Guys behind Harry Potter Film Concert Series talk details


Warner Bros. and CineConcerts will be touring the country and performing the scores to Harry Potter movies as the films play on giant screens.

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First off: what is the Harry Potter Film Concert Series? It’s an idea cooked by CineConcerts and approved by Warner Bros. The company will travel around the country and recruit the services of professional-grade orchestras that will play the scores to Harry Potter films while the movies themselves are projected on screens behind the musicians. The first concert will take place in the Mann Center in Philadelphia in June, where the Philadelphia Orchestra will play the score of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in sync with the movie.

It’s an ambitious project. CineConcerts already has plans to visit San Diego, Nashville, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, and Silicon Valley. SnitchSeeker recently caught up with two of the people behind the series: president and founder of CineConcerts Justin Freer and vice president and co-founder Brady Beauxbien. They drop a lot of knowledge, including their ideas about how long the series will last. Listen to Beauxbien:

I don’t think you can think about it as a traditional tour that begins and ends. It’s going to be this ever-expanding celebration. As more people see it in a concert hall or read about it occurring in a concert hall, then want it to come to their city and reach out to us to see if we can bring it in. It’s going to be much more organic and more of a global celebration rather than a tour that begins in January and ends in March.

So what I’m getting from this is that Freer and Beauxbien would prefer the Concert Series continue on forever, in every country around the globe. Like I said, it’s an ambitious project.

Beauxbien also established exactly how much of the movies will be shown: all of them. “It is exactly the movie from frame-to-frame, complete with the music totally in sync with the film,” he said. I’d figure the orchestra might threaten to drown out the dialogue in key parts? But the thrill of hearing it live would probably make up for it.

The music in the Harry Potter movies is very extensive, and casual listeners may not realize that four different composers had a hand in it over the course of the series. Freer gave a little overview of the various scores when asked which of the eight soundtracks was the most challenging to do.

Each soundtrack…has amazingly unique attributes and do something totally different and powerful for each film. In the John Williams’ ones, it’ll be fun to start them out because it was the beginning of the franchise. As you move through the amazing power of Patrick Doyle’s music to The Goblet of Fire and, of course, Nick Hooper’s music in the following two films, and Alexandre Desplat at the very end, Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2 – they’re all unique in their own way. I love the chorale elements in Patrick Doyle’s for The Goblet of Fire. I love the elegance of Desplat’s music for Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2. It’s so very elegant and beautiful. And, of course, the iconic tune that John Williams came up with on that beautiful celeste instrument.

His passion is catching. If this series happens to come to a concert hall near you, it could well be worth checking out.

Head over to SnitchSeeker for the full interview.

Next: Emma Watson on taking a break from acting

Also, Beauxbien gave some information on how many shows the orchestras will do per city, for those eager to work the Concert Series into their schedules. “Usually when we do these, it’s one to three nights per city,” he said. “With Harry Potter it’s going to be wonderfully different. These cities may choose to do eight nights with a different movie each night. They may choose to just do Sorcerer’s Stone for three nights and then bring back the next movie each month after that.”

So…stay tuned, basically.