While walking through the student centre, on Thursday afternoon, in search of some sugary refreshment, Otwo did not expect to hear throbbing and violent orchestral music coming from the Astra Hall. Curious to see what was going on; Otwo snuck past the security guards and entered a room filled with powerful music. After a few minutes spent in rapturous silence, Otwo swiftly realised that it was the music from the Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (a fact partly given away by the man smashing a piano with metal chains) being performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by the legendary Ludwig Wicki.
Ludwig Wicki is currently touring the world with the LOTR score, putting on performances of it with the biggest orchestras in each country he visits and this Friday and Saturday the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are performing two sold out concerts of the score in the Grand Canal Theatre. According to Brona Cahill, co-leader of the orchestra, rehearsals are going “brilliantly, the conductor is amazing and he knows the score really well”.
There are some unique difficulties that arise when attempting to play a film score live along with the film because there is no give in the timing of the piece. It is a pretty unforgiving and a daunting task for any group of musicians to undertake. Thankfully technology can make this task a little easier by giving the conductor real time feedback on where in the film they are and what music should correspond to it. In this performance the conductor is the mediator and he has a laptop that shows the film and also flashes up the tempo changes on the screen and he then communicates this information to the orchestra to keep them in time.
If, like Otwo, you didn’t manage to get tickets for this concert, fear not because there are a couple of other brilliant concerts coming up that involve cinema music. The first one is the Movie Classics at Christmas with Liz Nolan on the 1st December in the National Concert Hall that will include music from Home Alone, Ghostbusters and It’s a Wonderful Life, with tickets starting at €10. The second concert is a live screening of the film The Wizard of Oz with the orchestra playing the score live alongside it and it takes place on the 23rd December in the National Concert Hall, with tickets starting from €23.