The Symphony Silicon Valley is doing something pretty incredible. They plan on performing the score for the Lord of The Rings trilogy as the movies are being screened. The film will be on an enormous 48-by-20 foot HD screen with the orchestra’s 90 musicians and 160 choristers performing the soundtrack.
“The logistics are huge. It’s the biggest project we’ve ever done,” said Andrew Bales, president of Symphony Silicon Valley. The trilogy will be presented at the Center for the Performing Arts with separate screenings for each film over a four-day period from April 16-19.
The hope is fans of the films, and Tolkien in general, will want to experience the films in this new innovative way.
“We think this is a good market for it to work,” Bales said, “The gaming community and the engineering community are here. It’s an affluent community, very tech oriented. It’s the right mix of people who will want to get in on this kind of phenomenon.”
“Our musicians will be right there on stage, illuminated,” Bales added, “You’re going to see the spectacle of this music being presented.”
This feature will cost around $700,000 but could gross up to $1.1 million in ticket sales if the shows sell out. The score also runs 1,200 pages and will require about 39 hours of rehearsal to perfect the 10-plus hours of music they will be performing. That’s about as much music as the orchestra usually will perform in an entire season!
Bunny Laden, an Apple Software engineering manage and board of trustees member joked, “We know how the movie’s going to end, but will our musicians make it to the end or will they drop dead. I’m just kidding—they’ll do fine. But there’s an element of real live people here. It’s like going to a football game: How’s it going to turn out?”
This isn’t completely new. Other orchestras have presented the films but only one or two of them at a time. The Swiss Orchestra performed in 2011 at New York Radio City Music Hall and Oakland’s Oracle Arena. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra did present all three films, but it took them four years to do so.
That means if Symphony Silicon Valley pulls this off they will have accomplished something pretty extraordinary.