As It Happens debuts remix of Moe Koffman theme song
Montreal composer-producer Socalled remixes theme song
CBC's As It Happens kicked off its 45th season Tuesday with something new — a remixed version of its iconic opening theme song, Curried Soul, by the late Canadian jazz musician Moe Koffman.
The song appeared on Koffman's 1969 album Moe's Curried Soul, and As It Happens has been using the tune as its theme music since 1972.
When As It Happens first told Koffman's widow Gisele they were going to rework her husband's tune, she said she "was kind of shocked and upset."
But whatever worries she had are now gone.
"When I first heard the new one — oh wow! This was wonderful," she told As it Happens co-host Carol Off. "I love it."
The remix of Curried Soul was done by Josh Dolgin, also known as Socalled, a Montreal producer, composer and pianist, among other things.
- Remixed: The new As It Happens Theme
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"Moe Koffman is a genius and that piece is absolutely classic. Why mess with perfection?" Dolgin told Off.
"I was scared to do something with it but also, I mean, really excited to work such incredible material."
Dolgin's biggest challenge was that he only had the full mix of the song to work with, not the individual tracks of each instrument,
Working with a collaborator, Dolgin identified the most "iconic" musical moments of the tune and kept those.
He said the new version includes lots of Koffman's original flute riffing.
"You could not remove that sound, it wouldn't work."
Other parts include Dolgin playing emulated flute sounds on a keyboard, as well as live bass and drums.
Dolgin "brought something wonderful to the table," said Gisele Koffman.
"It's unbelievable. Moe is still there, and he framed it wonderful."
Another Koffman piece, Koff Drops, is the closing theme for As It Happens.