For Kris Bowers, “not much can beat the feeling of being in the room when a group of musicians pours their heart into a piece of music — especially when it’s your own.”
It’s an emotion the Emmy-winning composer and jazz pianist hopes to capture with “Reel Change: The New Era of Film Music,” a concert series built alongside fellow composers Nicholas Britell and Hildur Guðnadóttir in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Taking place Nov. 19-21 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the three individually curated programs shine a spotlight on the next generation of composers across film, television and video games.
“When you are performing for an audience, you and the audience are breathing the same air. You are experiencing exactly the same frequencies and listening to exactly the same things at the same time. So the dynamics of the shared experience of the listening creates a very special atmosphere,” says Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning Icelandic composer and cellist Guðnadóttir, whose program kicks off the series.
In addition to selections of her own music from career-defining projects such as “Joker” “Chernobyl” and “Battlefield 2042,” Guðnadóttir’s curation also includes the work of Ryuichi Sakamoto (“ The Revenant ” main theme) and Mica Levi’s “Love” from the “Under the Skin” soundtrack. “I tried to choose music that has made a big impact on me personally, as well as music that I feel has also influenced other people of my generation,” she says.
On Nov. 21, Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Britell commands the stage with an evening showcasing selections from some of his collaborations with director Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk,” “The Underground Railroad”) alongside pieces from innovative composers such as Jonny Greenwood and Kathryn Bostic.
For his program on Nov. 20, Bowers opted for medleys of his work on “King Richard,” “Bridgerton” and “Green Book,” as well as a composition of pieces from Bowers’ musical influences, from Björk to Arcade Fire to Shigeru Umebayashi.
Seeking to tap into the emotions and themes of his projects, Bowers also worked together with his wife, Briana Henry, on a series of original film shorts, paired with new poetry by Yrsa Daley-Ward inspired by the shorts’ music and themes. “
The last live performance that I attended was at the Disney Hall, so it feels nice to be coming back to live music in this way,” says Bowers.