Review: Cinematic at the Concert Hall, QPAC

By Regan Baker


Music is the invisible mood setter that underlines almost every epic scene of your favourite films. Whether it be a tear-jerking rom com, an emotional triumph, a heavy battle, or a wild adventure across vast landscapes, music helps to create the atmosphere of the scenes that send tingles down your spine. Whether you realise it or not, a film is nowhere near as powerful without its score, and if you don’t believe me, just look up ‘Jurassic Park – No Music’ on YouTube and you’ll immediately notice that one of the most renowned films of all times packs a very different tone. “Movie music brings the auditory and visual experience together in perfect harmony,” writes Section Principal Bassoonist, Nicole Tait, and that couldn’t be more true.


Presented by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Cinematic is a celebration of such blockbuster movie music and brings some of the greatest film scores of all time to the stage. From The Lord of the Rings, to How to Train Your Dragon, to Star Wars, Cinematic had a little bit of everything to satisfy a wide range of musical genres and tastes. Conducted and hosted by the incredibly talented Nicholas Buc, we were today taken on a journey through time to experience and understand the passion and vision that goes into creating a musical score. Buc is a multi-talented and world-renowned conductor and composer and is no new face to bringing musical scoring to the stage, having previously conducted in-concert performances such as the original Star Wars Trilogy, the first six of the Harry Potter franchise, Jurassic Park and so many, many more. What I loved most about Buc in todays Matinee performance was his passion in discussing each score by providing background on the composers as well as the emotions and tone the music sets in the scenes.


Upon entering the Concert Hall it was our absolute delight to note that every member of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra was thematically dressed and you could not wipe the smiles off our faces as we tried to pick out every costume. Whether it was Gandalf playing First Violin, Kylo Ren on Viola, Mario on French Horn, Luigi on Trumpet or the Men in Black on Percussion, there really was something for everyone to enjoy. Though one really couldn’t go past the Double Bassist in a full Chewbacca suit, or the very subtle costume change during the Avengers theme when the Incredible Hulk got to SMASH on the Timpani. It was a very subtle change, and I do feel sorry for all those that may have missed it – but we didn’t; and we could not stop laughing. Playing an instrument is hard enough as is, let alone doing it in full costume, so credit must go to one and all for their amazing effort in pulling off this feat.


Most importantly however, one cannot forget about the music itself. Opening (of course) with the main theme from Star Wars, spines were tingling from the very first note. A powerful and beautiful performance there is something about hearing this music in concert that can’t help but to bring a smile to your face. As music often does, it stirred memories in the back of my mind as I recalled sitting on the couch with my mum, dad and brother as I watched Episode IV for the very first time, some twenty-years ago. And these tingling feelings didn’t go away either; they stuck with me for almost the entire two-and-a-half-hour-long performance. I’m no music aficionado, but I couldn’t spot a single note out of place, beat out of time or toot out of trot and to be honest, even if there were, I wouldn’t care! The harmony of music coming from each section of the orchestra blended beautifully and stirred emotions of amazement, wonder and recall.


Music really is so incredibly powerful, and whether it be an entire Orchestra playing in harmony, or a single instrument en-solo, it can create a wide range of emotions and moods. One such example is the trumpet solo at the start of the main theme from Apollo 13. While the entire 50+ piece orchestra sent tingles down my spine during The Lord of the Rings symphonic suite, that one lone trumpet had both Gemma and I completely covered in goosebumps. A surprise suite for the both of us, was Austin Wintory’s Journey, created for the 2012 video game of the same title. Neither of us are big into computer games, but this beautiful suite of music had us near-in-tears from its soft melody. The exquisite Cello solo, combined with soft strings and sorrowful Woodwinds created such a strong tone of isolation and vast, lonesome landscapes (which I’m told is what the game is about).


While I could write for days about the arrangement of music in Cinematic, I shall surmise by saying this was one of the most beautiful pieces of Orchestral work I have encountered. It was fun, it was emotional, it had us laughing, it had us almost crying, it was upbeat, it was sorrowful, it was an emotional rollercoaster, but one that I would ride again tomorrow. Music creates emotion like nothing else, and Nicholas Buc and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra captured the essence of this and presented it with finesse in their movie blockbuster spectacular, Cinematic.



Image Supplied


All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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