Los Angeles Music Preview: DANNY ELFMAN’S MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF TIM BURTON (Nokia Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on October 29, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles


This may well be one of those concerts that you will kick yourself for not having known about ahead of time. John Mauceri, known locally as the founding director and principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra from 1991 to 2006, will lead the 87-piece Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and 45-member Page LA Choir Danny Elfmanin a unique concert of Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE Oct. 29-31, 2013. Elfman himself will be on hand to perform his songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), the stop motion musical in which he was the singing voice of Jack Skellington.

Originally announced for one night only on Oct. 31, that concert sold out 12 minutes after it went on sale. A second and then a third concert were added when ticket demands went through the roof. At this point there are a few tickets left for all three nights (and I mean literally a few), but the best availability is Wed. Oct 30.

The program includes newly created suites from all fifteen film collaborations of director Tim Burton and Elfman, the lead singer and songwriter for Oingo Boingo. This will be Elfman’s first live U.S. performance since his Farewell: Live from the Universal Amphitheatre concert with the rock band in 1995.

Mauceri, regarded as one of the world’s leading conductors of live film music, collaborated with Elfman and Burton to create a unique filmic experience accompanied by large screen film clips and the artwork of Burton (London’s Royal John MauceriAlbert Hall hosted the World Premiere earlier this month). This blending of music and visuals will celebrate the long standing partnership of two of Hollywood’s top players whose collaboration has spanned 27 years from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985) through Frankenweenie (2012).  There will be music from Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Alice In Wonderland and others on the program (among the most popular films of our times, the films featured in this concert have grossed over $3.5 billion dollars worldwide). This concert explores the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling and the process and importance that this has in filmmaking.

TIM BURTON and DANNY ELFMANFor those who don’t know, Elfman’s prolific output includes non-Burton films such as Milk, Good Will Hunting, Men in Black, and Silver Linings Playbook. For TV, he composed the iconic theme music for The Simpsons, which never grows old after 25 years. One of the most exciting elements of his works is the orchestrations, which lends particular urgency to witnessing his music live (he has worked with a number of orchestrators but always has his hand in the mix). Elfman combines timbres like an artist paints on canvas: he pools together different instruments for fascinating new sounds, but also ensures that individual instruments are colorful and succinct; I’m particularly fond of his use with brass, celeste, bells, chimes and women’s choirs. But it’s not the individual elements that inspire; it’s their combination with unique melodies that make them unusual and exotic.

edward_scissorhands_batman_returns_nightmare_before_christmasElfman clearly cut his teeth on the unique orchestrations in Oingo Boingo songs, which were miles from that which is considered pop or mainstream (there were no “hooks,” their length was not radio-friendly, and they had odd lyrics and vocals). The group consisted of formidable musicians who used a wide variety of unique percussive instruments, complex time signatures and instrumentation. Elfman may not be performing my favorite song from those days, but this Halloween-timed concert will no doubt prove to be a “Dead Man’s Party” nonetheless.

Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton
Columbia Artists Management Inc & Kraft- Engel Management
Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE
777 Chick Hearn Ct. in downtown
scheduled to end on October 31, 2013
for tickets, call (888) 929-7849 or visit http://www.axs.com/
dates for a national tour of this concert are to be announced

Comments on this entry are closed.