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Exclusive Sting interview: Symphonicities

The location is Sting's beachside house in Malibu the morning after the night before: another night, another venue - the Hollywood Bowl - another three-hour concert of his songs.

That's concert with a capital "C" because this time Sting has brought along more than just a few of his favourite musicians to join him, he's brought along the 50-strong Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, "the biggest band I've ever worked with". SYMPHONICITY is the name of the project - a world tour and an album - and in a wide-ranging conversation Sting talks to Edward Seckerson about the reimagining of many of his classic songs in orchestral terms. It is, he says, about finding a new set of clothes, a new context, a new angle, for some old favourites.

His own musical tastes are impressively diverse and the musical cross-references (to say nothing of the personal revelations) come thick and fast in this exclusive audio. We get to hear how Copland (that's Aaron not Stewart) worked his way into "I Hung My Head", how the "Englishman in New York", Quentin Crisp, struck a chord with Sting's "singular" nature, how the colliery band came to be writ so majestically large in "We Work the Black Seam", and how music director Rob Mathes made a punk band of the RPCO for that abrasive punk thrash "Next to You". SYMPHONICITY will be docking in a town near you sometime over the next six months. Here's the story of how it all happened and where it could lead...

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For more on Sting see www.sting.com - and Deutsche Grammophon - www.deutschegrammophon.com