Cinema in the 4th dimension …

MATRIX LIVE. FILM IN CONCERT brings the winner of four Oscars to the concert hall. The live film concert combines visionary science fiction imagery with the sound of a large symphonic orchestra.

THE MATRIX is deemed to have played a groundbreaking role in the development of the science fiction genre, dealing with a subject of concern to millions of cinema goers at the turn of millennium: the border between reality and the virtual world. The film’s content, narrative and technical realization (e.g. the so-called ‘bullet time effect’) helped open up and propagate a new dimension of film appreciation.

THE STORY: Neo, a hacker, is contacted via the internet by a mysterious underground organisation. The leader of the group, the wanted terrorist Morpheus, lets him in on a terrible secret: reality as we know it is just an illusory world. In reality, people have long been controlled by a sinister virtual power – the Matrix, whose agents already have their sights on Neo.

THE MUSIC: In his composition for THE MATRIX, Don Davis reconciles new music stylistics with the requirements of an action film, using complex and unrelenting sounds to portray the nonreality of the Matrix. ‘An orchestral challenge that may be one or two decades ahead of its time.’ (Jerry McCulley) MATRIX LIVE. FILM IN CONCERT is an outstanding musical and visual experience as well as a major challenge in terms of technical and musical realisation.

The soundtrack, which has been adapted for the live production by the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE, contains the film’s dialogues and sound effects, its source music and those musical sound effects that are part of the orchestra’s score. The score itself is played live by the orchestra in time with the film. The resulting innovative balance between spoken word, sound effects and magnificent orchestral sound combines the three levels to create an emotive audio and visual experience, epitomising the clash between the natural and the virtual world.

About the music: „Using his excessive interest and pronounced training in field of avant-garde music, Davis wrote a film score that has been propagated as the first post-modern work of the New York school. THE MATRIX combines Davis’ mastery of musical detail and colouring with a largely atonal post-modern concert of a complex, dark and obdurate nature. Many film scores use an excess of tonal notation and heroic themes; Davis’ artful and sparing use places simple and
effective emphasis on these elements. THE MATRIX is an orchestral challenge which may be one or decades ahead of its time.“ (Jerry McCulley)

„Looking for a melodic feel-good factor in Don Davis‘ MATRIX score is a lost cause. Instead, one finds a genuine firework of avant-garde vocabulary, which perfectly supports the images and story line while jettisoning any musical entelechy - for the very reason that the visual composition determines the formal sequence. Not only does the selective musical structure thus released become an inescapable thriller element; it also follows a Hollywood antagonism that has been firmly established since THE EXORCIST or THE OMEN: the antagonism of the diabolically beautiful dissonance. Hence the rule: safe harmonies for perfect film worlds and experimental, disharmonic vocabulary. Following the tradition of Stravinsky, Stockhausen or Lutoslavsky, for the sinister domain as appearing very distinctly in THE MATRIX. If Davis had used ‚more conciliatory’ means (which are only hinted at in the very end), the audience would have been left with an emotional escape route à la STAR WARS. The fact that he decided against this approach and in favour of a most complex and elaborate composition is one of the reasons why long passages of this futuristic nightmare come across as utterly inescapable.“
(Matthias Keller)

INSTRUMENTATION: 3/pic/afl.2/ca.1/Ebcl+1/bcl+1/bcl/cbcl.1+1/cbsn – 6.1+2/pic.3+1/cimbasso.1/cimbasso – timp.9perc – pno.pno/sample keyboard – hp – strings – boy soprano

The production requires (detailed information upon request):
- digital film projection, screen (e.g. 15m x 7m)
- surround sounding / sound system for the hall
- FoH desk for audio feeds
- orchestra amplification, including audio monitoring
- video monitoring for the conductor, sound, light, stage management
- stage platforms for the orchestra, chairs, music stands, music stand lighting etc.
- orchestra lighting
- 1 project manager
- 2 sound designers
- 2 cinema technicians
- 1 assistant to the conductor


„MATRIX LIVE. Film in Concert“ is a co-production of the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE with composer Don Davis, Warner Bros.
Germany and Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

contact: Beate Warkentien

Phone +49 (0) 30 27890-194