Films in Concert

Two spellbinding feature film performances, now recreated as live orchestral events, presented on stage by filmmaker Niobe Thompson and conducted by composer Darren Fung.

Available for Booking

 

 

The Great Human Odyssey
   

 

“A powerful score… executed perfectly and with great conviction.”
– SYNCHROTONES

This spectacular, award-winning 3-part series was described by Canada’s Globe & Mail as “part eye-popping nature documentary, part anthropology… stunning!” After debuting on CBC and PBS, Canada’s leading television critic John Doyle called the series as “The scientific equivalent of a creation story for humankind… brilliant!”

We have now completely reimagined the series as a multimedia feature film event, tailor-made for live performance, launching with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The filmmaker and composer tour with a dedicated Technical Director, bringing a complete technical solution to any performance space.

A short doc on the music of Great Human Odyssey

 

Equus – Story of the Horse

Coming in 2019, a breathtaking new live performance, exploring our amazing partnership with the horse, a bond that transformed our world. Thompson and Fung will reimagine the three-part CBC television series as a live multimedia event for orchestra and choir.

In Concert

“A beautiful and enriching experience” Rob McLear, Artistic Administrator, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

The Films as Performance


To prepare The Great Human Odyssey and Equus – Story of the Horse for live performance, the filmmaker and composer returned to the drawing board. Working with a dedicated Technical Director (touring with the show), they re-edited, re-composed and rehearsed a performance tailor-made to work for orchestras and their audiences.

Knowing the importance of synchronizing picture and music, our team brings a time-coded playback and click-track system to each venue, complete with headphones for every player, monitors displaying picture and visual click track, and all the computer hardware to drive the system in a robust fashion. All members of the orchestra wear headphones playing a dynamic click track (with multiple meter and tempo changes) synchronized to the picture. All musicians, including chorus, will be able to see the measure count displayed in one of several monitors dispersed throughout the orchestra.

This system was rigorously tested in workshop (two-piano) settings, before successful performances of The Great Human Odyssey with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra.

“I was amazed at the level of detail that the production team thought of. With a piece of music that spans over 2000 measures, everything from the click track to measure counters to the parts had musicians interests at heart.”

– Neda Yamach, violin, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Narrator and Host Niobe Thompson delivers lines straight to the audience from front of stage, facilitating a dynamic and lively performance. Teleprompters well below his eye-line ensure his narration synchronizes perfectly with music and picture, without distracting from his direct engagement with the audience. Synchronization of narration and picture is ensured by an automated dialogue replacement (ADR) system commonly found in film post-production houses.

“Our house staff worked with the team’s Technical Director, resulting in outstanding execution. The team anticipated all of the major issues a house faces with the performance of live scores to picture.

As a result we had three highly successful performances to sold-out houses.”
– Jerrold Eilander, Orchestra Operations Manager, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

We have produced feature 80-minute (with intermission) and 60-minute versions of each performance, with special modifications for adult and matinée audiences. The flexibility to program across such a wide breadth of audiences makes Odyssey and Equus in Concert a terrific financial proposition for programmers. Host Niobe Thompson and composer Darren Fung are seasoned promoters, and enthusiastically participate in media events leading up to their performances.

The rental of headphones and the multiple laptop computer system, as well as the engagement of the show’s technical director (not including travel), are included in the license and performance fee.

But don’t take our word for it…

  • “A fabulous show of creativity, ingenuity, and a beautiful integration of film and music!”

    — Rhonda Breitkreuz
  • “Outstanding event … words cannot describe how beautiful and amazing. Never have I SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS. I left . . . in awe!”

    — Leslie Keith
  • “Thompson is more than a scientist and filmmaker; he’s a showman. His reading was absolutely brilliant. But the real revelation was the live orchestration. I’d heard the score and seen the film already, but it’s always stunning to be reminded of the power of a live orchestra and choir in an acoustically superb hall. The panorama of human evolution is a wonder in itself, and Thompson’s videography measures up to the emotions of such an enormous set of ideas. With the choir and orchestra, the experience was wonderfully moving.”

    — John Macnab, The Anatomy of Teaching
  • “An hour into the show…and it has felt like 5 minutes. Incredible music . . .I was riveted the whole time.”

    — Dayle Pett
  • “Mind blown! The Great Human Odyssey is absolutely breathtaking, SO interesting and full of adventure. And paired with . . . orchestra? Just too amazing for words”

    — Jenny Johnston
  • “So awesome! The storytelling of the capacity of Homo sapiens to survive was incredibly compelling and the music score? Mind blowing.”

    — Melba Szeto
  • “The sights and sounds were incredible and will stay with me forever. The music moved me to tears at times! Forever Grateful.”

    — Chooch Benton-Maenhout
  • “Epic in every way.”

    — Beth Wishart MacKenzie

Book a Performance


The Great Human Odyssey and Equus – Story of the Horse are available for booking for future program seasons in North America.  By special arrangement, the program can travel outside North America.

Shows are available in versions of 80 minutes (55 & 23 min) and 60 minutes (no intermission);
60-minute parts are written with an inserted transition, to allow for one set of rehearsal for the two versions; 60-minute version also available as a family friendly version.
Our exclusive representative is The Arts Firm

Download Technical Rider

Program Notes on Human in Concert by D.T. Baker