Live, Music, Reviews

MSO celebrates Star Trek under the stars

| |

Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a sound and vision spectacular under the stars at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday night.

The MSO was, as expected, as perfect as you could hope in their rendering of the soundtrack. Conducted by Sarah Hicks, the enormous orchestra (with many more than 40 members on stage), played rousing renditions of key themes from the franchise, synchronised with projected visuals, lights and sound effects. The fusion of sound and vision was so seamless, often times I forgot that the music was being played live right in front of me.

The show assembled footage from all of the live action iterations of Star Trek, but leaned most consistently on footage from the Original Series and the Original Movies featuring William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Spock. It was hard to discern if there was a narrative being attempted with the visuals, rather than one long greatest hits clip of key scenes, themes, heroes, baddies and battles working to reminding you how influential Star Trek has been throughout its 50-year run.

Despite the increasingly chilly night air, the Myer Music Bowl was a great location for this performance. I particularly appreciated that the audio was amplified enough to ensure the music enveloped you. Whereas Hamer Hall might allow for a more controlled and cleaner listening experience, hearing the romanticism and bombast of Star Trek’s themes booming through the night air kept my attention and had me revelling in how moving the music to this iconic series often is.

I really loved this performance and can see why there has been a shift towards more populist content, such as orchestrating film soundtracks live. Hearing these grand soundscapes rendered live with compelling visuals, sound effects and dialogue is a heck of a fun way to spend a Saturday night and is certainly something I will do again – perhaps as soon as next month when the MSO takes on Indiana Jones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *