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Kib

Goin' to the Symphony !

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The Grand Rapids Symphony is performing the musical soundtrack during a showing of the iconic "Wizard of Oz" this Friday evening.

It will be as close as I hope to come to sitting in at a film scoring stage (particularly after the recent closing of Paramount's Stage M and the soon-be-be closing of the Todd-AO facility at the CBS Radford lot) So much great music in this film, the staccato riffs during the Flyin' Monkeys sequence should be great!

I hope all the Mommy's and Daddy's give some serious consideration and judgement as to if their kids attending are of an age where they will not lose thier cool everytime Margaret Hamilton appears on screen (although I'm not too ashamed to admit she scared the crap outta me when I was a pup, but then again I didn't see the film where it set me back $60 a pop)

Sadly, I'm not counting on it...

It wil be my first time at DeVos Hall, so that's also something to look forward to.

As Frank Zappa said, as he started his appearance as a guest artist with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra...

"Hit it Zubin !"

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The Grand Rapids Symphony is performing the musical soundtrack during a showing of the iconic "Wizard of Oz" this Friday evening.

It will be as close as I hope to come to sitting in at a film scoring stage (particularly after the recent closing of Paramount's Stage M and the soon-be-be closing of the Todd-AO facility at the CBS Radford lot) So much great music in this film, the staccato riffs during the Flyin' Monkeys sequence should be great!

I hope all the Mommy's and Daddy's give some serious consideration and judgement as to if their kids attending are of an age where they will not lose thier cool everytime Margaret Hamilton appears on screen (although I'm not too ashamed to admit she scared the crap outta me when I was a pup, but then again I didn't see the film where it set me back $60 a pop)

Sadly, I'm not counting on it...

It wil be my first time at DeVos Hall, so that's also something to look forward to.

As Frank Zappa said, as he started his appearance as a guest artist with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra...

"Hit it Zubin !"

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FIELD REPORT: Grand Rapids Symphony and Downtown Walkabout

Put on the Joseph Abboud and went in search of a few glasses of wine before the show...

First stop: The BOB

As with all the locations in this report, I had never visited here before. Nice enough setup, hat's off to whomever had the idea of putting the complex together, great concept of repurposing a building like this, but I really didn't care for the "traffic stop" approach the doormen take going in (Sorry, slick, there's really no reason for you to know where I'm going to) Had a glass in the "Red Ball", service was fine. The bartender mentioned there are a couple more clubs opening soon in the building. Guess I'll wait until my Dept. of Homeland Security/Press/Hall pass arrives before I visit again.

Second Stop: JW Mariott

Very handsome place. The lounge area just outside the bar was filled with folks enjoying a drink in the sophisicated atmosphere. Downtown has entered the big leagues with the addition of this facility. Service at the bar was good, the only odd thing about it was the 20x10 ft. tower of "Sky" vodka bottles displayed on thier sides behind the bar. Were we unable to find a piece of suitable local art or is this just an upscale equivalent of hanging a "Budweiser" neon sign in the saloon?

Third Stop: Amway Grand

Old school opulence. Ended up at the sports bar since it wasn't entirely clear to me (as well as a couple of nearby girls celebrating a birthday) which of the many resturants you could just pop into for a drink. Least pleasent staff of night, but I suppose if you had pharmaceutical salesmen from Cleveland hitting on you all day long, it would affect your attitude after awhile.

The Show:

MAGIC

Nice enough venue. When the ticket-taker says the elevators to the mezzanine are on either side of the building, it doesn't mean everyone MUST use them. Also, note to the next building architect: consider putting the potty's near the front of the house. All in all however, a very serviceable facility.

The show itself was nothing short of lightening captured in a bottle. The projection setup was great, the film print had the orchestration removed, so not much was missing other than a few SFX. The first thing that struck me was how much work the band was putting in. You really don't realize how much background score there is until you see them covering transistions, establishing shots, action sequences and such. These folks were busting thier humps. The conductor had a couple of flat panel video screens in front of him, one was the film and the other a clock timing readout. Except for a few spots, the orchestra accomplished keep pace, not stepping on dialog, working the pace of what was appearing on screen all without the benifit of a 96-channel mixing board and retakes. Just a phenomenal effort. I spoke with one of the musicians as I was leaving and he mentioned they were also not using a 'click track' either, which made things even more difficult to pull off with any elegance. He said doing this show was as tough as anything the symphony has ever attempted, no question. All I know is it was a very, very special evening.

Nightcap: The Chop House

This appears to be one place I need to visit again. The staff was astoundingly pleasent, seemed to be aware of what was going on in the neighborhood (the bartender mentioned that the band had put in a lot of extra rehersals that week). By the looks of what folks were muching on at the bar, the food seems first rate. A great end to a great night.

END OF FIELD REPORT

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FIELD REPORT: Grand Rapids Symphony and Downtown Walkabout

Put on the Joseph Abboud and went in search of a few glasses of wine before the show...

END OF FIELD REPORT

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...

The Show: [GRSO provides the score to "The Wizard of Oz" film]

MAGIC

...

The show itself was nothing short of lightening captured in a bottle. The projection setup was great, the film print had the orchestration removed, so not much was missing other than a few SFX. The first thing that struck me was how much work the band was putting in. You really don't realize how much background score there is until you see them covering transistions, establishing shots, action sequences and such. These folks were busting thier humps. The conductor had a couple of flat panel video screens in front of him, one was the film and the other a clock timing readout. Except for a few spots, the orchestra accomplished keep pace, not stepping on dialog, working the pace of what was appearing on screen all without the benifit of a 96-channel mixing board and retakes. Just a phenomenal effort. I spoke with one of the musicians as I was leaving and he mentioned they were also not using a 'click track' either, which made things even more difficult to pull off with any elegance. He said doing this show was as tough as anything the symphony has ever attempted, no question. All I know is it was a very, very special evening. ...

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In the paper, Jeff K. mentioned that the witch's castle marching monkey chant ("Voh-eeee--oh, wee-ohhhhh, oh") was also missing from the sound track. I really hope that all the MST3K/Rocky Horror/Sound of Music participartory types helped out at that point.

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