Published on November 22nd, 2014 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Philharmonia Orchestra At The Movies: Sci-Fi
The Philharmonia Orchestra came to town on Friday for a night of Sci-Fi orchestral music at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. The programme spanned decades from Things To Come (1936) to the more recent Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). We were treated to pieces from classical composers like Bach right through to contemporary composers like Hans Zimmer and Patrick Doyle. Tagging along to host the evening was one of Britain’s most respected film critics: Barry Norman. The younger readers who frequent here might not remember Barry Norman but for years he was the helm of the BBC’s flagship film programme. Starting in 1972 with Film 72, he went on to record the show for 26 years before leaving in 1998. Jonathan Ross went on to helm the show whilst Barry Norman moved to Sky.
Barry was incredibly funny and insightful. Providing small bits of trivia and film plots between the pieces. He even managed to get in a joke which involves the awfully racist scene from You Only Live Twice ,in which Sean Connery attempts to impersonate someone of Chinese origin and UKIP’s leaders: Nigel Farage. Oh how times have changed, thankfully.
The orchestra was conducted by the world-famous James Shearman. He has conducted on over 60 feature films scores including Shakespeare in Love, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Marvel’s Thor. He conducted beautifully and I honestly cannot believe that the performance was live. It was simply that good. It was if someone had hit play on an incredibly rich digital recording. Seeing the strings section move their bows in perfect synchronicity, whilst the brass section blared on the big fanfare pieces was a sight to behold and a sound to be lost in. Most were very familiar to me but the pieces which weren’t have certainly given me a taste to search the films out and watch them.
I think we sometimes take soundtracks for granted and don’t realise how important they are. Kia and I discussed this in a bar afterwards and the piece which really stood out is the Throne Room score from Star Wars: A New Hope. Without that score, the scene is…well it is just plain awkward. Would Jaws be the terrifying film that it is, without that iconic piece? It goes to show that film-making is a holy collaborative experience and a solid soundtrack whether composed or compiled is vital.
There are a few more nights left of this event which you can find here, if there is a performance near you, I highly recommend you go along. It is a sight to behold when so many people working together to create something which sounds so beautiful. I have provided the full programme below for you include links to the music on You Tube. I have however excluded the two encore pieces as they are something a little special and why on earth would I want to spoil that for you and for them?
Do you have a favourite score or soundtrack? Maybe you have been to see a live performance of a video game score? Tell us in the comments below!