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Bread & Butter upped the ante this weekend and certainly wasn’t short on excitement and spectacle. The most immersive experience, however, was held by Napapijri who celebrated its 30th anniversary in style with a capsule collection, interactive exhibition, and four spirited musical performances.

Inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Napapijri created a space that let guests experience spring, summer, autumn and winter all in one place. The most novel part of the project were the four contemporary reworks of Vivaldi’s music by four modern artists: Raleigh Ritchie, TOKiMONSTA, Jan Blomqvist and Sharon Doorson.

Most might not realize until they hear it but Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is instantly recognizable. This presented the artists with the challenge of simultaneously honoring the classic piece while also writing something uniquely their own. Each artist tackled one individual section from the original piece of music and approached their interpretation differently.

Before their live premiere performances in Napapijri’s Bread & Butter space, we got the opportunity to quiz the artists on their tracks. Find out what they had to say about Vivaldi and their creative process before listening to their interpretations below.

Raleigh Ritchie – “Lonely Summer”

What do you hear when you listen to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and how does that make you feel?

I knew The Four Seasons from when I was a kid because my dad listened to it, it was his favorite piece of classical music. And I’d listened to a rework by Max Richter. When I listened to “Summer” I thought it was really dark. “Spring” sounds summery and bright, but then “Summer” sounds quite foreboding. For me, this is what summer felt like as a teenager. I wasn’t one of the cool kids. Summer was a pressure thing. I didn’t want to get my legs out and wear shorts, and vest and stuff because I had stringy arms. Everybody else was cool, going out in groups, and getting off with each other and stuff, and that wasn’t me. So, it just kind of reminded me of those summers growing up. That’s what took me in the direction I went in.

How did you approach this piece of classical music so that you could create something that reflects your own sound?

I found this a hard piece of music to work with because there’s a lot of movement. It’s hard to write melodically over it. It’s hard to write a singing part. I listened to it a lot. I had it in my ears when I was walking around, but I tried not to overdo it, because I didn’t want to be so familiar with it that I wasn’t able to do my own thing with it.

Because the piece of music is so dark, I wanted to take what I heard and use that to steer the focus. I knew if I did that alone it was going to be too miserable, so I offset it with a brighter and more upbeat music production. I like to do that, strike a balance. Everything’s about balance in the world. I decided to ask myself how this piece of music made me feel, adapt that feeling into something and then find a way to reincorporate the original piece. I came up with a lot of different versions.

What was it about summer that you wanted to evoke? Did you draw on any personal summer memories?

As I listened to the music, pictures were coming into my head of the summers I mentioned before, and I realized I hadn’t heard that many songs that are about a sad summer. I wanted to do that. I wanted to make a sad boy summer anthem. I wanted to make a song for all of the people like me, that felt really uncomfortable, inferior and weird during summer when everybody else was having fun.

Since we put the song out, I’ve had quite a lot of people that are like, “Yes. I get it. This is how I felt.” Which is nice. It’s reassuring for me as well.

If summer isn’t your favorite season, what’s your favorite season?

I like summer. I just didn’t like it when I was a kid. I think winter is probably my favorite. But I like cold winters, I like snow. I want to be in a snowy winter. We never get that in the UK. There’s nothing cozier than going into a warm home after being in the snow. Or wearing a nice coat that keeps you warm.

If you were to have done the track for “Winter,” how would you have approached it differently?

It would have been a different piece of music, but I might have approached it in the same way. I would have just gone with how the music made me feel and worked with the images that came into my head as I was listening to it.

TOKiMONSTA – “Spring”

What do you hear when you listen to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and how does that make you feel?

I guess the simple and straightforward answer is that you literally hear the seasons. Vivaldi did a very good job creating mood and seasons are moods. When you hear it, you hear the seasons and you hear the emotions associated with those seasons.

How did you approach this piece of classical music so that you could create something that reflects your own sound?

I wanted to reinterpret “Spring” but do it justice. It’s very famous. It’s a very revered piece of music. I have made classical music in the past and I got to flex that side of myself, which I don’t do often because I mostly make hip-hop and electronic music. I tried to modernize it, keep the brightness and do it in my way. I associate spring with graduations, festivals and things like that. I wanted to make it cool and upbeat and yet still have it sound like “Spring.”

What was it about spring that you wanted to evoke? Did you draw on any personal spring memories?

Nothing specific. Spring is one of the well received seasons because after going through a cold winter, you get rewarded with spring. It’s about to get warm, everyone’s mood changes and everyone is happy. I wanted to evoke the rewarding aspects of spring. The flowers blooming, a new year of life, and all that.

The Four Seasons is clearly inspired by nature, how did your own environment influence the song you’ve written?

