Canto rock, Swedish pop, bossa nova and xinyao.
None of these contemporary music genres were what one would typically associate with a classical string ensemble, but in fine tradition, re: mix once again proved that good music is good music; which can be enjoyed just as much, or even more, with a classical twist.
The string ensemble took on the songs of Hong Kong band Beyond. These were angsty rock songs throbbing with social issues, politics and the pursuit of peace, but which found resonance in lyrical strings just as much as in electric guitars.
On a more upbeat note was the preppy Swedish brand of pop by ABBA, a 70s’ group which had sold more than 370 million records worldwide and remained a radio playlist favourite. The highlight of the segment was how the strings achieved the Wall of Sound effect - achieved in the Abba records by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies.
Bossa nova, the music of award-winning Brazilian songwriter, pianist and guitarist Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, was also revamped.
Closer to Singaporean hearts, re: mix embraced xinyao (new songs), the genre unique to Singapore and which were usually about life in our small island country.
Joining re: mix in its December concert was one of Malaysia's most talented solo acoustic guitar players, Roger Wang, who was known for his ability to play complete musical arrangements all in one guitar – he juggled bass, melody, rhythm, harmony and percussive parts simultaneously.