Friday, March 18, 2016

"Ben Hur" score

ORCHESTRA AND CINEMA: Police drummer Stewart Copeland revives 1925 'Ben-Hur' with a 'big ass orchestra' (John Horn and Robert Garrova, The Frame - 89.3 KPCC).
While Stewart Copeland may be best known as the guy playing percussion behind Sting in The Police, his music talents go far beyond the eighties supergroup. For his latest project he dug the 1925 silent film “Ben-Hur" out of cold storage at Warner Bros. so he could compose music to it. Copeland performs his score live with a huge orchestra while the movie screens behind the musicians.

The multi-instrumentalist recently performed the score live with the Pacific Symphony at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge in a KPCC In Person event that's part of the downSTAGE series.*

The Frame's John Horn spoke with Copeland at the event. The conversation began with Copeland explaining that the origin of this idea didn’t include the movie at all. He was hired to write the music for a "Ben-Hur" arena show with actors, horses, chariots...the works.

There is a brief video excerpt of the performance in the article (YouTube link here).

Background on the 2009 live O2 arena show (in Aramaic and Latin) is here, here, here, here, here, and here. I'm not sure I even knew that there was a 1925 silent Ben Hur movie.