A 1997 John Beckwith composition called Blurred Lines has gone unexpectedly viral thanks to a current Billboard-topping pop tune by Robin Thicke that has the same name.

Staff at the Canadian record label Centrediscs, which specializes in contemporary music, noticed that thousands of international music fans have been flocking to their site recently to hear the composition for harpsichord and violin.

Those music fans were likely looking to stream Thicke's R&B chart-topping hit of the same name, and were surely surprised to be treated to some contemporary Canadian music.

Beckwith’s Blurred Lines explores non-traditional textures and techniques on both harpsichord and violin. The intentionally detuned violin intervals send shivers down one's spine, in a very different way from Thicke’s smooth vocals. Apart from the title, the 10-minute composition shares nothing in common with Thicke’s controversial pop hit.


Listen to John Beckwith’s Blurred Lines performed by Lawrence Beckwith (violin) and Vivienne Spiteri (harpsichord).

A recording of Beckwith’s Blurred Lines is also available on CD from Centrediscs. You can hear more from Beckwith on his CBC Music artist page.

This isn’t the first time Beckwith has shared a commonality with pop culture. Owen Wilson’s character in the 2005 movie Wedding Crashers goes by the name John Beckwith.

We’re sure the similarity was unintentional, but Canadian contemporary music won some unexpected exposure here. And that’s not such a bad thing.

posted by Michael Morreale on Aug 20, 2013