Easter 2018 – A Space Edition

KMA Easter 2018

50 years ago, a computer went rogue aboard a space station whilst apes were fighting next to a tall black monolith…
A decade later, a rookie pilot and a scoundrel were searching the galaxy in search of a young princess, flanked by two droids and a wookie!

This Easter, fasten your hyperspace seat belts as we will revisit the music of two iconic sci-fi movies: Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The latter famously used two pieces by Strauss and Strauss (not related to one another!) and became the first video clip for both tunes!

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Composed in 1896 by Richard Strauss after a novel by Nietzsche, the most famous movement of this tone-poem is its overture called “Sunrise”. Only a minute in length, the tune is instantly recognizable. Below is the Electro-Jazz-Funk version by Brazilian keyboardist Eumir Deodato – once you’ve heard it for the first time, you’ll always hear it again as a prolongation of the overture.

 

The Blue Danube

Stanley Kubrik’s carefully crafted images of planets and space stations provided a glorious vehicle for the Waltz suite composed by Johan Strauss in 1867. We will attempt at playing all 5 if them if time permits.

 

Mars, from “The Planets”

Featured in neither movies, the first movement of Gustav Holst’s suite was composed in 1914 but since the whole opus was premiered 100 years ago, it certainly deserves a spot in our space edition.
Here it is furiously conducted by Suzanna Malkki at the Proms.

 

Star Wars theme and other pieces from the saga

In 1977, a young and talented director named George Lucas asked a young and talented composer to provide music for his galactic Western B-movie. John Williams came up with the goods and became a musical legend overnight, scoring music for all 8 episodes of the saga but also ET, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jurassic and many more. Not only a successful blockbuster musician, John Williams also composed concertos and many classical pieces. Here’s the Maestro in action delivering his signature tune:

We’ll play the main theme as well as the “Imperial March” (Lord Vader’s favourite anthem), the “Princess Leia theme” and “May the force be with you” to celebrate the late Carrie Fisher and the feet-tapping all-swinging “Cantina Band”!

Moondance

Despite not being considered a Jazz Standard and not even the work of a Jazz musician, Van Morrisson’s “Moondance” has long belonged to Jazz Musicians’s playlist such the chord progression and groove provide a fine vehicle for improvisation. Our young cats will have the opportunity to come up with riffs of their own and deliver some cool melodic lines. Funnily enough, I have just recognised the drummer in this clip, a good chap I’ve had the pleasure to be on stage with various time in the past! Jazz is a small world sometimes! Check the sax solo near the end…

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