Christchurch CSO – Performance & Get Together
Composer Hamish Oliver kindly put together a special behind the scenes look at the live performance of the score for Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra recently. With an opportunity to talk to conductor Ken Young and see the full performance on the night at a special discounted rate. Here is a summary of the evening from Hamish:
Music was generally not very challenging for the orchestra, the crucial thing was being compliant enough to be pulled around in tempo by Ken (Ken Young). The flexibility of the percussion section helped with this a lot (the entire orchestra did really well with this after a bit of practice).
Ken didn’t use a click, which was intriguing – he’d been practicing with just the visual cueing (punches and streamers), and with some going-over of a few bits, was able to pull this off. As far as I knew, he got all the hits that he needed to get. Very impressive.
A non-stop in performance – I realised that, although the top Hollywood and London film orchestras might be a few notches above us in many ways, they would just have to get the cues sounding amazing, they would never have to get them sounding amazing and play them non-stop ALL IN A ROW for 2 hours and 20 minutes, with 19 seconds between cues and so on… So it was challenging mentally to keep changing gears and being ready for the next section or cue (and changing patches for me).
Lots of low brass work (2 bass trombones) – one of the horn players said to me last week it has the hardest blow of his life (same thing – easy music, lots of low D, but just lots of it without much let-up)
Apart from dialog and FX tracks, there was actually an additional ‘synth FX’ track of some kind. I listened to it a bit and it just had occasional synth whooshes, sparkly transition effects and so on – not easily notate-able I guess, or perhaps the synth part I was playing was busy at those times.
Very brass and percussion driven score. A lot of D minor 🙂 And a lot of pan flute with lush delay and reverb on it 🙂 I got to play some beautiful shakuhachi patches (made me want to build one).
Show was sold out I believe – about 2.5 thousand (in the CBS arena), they really seemed to respond, big big applause and lots of amazing feedback.
We look forward to bringing you more opportunities like this in the future throughout the country.
Any members with suggested upcoming opportunities get in touch!