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Erykah Badu, Mos Def Team with Brooklyn Philharmonic in New Season

By Janet Upadhye | February 7, 2013 2:48pm

FORT GREENE — Orchestral composer Ted Hearne, 30, has been inspired by Erykah Badu's neo-soul music since he was in high school.

So it was a dream come true when he found out he would be sharing the stage with the four-time Grammy Award-winner and the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a hip-hop-orchestral fusion piece called "You're Causing Quite a Disturbance."

“Erykah Badu has had a huge influence on my life,” Hearne said. “To have the chance to compose using her music is such an amazing opportunity.”

Hearne and Badu met for the first time last November to begin planning the show. They decided to arrange five songs from Badu’s 2008 album called “New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War” with original music composed by Hearne. Together, they hope to create music that will delve into perspectives from "prominent contemporary African-American thinkers on ideas about identity, hip-hop, and community."

Hearne is set to write music for the 40-member Brooklyn Phil, which includes string, wind and rhythm sections plus trumpets, trombones, electric guitars, and some keyboard, drums and bass.

And the Yale School of Music graduate has less than four months to do it.

But he has no fear.

“I am just completely excited,” he said. "As a contemporary composer, I think splicing and sampling beats from hip-hop and R&B with classical music and creating a new context for the two combined is the most interesting way to create something truly original."

In the next couple of weeks Hearne will sit down in his Fort Greene apartment and put pen to paper.

By the end of May he will be rehearsing on the Brooklyn Academy of Music Howard Gilman Opera House stage.

And on June 8 accompanied by Badu, a full orchestra, and a special performance by Bed-Stuy native, Mos Def, he hopes to give the audience a “whole new orchestral world.”

"You're Causing Quite a Disturbance” takes place Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at BAM.