Remixing the Planets

by Ironfist

It has been a dream of mine to take Gustav Holst’s classic suite The Planets and breathe new life into it by remixing it into an “Electronic” context. This presented me with a great opportunity to explore different electronic styles because every movement of the original suite had its own sonic characteristic. In addition, each movement is already rich with plenty of melodic and harmonic material; I could focus on conveying emotion, sound design, and putting the final product into an unique electronic performance. If I was successful, I felt that I may discover my voice and start playing music the way I have always dreamed of playing it.

I also wanted to be able to perform the completed work live, so I decided innovate the live performance of The Planets in a way that would be more immersive for the audience and myself. While I have honed my skills as a DJ at clubs and parties, I felt that The Planets needed more fanfare. I decided to pair the music with video that I filmed and edited to add more depth and make the performance more cinematic. I also decided to venture somewhere few electronic artists have before and I put the whole performance in surround sound. With some simple Max for Live coding, a Leap Motion, and a 4 output interface, I could manipulate individual sonic elements in real time using panning, reverb, and other effects during live performances. The icing on the cake was added by switching between the turntables to bass clarinet, electric bass, and guitar to add some organic elements into my electronic opus.


So just to recap, my performance, titled Remixing The Planets, consisted of:

  • A performance DJ set that used Ableton and Serato together
  • State of the art controllers to accomplish the electronic performance aspect of my set
  • Incorporating more traditional instruments, like guitar and bass clarinet, into the set
  • The performance being geared to be in surround sound, giving the audience an unique experience
  • All of the music is set to video to keep the audience engagedwebsite

All of this catered to one intention: to successfully express the emotion in each track of the suite.


With each completion of every movement, I felt myself growing more sophisticated as a music producer. With each prototype performance, I began to master the daunting technological challenges as well as the struggles of adding acoustic instruments into a surround DJ set. Remixing The Planets not only assisted in my growth as a producer, but also as a performing artist. Today, Remixing The Planets has been performed internationally and has become my most notable release as Ironfist to date.

Notable Performances Include:

  • Innovation En Vivo
  • Berklee College of Music at Valencia’s 2014 Commencement Concert
  • Music Tech Fest Berlin 2014
  • Music Tech Fest Paris 2014

Remixing the Planets: Live