I've never considered myself much of a 'fan girl' for anything, but if I were, I think it would be for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Is there anything QSO can't conquer? From beat box battles, to classical score, I have not been disappointed in my experience with QSO – it never ceases to amaze me how they can adapt and grow to an ever-changing genre of entertainment. QSO's adaptation of the screening of 'Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark' was definitely one to add to the list of accomplishments achieved by this exceptionally talented crew of musicians. 'Saturday night at the movies' just got bumped up a notch with this edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
A large projection screen looms overhead as the orchestra takes a break from hiding in the pit and take centre stage, showcasing themselves in this unique movie-night experience. Performing John William's famous score we are transported in to the whimsical adventure that is Indiana Jones. The music, paired and played seamlessly with the movie, you constantly had to remind yourself that this was, in fact, a live performance! What a pleasant surprise to have to keep looking down from the screen and remember that the orchestra was actually playing note-for-note and word-for-word!
Key lighting shone on specific sections of the orchestra, showcasing the instruments integral to the current scene playing. Countless members were on stage, and it really made you take stock of just how much work must go in to make and perform a movie-based musical score; even more impressive to be doing it live in front of an audience. You could take for granted how integral music is in movies: what a wonderful layer unfolded, being able to actually see just how much work goes into motion picture entertainment. Exciting and unique, another dimension was revealed, by simply watching a movie. At first glance I thought the screen seemed smaller than I expected it would be, but I quickly realised that this is preferential as it showcased the 'best and most important part', the orchestra! Never missing a beat, this show was as captivating as it was entertaining – a perfect way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original screen release.
Utilising music to elicit emotion always entices me and I love how something so intrinsic to the background of the main attraction can have such an effect: a violin to create suspense; a trumpet to create amusement; a flute to show tenderness. Indy would never have looked like such a bad-ass galloping that horse through the desert to cut off the Nazi truck racing away with the 'booty' if not for the brass, woodwind and thumping of percussion that carried him with a tune, much like that horse carried him to victory. Truly a movie hero is created and carried largely by the impressive music he is backed to!
What a wonderful experience, following the success of previous performances from 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Star Trek'. Unfortunately I missed the first two, but I'm already looking forward to the next exciting installment they will surely bring to life. Want my personal suggestion, QSO? – 'Pirates of the Caribbean' would surely float my boat! To relive old favourites through live orchestration, meanwhile introducing a new generation of future theatre buffs to 'the real theatre'. To quote the young boy sitting in front of me, “that was great!” Out of the mouths of babes, sometimes we simply cannot deliver the verdict any better than a child in awe...
Queensland Symphony Orchestra
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Merivale St & Glenelg Street, South Brisbane
Date: 6 February 2016
Tickets: from $59*