The Musical Brilliance of L’Orchestre du Septième Art

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The Concert Populaires de Montréal presented on July 18 a beautiful show that brought together the 4th and 7th art: music and film. The Orchestre du Septième Art (OSA), directed by Lise Bellehumeur, performed beautiful musical frames from famous contemporary film composers and planned two screens with carefully selected scenes from each movie, which ultimately made the experience complete and transported us right into the movie.

What you missed

Dedicated to brilliant movie soundtracks, the OSA gave an impressive performance of several works. Before each soundtrack, Lise Bellehumeur carefully explained why they chose the particular soundtrack, and disclosed the basics of each movie, to understand the music behind it. Furthermore, for each soundtrack, Lise Bellehumeur brought together the essential of the movies by choosing the principal theme to introduce us to its universe, the obstacles or critical points faced by the hero of the story, and of course, the final ending.

They started off with Randy Edelman, an American composer mostly dedicated to musical comedies, and his beautiful composition for the movie Dragon Heart, a classic heroic and adventurous movie. Then, the OSA performed an incredible composition by Mark Isham for the movie Life as a House, an American drama. In this selection, the presence of the piano produced a sense of lightness and elegance in a heartbreaking story.

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Following this graceful melancholy, the OSA brought us back to the action and adventurous world with Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack of The Ghost and the Darkness. The movie takes place in Africa, and the music reflected perfectly the African surroundings. Indeed, the principal theme was played by the flutes, and sounded very close to ones used by the Maasai tribes in Kenya. For the next soundtrack, the OSA had a surprise guest. The soprano Catherine Elvira Chartier sang the beautiful contemporary, yet folkloric, melody of the Japanese/Polish speaking science fiction movie Avalon, composed by Kenji Kawai.

As we stayed in the science fiction sphere, the OSA entertained us with the soundtrack from the revolutionary movie Avatar, composed by the eminent James Horner, composer of Titanic, Braveheart, and many more.

Then, the OSA carried us back to the dramatic scene with Fernando Velasquez’s masterpiece The Impossible. The movie takes us back to the 2006 catastrophe of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The OSA performance was sincerely moving and emotional, especially with the cello work, which was played by Carole Rossano.

After this poignant piece, we moved towards another heroic theme: The Chronicles of Narnia, composed by Harry Gregson-William. The battle themed soundtracks the OSA disclosed were very strong and proud in this complex composition where almost each instrument has its own part to bring out a glorious setting.

Finally, the OSA gave us a little peak of their next musical project: Game Of Thrones. Eighty hours of music brilliantly condensed to bring out the most relevant melodies and passages of this masterpiece, composed by Ramin Djawadi.

The concert was incredible and the musical selection was stunning. In addition, the OSA’s passionate work led us to understand where the movie took place and what emotions it displayed, even without the images.

Visit the OSA’s Facebook page at
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