Location: Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Le Bric à Brac musical – Introducing the classical world through current music and original soundtracks

This cultural outreach project, designed and led by Thomas Lestrelin on the occasion of 2018 Medinea Outreach Programme, aimed to introduce to a wide audience the classical world through current music (pop, rock, jazz, electro …) and the original soundtracks (OST) of video games or mainstream films (blockbuster). The musical bric-a-brac took place in Le Conservatoire à Rayonnement Communal of Vaison-la-Romaine on October 20, 2018.

These new musical forms are a great gateway to bring the audience to more classical works and build interventions of musical mediations. The world of current music has also contributed to dusting off the image of the classic with planetary hits, such as All by Myself performed by Celine Dion (who borrows her theme from the second movement of S. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto); Could it be magic popularized by Donna Summer (melody based on F. Chopin’s famous Prelude No. 20 in C minor); some compositions of the Beatles including the recall of Invention No. 8 in F major J-S. Bach (transposed in G and played by two piccolo trumpets), or the jazzy title In the Mood, Glenn Miller, which is in their title All You Need Is Love

Through passionate composers who are not content with paraphrasing classical composers, we can see that great orchestral music lives today a renewal through the 7th art. The scope of movie music in the musical landscape is well established, and the popularity of composers such as John Williams, Joe Hisashi, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, Koji Kondo, Eric Serra and Michael Giacchino has renewed the audience’s symphonic concert halls.

It is amusing to see that the renewed interest in classical music is achieved through the most popular films and universes such as the heroic fantasy (The Lord Of the Ring), the fantastic (Harry Potter), space opera (Star Wars) or adventure film (Indiana Jones). To illustrate this, we can mention the Desert’s song in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope composed by J. Williams, directly inspired by the Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, (specifically the opening of Part II, The Sacrifice), or the arrival of Bowser’s ships in Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Galaxy, which echoes G. Holst’s work Mars. This renewed interest of the listeners is also due to the collaboration of the symphonic music with the new tools (Computer Assisted Music – CAM, synthesizers …)

This outreach project thus had for mission to bring to the discovery of the classical music universe through Current Musics. The project sought to understand, through these new aesthetics, the creative process in a simple and funny way, by exposing some technical concepts and principles of composition. It thus invited participants to assimilate “keys” of listening, through conference/concert and workshops, in order to unlock the secrets of musical development and to understand how composers, musicians, orchestras each express to their measure an emotion, a color, a universe…

Le Conservatoire à Rayonnement Communal of Vaison-la-Romaine

Photo credit: Laurent Marti