In L.A., you basically only have two seasons, spring and summer. We don’t have a typical spring either. There’s not a lot of plants and not a lot of greenery, but you still know when Spring comes because all the festivals start. There’s also Spring Break. L.A. doesn’t get as cold as it does over here [Berlin], but it still goes through a colder rainy season, so there’s change there too. I know that when spring arrives, summer is just around the corner.

If you were to have done the track for “Winter,” how do you think you would have approached that differently?

It wouldn’t have been quite as bright of a song, but I think I could’ve taken it deeper. That’s the cool thing about winter. I quite like the night, working at night, and the darkness. There’s something different about winter and what that brings to the table. I like winter a lot.

Jan Blomqvist – “Winter”

Explain how you’ve personally connected with Vivaldi and The Four Seasons in the past, how does the music make you feel?

To be honest, I didn’t listen to Baroque style music that much (except Johann Sebastian Bach). When studying music theory, I preferred composers like Beethoven and Brahms from the Romantic and Expressionist eras. But when I listened to “Winter” for the first time I recognized it because it’s like pop music. Not in the same sense that The Beatles are pop music but it’s a melody that’s stored in your mind. Everybody knows it, like a radio hit from a past decade. When I noticed the relationship with pop music I was intrigued because I incorporate pop music elements into techno.

I don’t listen to a lot of classical music to be honest but I am very interested in its structures, they’re similar to club music. You build up a track for four minutes or maybe even more, and then comes the break, there is no typical verse or chorus line. There’s a climax, breaks, an outro and an intro, it’s pretty similar.

How did you approach this piece of classical music so that you could create something that reflects your own sound?

It was difficult because Vivaldi’s melody is so catchy and like pop music. When you put pop music into an electronic track you immediately sound a bit cheesy. I checked the MIDI files and didn’t like to just copy them into my typical Blomqvist sounding studio presets, so I listened myself and tried to figure out some melodies. I found a way to make it a bit more melancholic, and then I was like, “Yeah, that’s my style, this could work.”

I didn’t want to make a cover, I wanted to make a rework. I listened to it in the studio and as soon as I had this idea I stopped listening and worked on getting the idea out of my head. I focused on my rework only.

What was it about winter that you wanted to evoke? Did you draw on any personal winter memories?

I love skiing and hiking in the mountains, I’m a winter child. The “Winter” melody is more melancholy, and that fits my style, so it was easier matching these melancholic winter vibes into my own style.

If you’d worked on the “Summer” track, how do you think you would’ve approached that differently?

It’s just not my style. I could have done it but it would have sounded completely different to what I normally sound like. Everybody would have questioned what I’m doing and would know it’s not me.

The Four Seasons is clearly inspired by nature, how did your own environment influence the song you’ve written?

It initially sounds funny asking a techno artist or an electronic musician about nature. You have no electronic music sounds in the nature, right? But I try to do all the sounds analog in the studio. So me and my buddy record snares with paper and napkins, we record stones in the woods and crackling leaves. We try to get as many natural sounds into our electronic music as possible.

I also like to give my mind a break from the studio and my touring schedule. I go to the mountains, I go hiking and I go running in the forests. The freedom I have out there reflects the freedom I feel I have in the studio making electronic music.  Electronic music is very similar to a long nature hike into the middle of nowhere. No verse, no chorus, no borders.

Sharon Doorson – “Autumn”

What do you hear when you listen to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and how does that make you feel?

I hear classical music with a lot of emotion in it. It really gets me. I think it’s beautiful. I’m not really the girl that listens to classical music all the time, but it felt special to get the opportunity to make my own version of Vivaldi’s “Autumn.” today.

How did you approach this piece of classical music so that you could create something that reflects your own sound?

Autumn is about different elements of nature: rain, clouds, wind, sun. I thought it was beautiful to combine it all of those elements into my personal interpretation. First of all we chose to go back to my roots by adding some percussion. Then we combined the iconic Vivaldi tune with some pop sounds and good lyrics. My goal was to write a song that makes you feel the different autumn energies with my personal pop/urban sound.

What was it about autumn that you wanted to evoke? Did you draw on any personal autumn memories?

For this special song, I worked with a songwriter from L.A. and my producer from Amsterdam, one I work with all the time. I told them that I really wanted it to be energetic with the typical traits of autumn in it. We chose to write about love because the energies you get from love are so similar to the energies of autumn.

The Four Seasons is clearly inspired by nature, how did your own environment influence the song you’ve written?

In Holland, you feel the traits of autumn every day. So my producer and I were inspired by our own local autumn vibes. We shared our thoughts with the songwriter in L.A. and she put those inspirations into the song. I’m really happy with how she translated my feelings.

The Four Season’s collection is available now exclusively at Zalando. Find out more about Napapijri by visiting napapijri.com.

Next, take a look at the Four Seasons capsule in use here.

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