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‘Live-to-Picture’ Concerts without the Film and its Audio Track – Would you Go?


Would you go to a 'Live-to-Projection' concert where there's no film and no dialogue/sound effects?  

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I am speaking of a LTP concert (also known as the 'film-with-live-orchestra' concerts) where every music-cue from that concert is performed on stage by an orchestra without the film and its audio track.  If any orchestra would be crazy enough to do it, would you buy a ticket for it?

 

We all have enjoyed listening to our favorite film scores over the years on record, CD, digital file, etc.  Eventhough we now have these LTP concerts with these film scores played live at a concert hall, the film’s sound is layered over it.  To add insult to injury, the orchestra’s playing is mic’d up and sent out to the speakers with the film’s audio, so, it takes away the joy of listening to the orchestral music with the hall’s acoustics.  For me, the excitement of hearing a specific film score at a concert hall, that I’ve heard many times on a CD, is to see how music like this can sound in the concert hall environment.

 

I know @Thor doesn’t care for the LTP concerts as they are now.

 

It seems that the only way one can hear, even a portion, of a film score from the LTP concert without the film’s audio would be at a rehearsal, as evidenced in these rehearsal videos.

 

Star Wars: A New Hope

https://www.facebook.com/QCSymphony/posts/10157051840560170

 

The Great Escape

https://www.facebook.com/bbcconcertorchestra/videos/2459519684290760

 

Star Trek Beyond

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIDVtsrgGuv/?hl=en

 

Unfortunately, I have yet to see any notices of open rehearsals for these concerts.

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Of course I would.  We all love listening to complete scores on CD, why wouldn't we love experiencing complete scores performed live?

The general public, however, wouldn't go to that, so they'd never turn a profit

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No, I wouldn't go to this. In fact, it would be even more pointless than the normal LtP things, if that's even possible.

 

I would potentially go to a concert where they played music from just one movie (like bands sometimes do, i.e. play full albums), but it would have be re-conceptualized for listening. However, I would always prefer 'normal' concerts with normal suites and themes.

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

The general public, however, wouldn't go to that, so they'd never turn a profit

Yeah, the general public that would leave during the end credits, which is where one of the best listening music-cues comes from in a film score, would not be the best audience for this.

 

However, if film-music nerds like us were notified that such an event were to take place, we’d fill-up a 2743-seat concert hall.

Spoiler

I’m using San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall as example for the number of seats.  They do more LTP concerts than any venue in the USA.

These venues/orchestras have to know where to announce them.  Certainly not in the usual Classical music places.

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3 hours ago, SyncMan said:

Would you go to a 'Live-to-Projection' concert where there's no film and no dialogue/sound effects?

 

So they wouldn't be "Live-to-Projection" concerts as all, just performances of the full score as written. Of course I'd go to that.

 

6 minutes ago, SyncMan said:

Yeah, the general public that would leave during the end credits,

 

No. They wouldn't go at all, or they'd leave much earlier once they realise their "mistake". *If* they stay despite not seeing a film and not hearing and dialogue/sfx, why would they live during the credits? Half of them wouldn't even notice when the credits begin.

 

1 hour ago, Thor said:

I would potentially go to a concert where they played music from just one movie (like bands sometimes do, i.e. play full albums), but it would have be re-conceptualized for listening. However, I would always prefer 'normal' concerts with normal suites and themes.

 

There are of course lots of arguments that can be made for (various levels of) re-conceptualisation for the album, and also lots that can be made against it. Suites are fine (just like suites from stage music, or sometimes from operas, are fine for concerts - unless they come at the expense of never performing actual full composition). But the reduction of complex narrative compositions to a roster of "themes" is possibly the biggest injustice that has been, and still is being, done to the art of film music.

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@Marian Schedenig:

I meant that the portion of the general public that has been going to these LTP concerts--with the sound and the projected image--who would leave during end credits would not be the audience for a concert where every music-cue from a film score would be played on stage without the film or its sound.

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True. And good riddance, if someday we should be so lucky to enjoy these concerts - with our without film & sound - without people who (badly) treat it like a cinema presentation and keep talking and making a racket during the whole concert.

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48 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 But the reduction of complex narrative compositions to a roster of "themes" is possibly the biggest injustice that has been, and still is being, done to the art of film music.

 

Love themes!

 

But yeah, I'd also love it if some of these concerts also programmed in less thematic tracks - perhaps action setpiece tracks or something similar. A few have made it in the past.

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I love themes as well. But so many of these concerts reduce entire scores to "themes" (and if the theme arrangements are too extensive, they shorten them - looking at you, Hollywood in Vienna, and your removing the B section from Horner's TWOK).

 

Williams fares better in this regard because his "theme" arrangements are already little suites that usually contain most of the primary material of the score, and present it in a rounded fashion. But that's not the norm. The Goldsmith LSO concerts of the early 2000s benefitted a lot from him performing lengthy suites comprised of all the major cues rather than just themes, at least of some of the scores he presented.

