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Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton - Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Memorable night of music and Burton's conceptual art
It's often the music that can make or break a film, proving the difference between the norm and the iconic.

While director Tim Burton's visual creations and storytelling are acclaimed worldwide, it is also the soundtrack to the likes of Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas and his many other films that make an impact on the viewer.

And the man behind the music is composer Danny Elfman.

In the final leg of a brief UK tour, I experienced the live concert of Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton at Birmingham NIA and was treated to both a musical and visual delectation.

Danny Elfman, Music from Films of Tim Burton, Birmingham,NIA,BBC Concert Orchestra,Batman,Edward Scissorhands

Played by the BBC Concert Orchestra and sung by a 45 piece choir, the performance combined Elfman's musical creations with a selection of film clips as well as Burton's conceptual art of the characters and scenes from his films in the early stage of the process.

This art was one of the surprise elements of the show, and the most fascinating as it gave another insight into the mind of the unique director.

Elfman and Burton have collaborated on 15 films and music from all of those movies was given a spotlight during the two and a half hour performance.

Danny Elfman, Music from Films of Tim Burton, Birmingham,NIA,BBC Concert Orchestra,Batman,Edward Scissorhands
Danny Elfman who also displayed his singing abilities at the concert.

Personable conductor, John Mauceri, hit the nail on the head when he told the audience that some of the time, there would be film scenes and art, but at other points there would be nothing on the screen "so you can focus on the music". And that's exactly what this concert allowed you to do; realise just how impressive the music is in its own right.

There were gasps of excitement when the sections on Batman and Edward Scissorhands arrived, but that could not compare to the whoops of delight when Elfman himself arrived on stage. He even sang along to his compositions for The Nightmare Before Christmas, which displayed yet another of his many talents.

The only slight drawback was that the NIA stage was not one set up for an orchestra, such as seen at the Royal Albert Hall. With the musicians all on one level, many were hidden from view, which was a shame.

Overall though, this unique concert was a memorable, entertaining night even for those that are not the most ardent Tim Burton fans. Hopefully it will be resurrected for a further more extensive tour in the future.
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Why? A unique night of concert music
When: October 10, 2013
Where: Birmingham NIA
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