LLAP Spock

I have no doubt that this will not be the only blog to comment on Leonard Nimoy’s passing. A sad day…

I’ve always loved Star Trek, and remember well watching it as kid in the 1970’s, not realising that even then it was over 10 years old! I used to watch with my dad and sister, and during the summer holidays, with my cousins when we stayed with them in Bournemouth, all singing along to the theme tune like loons. Funny times…

afd-196312

Spock was probably my favourite character in the Star Trek universe, his inherant ‘differentness’ compared to the rest of the crew, yet somehow the most human. I loved to watch Kirk and the others get in and out of scrapes too of course, and like you perhaps, I made bets with myself over which unknown crewman in a red jersey was going to die next. But ultimately it was Spock that I liked to watch, and it’s no surprise to me, that Spock was the character that Nimoy was ultimately unable to shake off! It’s a good thing he ended up embracing him.

070309-nimoy

Mission Impossible

I always found Leonard Nimoy great to watch; he had gravitas and brought that to whatever he was in. Around the same time as I was watching Star Trek in the 70’s, the BBC also showed Mission Impossible. My memories of this are more hazy as it wasn’t shown as often as Star Trek, but I remember watching it and realising for the first time that actors played different roles! An epiphany (of a kind) for a 10 year old!.

More recently (apart from his appearances in the new Star Trek franchise), I enjoyed seeing Nimoy appear in Fringe, a show I watched in it’s entirety last year (thanks to Netflix!) and which I loved. It was a pleasure to see him portraying the enigmatic William Bell, a man who’s motives were not always clear.

Another interesting character. Rather like the Leonard Nimoy himself…

Live Long And Prosper.

© Richard Debonnaire (Text)

(Pictures from various sources)

Star Trek Live, Royal Albert Hall

 IMG_2651

Now there’s a thought. How would one go about producing Star Trek in a concert setting? In this case Star Trek – Into Darkness live, performed at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday. Thats easy…you play the film and get a live orchestra to play the music.

I wasn’t sure how this would work, and I was amazed at the result! The hall was packed for the performance, which was the final show of a 3 day residence. It was an interesting mix of people too; some were dressed as people often are for concerts at the RAH, smartly, there were people like myself, a bit more ‘smart/casual’, a lot of jeans and T’s and then there were the Trekkie’s in Star Fleet uniforms, some with pointy ears, carrying ‘Tri-corders’. Not that surprising perhaps, and fun to observe.

An enormous screen had been set up in front of the pipes of the famous organ which forms the usual backdrop to the stage, with the orchestra set up beneath it. The orchestra, the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and chorus, from Lucerne, Switzerland is one I’d not come a cross before and they were top notch. They seem to specialise in doing this kind of thing, having previously perfomed The Lord of the Rings with Howard Shore.

The music for this film, is composed by Hollywood film composer Michael Giacchino, and he was there on the night to set the scene, getting proceedings off to a good start by taking a selfie video with his iPhone and getting the capacity crowd to join in (for the benefit of his kids back in LA).

Orchestra getting ready to start...

The 21st Century Orchestra getting ready to start…

For the performance itself, the music was very much centre stage. It was good to have Giacchino involved on the night, which it gave his music a focus (and got the Trekkies quite excited), but then he handed over to Ludwig Wicki to get the show on the road.

The music starts gently, and quickly built as the the film joined in and rather than play the dialogue at a volume that would impinge too much on the music, subtitles were added so that punters could follow in the louder bits. As the evening progressed, I found myself torn between concentrating on the orchestra, who were superb and watching what is a very entertaining film. I found a happy medium though and loved the effect. As a film and home cinema buff, I would like to have had a bit more of the films actual sound effects and subwoofer slam, as their absence left a few holes in the soundstage at times, but you can’t have everything.

Action films of this type always provide a workout for the brass section of orchestras. Special mention has to go to the low brass section of the orchestra, consisting of 2 tenor and 2 bass trombones, and 2 tubas. Team, that was awesome! (Trombones: Pirmin Rohrer, Andreas Mattle, Daniel Ringgenberg and Anita Rohrer. Tubas: Markus Hauenstein, Remo Capra)

Even if you’re not into Star Trek, if you like great music played live, this would have hit the spot. Even my mate Howard, who suffered a Sci-Fi bypass at an early age would have enjoyed it!

So, Transports of Delight? Absolutely..! Music, movies and the USS Enterprise 1701! What’s not to like?

Er, Live Long and Prosper 😊

© Richard Debonnaire