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Ok, could somebody throw a little descaler in my think tank, 'cause I'm a bit confused.

We go to a concert hall, sit down, and listen to the film version (not the C&C version, mind) of a score without the film? Have I got that right?

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What about having the film with the visuals and audio track, but no live orchestra? The film would be projected onto a large screen, with the accompanying audio track (featuring previously recorded dialogue, music and sound effects) played over speakers strategically placed throughout the facility. Prior to the commencement of the main program, they could show short glimpses of other upcoming programs which would highlight various segments from those programs, accompanied by loud, yet compelling electronic music.

 

I'm telling you, it would sell.

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3 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Ok, could somebody throw a little descaler in my think tank, 'cause I'm a bit confused.

We go to a concert hall, sit down, and listen to the film version (not the C&C version, mind) of a score without the film? Have I got that right?

 

Yes.  The OP is asking if people on this forum would enjoy going to a concert where a complete score is played from start to end.  But I agree the main post is confusingly worded and set up, by drawing parallels to current live to projection concerts, which this wouldn't be.

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You mean, the music is played live, by an orchestra? That could work. Only thing is you have to take into consideration the cost of tickets, transportation, overnight stay, food and drink, and then throw in $300 spending money - at least.

Why should I spend all that to hear, say, an inferior orchestra ('cause you don't know what you're going to get until you sit down), perform, say, SUPERMAN, when I can listen to the LSO perform it in my lounge, anytime I want?

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Are you serious with that question?  It's the same thing as going to a Rush concert vs listening to a Rush album at home

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And incidentally, the LSO was going to play the entire* score to Superman last October, until covid canceled it

 

*as edited for the final film

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17 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

You mean, the music is played live, by an orchestra? That could work. Only thing is you have to take into consideration the cost of tickets, transportation, overnight stay, food and drink, and then throw in $300 spending money - at least.

Why should I spend all that to hear, say, an inferior orchestra ('cause you don't know what you're going to get until you sit down), perform, say, SUPERMAN, when I can listen to the LSO perform it in my lounge, anytime I want?

Well, you could have done some research on the orchestra before you spent all that money a ticket, transportation, and lounging.

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I'd definitely go but I do think there are probably less than a dozen scores that could actually sell this way entirely on their own. And that's probably a really generous estimate.

 

Like the first Star Wars is the only Williams that I'm confident could do it. But I also think that even that will always still get a better draw if they just put it up with the movie. 

 

The best experiment might be to try providing it as an option along with the LTP concerts. Like have Friday and Saturday night be with the film and a Sunday matinee without, or something like that.

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4 minutes ago, SyncMan said:

Well, you could have done some research on the orchestra before you spent all that money a ticket, transportation, and lounging.

know, right? :) I saved myself a load of dosh!

Great avatar, btw, Mr. Sync. It's probably the best avatar on the site, but then again, I am ever so slightly biased.

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3 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

The best experiment might be to try providing it as an option along with the LTP concerts. Like have Friday and Saturday night be with the film and a Sunday matinee without, or something like that.

 

Woah!  That's a cool idea!

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I mean...it depends on the film.

I could imagine going to something like this for a film like Temple of Doom, or How To Train Your Dragon.

But even then, I would probably still prefer to see the actual film with subtitles.

My ideal LtP concert would probably be one where the orchestra plays while the film is silent, but you got given a radio which you could listen to if you wish and which included the dialogue/sound effects with the live orchestra mixed in.

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The difference is that with the film, you're tied to exact film tempi, little margin for errors (or preventing them) or interpretation, and mostly to edits made to the film after the score has been written. And of course to all the downtimes where there is no music in the film at all. Doing it without the film at all allows you the perform the full score (not just a considerable shortened suite) as pure music, with all the freedom of a live concert performance.

 

50 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

I'm telling you, it would sell.

 

Doesn't solve anything. People would arrive late and leave as soon as the credits start.

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I agree that musically, I'd love to hear some of the greatest scores without the film. Even if they were abridged to like 40-60 minutes with just major cues (or even just doing the soundtrack album programs honestly) it'd still be a real luxury to hear a more extensive concert than the usual 15 minute suites.

 

The headphones idea isn't a bad compromise, I wonder how the economics of that would work. They would probably try to incentivize people somehow to pay more for headphones. Gallery doesn't get them or something. Or I guess just raise prices across the board.

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I'd be most interested in a concert where they literally performed the entire score chronologically, as written, i.e. no film edits. No alternates, but otherwise C&C. Maybe use a concert suite or two as we return from intermission.

 

But a live-to-picture concert, hold the picture? I mean...I'd go, and I'd have a great time, but I'd lament the replicated edits, trackings, omissions, etc. It's like releasing an album; I want them to either expertly curate an abridged set of selections or just give me the whole thing as it was originally recorded.

 

Regardless, I'm not sure how much of a market there'd be for any sort of complete score concert, with or without film edits, with no movie accompanying it.

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