In addition to the mini film score reviews, you will find some of my technical reviews of products for film composers and sound designers. In the pipeline is a series on using Apple Logic for film music and sound design and interviews with some of today's top film composers. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Film Music Mini-Reviews

The Descendents
The Lovely Bones
The Host
New World
Teen Wolf

Music Product Reviews

ProjectSAM True Strike 1 & 2
Vienna Symphonic Library - Appassionata Strings
Quantum Leap Storm Drum 2
Flying Hand Percussion
Vienna Instruments - Special Edition
Eastwest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Choirs
HALion Symphonic Orchestra

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton - Concert Review

Oct. 30, 2013 
Last night at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles marked the first US concert by Danny Elfman in 18 years.  He is back and he is a force of nature.  His versatility as a composer is second only to his talent for melody and dramatic storytelling.  As a performer he commanded the stage and the full house was all over it, from the steam punk kids down to the toddlers (yes many little kids) and their grandmothers reminiscing about his days in Oingo Boingo.  Elfman proved that he is still a larger than life performer and a talented songwriter who is at the top of his game at 60!  He IS the Pumpkin King after all.

Check out his songs from "Nightmare" in the concert phone video (Not my video).  He could have yet another career on broadway.   Among the other performers, Sandy Cameron gave a dazzling extended performance on violin for the gypsy jazz piece from Edward Scissorhands.  Catherine O'Hara gave a heartfelt and moving performance of Sally's Song from Nightmare.  The audience clearly wanted to hear more from both of them.  What a treat.  I've been watching Catherine O'Hara since SCTV (early 80's) and never knew she could sing!  

The choir was well used throughout the night and the ladies came through with his trademark sound. A boy soprano carried some of the more poignant pieces through he looked a little frightened at times.  Who wouldn't be on that stage?  Maybe it was the eerie Theremin, featured on Mars Attacks and elsewhere.  

Conductor, John Mauceri earned his pay throughout the night.  In the clip below, you can see him joining Elfman in a rendition of the Oogie Boogie song. He conducts, turns the pages, grabs the mic and sings.  Elfman does hilarious dance at about 1:45 in the video below. Coming out of it, he seems to have slightly misjudged his next vocal entrance.  Notice how the conductor jumps in with a "one two three" count off around 2:00.  I didn't even notice it during the show.  No harm, no foul, what a great save.   

Tim Burton's concept drawings for each film were splayed across the three jumbo screens like the awkward birth of a weird and wonderful new universe.  The hand drawn concept art dissolved to clips from the film showing the evolution of Burton's vision through the contributions of the larger teams -- over and over for the 14 films featured in the concert.  Elfman and Burton have worked together for 25 years and I'm thinking, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship... 

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