. We first chose some of our favorite
— and the most notable — Daft Punk songs from their more
popular discography. We then created an order in which we thought the
songs would flow the best into and out of each other. This was our loose
structure, which we stitched together slowly as we began to arrange
each voice part.
Once we had the order of
the songs, we chose keys for each soloist, and then arranged accordingly
to transition seamlessly from one song to the next. We've found that
tight three-part harmonies make the track seem a lot fuller. Amping
up the low end of the bass and capturing all the discrepancies of the
percussive elements really helped, too. Toward the end of the process,
we filled in holes and tweaked otherwise ineffective musical moments
and nuances. The only difficulty we had with [arranging the songs] was
making them less simplistic and more complex. Dance music is notoriously
hard, in my opinion, to cover with just voices.
It was [a] very collaborative
[process], with Scott [Hoying] and I spearheading the project. I am
very familiar with [Daft Punk's] work because I've been a huge fan since
high school, and Scott is intuitive about what our audience likes to
hear. I think it took about a week [to finish the song], maybe a little
more, from start to finish. We definitely didn't think it would be as
successful as it turned out to be, and certainly never imagined it would
[Daft Punk's] manager reached
out and let us know that they were really pleased with our work. That
was pretty surreal. They're so legendary!
(At the 57th GRAMMY Awards,
Pentatonix — Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado,
and Kevin "K.O." Olusola — won their first career GRAMMY
for Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella for "Daft Punk,"
which comprises a medley of the Daft Punk songs "Technologic,"
"One More Time," "Get Lucky," "Digital Love,"
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," "Television Rules
The Nation," and "Around The World." Pentatonix are currently
in the midst of a world tour, with dates scheduled through September.)