Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Sully and Lightning McQueen will share the screen through music on Saturday, April 23, when the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra performs “PIXAR in Concert” in the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts.
“There are adults who are as excited about this concert as there are kids,” Associate Conductor David Torns says. “And it’s exciting for our musicians. They’ve seen the films, and now they get to play this great music.”
The symphony will perform concerts at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as scenes from 15 Pixar films, along with an encore, are projected on a screen.
And as simple as that concept sounds, things can get a little tricky along the way. The timing must be perfect for the live music to synchronize with the screen action.
“That doesn’t give us any room for interpretation when it comes to tempo,” Torns says. “These scenes have been put together in such a way that it will be like you’re watching the entire movie in six minutes. There aren’t any words, but you’ll know what’s happening, because the music tells the story.”
And since it serves as the script, the music will have to express surprise and other emotions.
“There’s even times when we have to be right on target when a character raises his eyebrows,” Torns says. “In a studio, all of the musicians would have headphones on as they listen to what we call a click track. It’s like a metronome, which clicks out the beat of the music.”
The symphony will have only two full rehearsals before the performances, and only Torns will have access to the click track during those times.
“I’ve provided the musicians with the click track for their individual rehearsals at home,” Torns says. “They’re always well-prepared, and they know what to expect. But when we come together, they’re going to have to follow my precise conducting. The film and click track don’t leave any room for error.”
Included will be scenes and music from the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “A Bug’s Life,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Up.”
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