Rite of Spring

Musical Mixology: The Rite of Spring

You must be parched! It’s been unbearably long since my last Musical Mixology post, but the wait is over. To quench your thirst and celebrate the DVD release of "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey," I’ve finally crafted not one, but two “Rite of Spring” cocktails recipes. With our film production still fresh in mind, and May 29th being the 104-year anniversary of The Rite of Spring’s premiere, now seemed the perfect time to reflect on Stravinsky’s masterwork and allow its lessons of risk and sacrifice inspire equally daring mixology concoctions.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring will push any listener’s body and spirit to the brink, and as a performer/film producer, the piece is a real kick in the ass. As such, I aimed to craft a cocktail that could embody the visceral, raw power of the music… a drink that could approximate the incendiary rush of creation. Behold:





  • Pair with a performance of Stravinsky’ Rite of Spring
  • Take one shot before music commences.
  • Down a second shot immediately before “The Sacrificial Dance.”
  • Repeat as necessary.
  • 😬

For the more adventurous bartender, we have a more sophisticated, earthy brew inspired by the “Rite’s” climactic centerpiece, “The Dancing Out of the Earth.” The cocktail aspires to represent the explosion of springtime… a swirling dance of delirium, harmony, and ecstasy. Rye is the base, chosen for its dryness and hint of spice that pairs nicely with the woodiness of Birkir snaps, an Icelandic birch liqueur made by Foss Distillery. St-Germain adds spring florals and calls to mind the “Rite’s" Parisian premiere. Most significantly, the cocktail is rounded out with a charred tarragon leaf, imparting an herbal smokiness to the drink… and hinting at the flames to come. 


(based on a recipe by Matthew Itkin)


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce Birkir snaps
  • 1/2 ounce St-Germain liqueur
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 tarragon leaf

Pour first four ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir. Strain into a coup glass. Using tongs, char a tarragon leaf over a flame and float over the cocktail as a fragrant garnish.

Watch our DVD "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey” with one of these cocktails in hand to quench your thirst and delight—or overwhelm!—your senses.

- Greg

Rite of Spring DVD available for sale

Looking to cozy up with your loved ones this holiday season? You're in luck — we've already drawn up a fire... a 140-year-old piano ablaze in the desert, in fact.

Our film "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey" is finally available for sale on CDBaby.com. The music video fuses a ferocious dueling piano performance of Igor Stravinsky's 35-minute masterwork with an epic tale of soul-searching and survival, culminating in the sacrificial destruction of an ancient piano. Since 2013 when we uploaded the film to YouTube in 10 episodes, we've made countless adjustments to the work and presented it at multiple film festivals. Now, we're excited to release the complete, definitive version to the public.

In addition to the film itself, the DVD includes a 30-minute documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews entitled "Chronicles of the Rite."

It's the perfect holiday gift for friends and family! Purchase the DVD here.

Rite: The Sacrifice. Episode 10 and beyond...

After months of planning, recording, filming, and editing, we proudly present to you the 10th and final episode of our "Rite of Spring" project:

We revealed a few wild production notes in our recent Gramophone blog, and Greg wrote about the 135-year-old organ that we sacrificially destroyed here.

More pertinent, perhaps, is what comes next! The film wasn't originally designed to be split into installments, but we also knew our YouTube subscribers might be overwhelmed by a 35-minute-long extravaganza. As such, we decided to divide the work into 10 episodes, which we've posted on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

But now we're working toward our ultimate vision: a seamless, engrossing, and dramatic film — "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey." We strung the episodes together and re-edited everything; we've re-shot scenes, restructured concepts, and revised and fine-tuned the editing. We are super excited to show you, our fans, the entire film, but we have other ambitions to tackle first. We're currently applying to a handful of carefully selected film festivals, and later we plan to create a DVD/blu-ray version of the film, complete with directors commentary and a behind-the-scenes documentary. Stay tuned for more developments... ;-)

Rest in peace, oh beautiful, sad organ

Today, we take a moment to honor the antique Clough & Warren organ that played a significant role in our Rite of Spring music film — and in many peoples' lives over the past 135 years.

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I found the organ on Craigslist exactly a year ago. The owners, who were totally charming and helpful, had cared for the instrument for several generations and were looking to de-clutter. No judgements on them: while the instrument, built in 1878, was something of a family heirloom and an example of impeccable craftsmanship, it was a bit of an eyesore... a gothic monstrosity... the Debbie Downer of furniture items. It's so creepy, in fact, that they advertised the organ on Craigslist as the perfect addition to a haunted house!

They were so taken with our videos that they generously offered us the instrument for a price we couldn't refuse, even though we had no idea how we would incorporate the instrument into a future video. 

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Greg with the original owners of the instrument. October 2012.

The organ quickly made its way into the conception of our Rite of Spring film, after we had decided upon the themes of materialism, gluttony, and sacrifice — as a symbol of the first two, and something that could serve as, well... a sacrifice. The organ first makes its way into the film in Episode 6 (the "Introduction to Part II"), stark and alone in the middle of the desert. Throughout the film, and especially throughout the video shoots, the instrument took an enormous beating: we covered it in paint, red wine, bugs, bubbles, and sweat. In the end, we managed to bring our original vision to life: we sacrificially destroy the instrument in a baptism of flames and water. Watch for the dramatic sacrifice in the final episode. We literally pushed the organ into the ocean, then hauled it back out and set it on fire. :-)

(The organ got its comeuppance when it tore off my large toenail while filming in the massive waves of water.)


We grew fond of the organ after working with it for nearly a year. We'll show some footage of us playing it — really playing it — when we release the behind-the-scenes video. For now, suffice it to say that while the complete and utter destruction of a beautiful, 135-year-old organ was sad (tear-inducing, even), we did it for the music. We went to these extreme lengths because we ultimately had no other choice: we had to stay true to the colossal scope and vision of the music. In the end, while the instrument will no longer play its reedy tune, it will live on forever in our visual realization of Stravinsky's cacophonous and apocalyptic score.