UPDATE (February 5, 2018): A second live performance of “Phantom Thread” has been added at BAM in Brooklyn on February 25 at 3:30pm ET. Tickets go on sale at 10am ET on February 6. Visit the BAM website for more details and to purchase tickets.
Here’s another reason to be glad that composer Jonny Greenwood received his first Oscar nomination: He and director Paul Thomas Anderson are reteaming with Wordless Music and the London Contemporary Orchestra for two special live orchestra screenings of “Phantom Thread” in the two weeks leading up to the Academy Awards. The two live-score screenings will take place at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn February 24, and at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles March 2.
Brooklyn-based Wordless Music specializes in live-score screenings of what the group deems to be the canon of modern cinema; previous performances include “The Tree of Life,” “Moonlight,” and “Under the Skin” as well as “There Will Be Blood,” for which Greenwood also performed with the group.
“Paul’s team got us into an early screening of ‘Phantom Thread’ and as soon as I saw it and heard that score, I knew we had to do this film,” said Wordless Music founder Ronen Givony. Givony told IndieWire that due to how quickly this particular event has come together over the last three weeks, it required collaborating directly with the London Contemporary Orchestra.
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“It’s rare for us to work with another group, but this is a real privilege to work with LCO – who recorded the original ‘Phantom Thread’ score and are performing a couple shows of this in Europe,” said Givony. “It was also necessary because ordinarily we have much more lead time to prepare and with this film in particular there is a lot more music, along with a handful of pretty demanding classical cues that make it a different beast than something like ‘Moonlight.’”
LCO’s conductor and founder, Robert Ames, will bring three key members of his team — concertmaster/solo violin, pianist and sound engineer — to Brooklyn and then Los Angeles to rehearse and perform with the Wordless musicians in what will be a 40-piece orchestra.
Focus Features and Anderson’s post-production team are working with Wordless to supply a special DCP of “Phantom Thread” with the score removed from the soundtrack. Givony told IndieWire that Greenwood, who reportedly is recording a new Radiohead album, has not been actively involved. However, he has been supplying sheet music, and Anderson will likely be in attendance at the Los Angeles screening. (At previous Wordless screenings of his films, he could be seen at the sound board carefully monitoring the live mix.)
The 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM is not a new venue for Wordless, which staged “Punch-Drunk Love” and their largest project, a 110-piece orchestra and choir for “The Tree of Life” in 2016. “The live music component provides a unique theatrical experience that strongly appeals to BAM audiences,” said Joseph Melillo, BAM’s Executive Producer. “We’re happy to welcome Ronen and Wordless Music back to BAM’s Opera House.”
Wordless also performed “Punch-Drunk Love” at the Ace Hotel, where Joanna Newsom jumped on stage for the closing credits to sing “He Needs Me.” The restored hotel theater seats 1,600.
BAM Tickets: BAM Members can purchase tickets Thursday, January 25, at 10am, tickets for the General Public go on sale Monday, January 29, at 10am. For more info, click here.
Ace Hotel Tickets: Presale (password: ALMA) starts Thursday, January 25, at 12pm PST, before going on sale Friday January 26th at 12pm PST. For me info, click here.