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Topic: San Jose Ballet Dances to Phil Young's Music

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  1. #1

    San Jose Ballet Dances to Phil Young's Music

    Late notice, but anyone in the SF bay area who'd like to see a great ballet that features GPO for its string section - "Middle Kingdom" with music by Phil Young is playing tonight(Friday Feb. 11) and through the weekend.

    I saw the performance last night - a really interesting mix of traditional western style ballet company and Chinese performance troupe. Highly imaginative and entertaining, great dancing with very colorful sets and the music is terrific.

    GPO was used for the string section and various soloists were recorded over this, including erhu(Chinese violin.)


    Happy Chinese New Year

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    I just came back from the Ballet San Jose Middle Kingdom show, which was very nice. The music was as good as anything I have heard anywhere (including here at the NS BBS and that includes the GPO contest (I was a judge)). The composer used GPO for part of his Virtual orchestra, mainly strings (but other instruments as well), and he had good GPO virtual orchestra technique. It sounded very good. I spent some time with the composer talking shop, and even met the Execuitive Director of the show. I hope Gary can post some of the music.

    I was talking to some people next to me during the breaks, and I told them what I did and so on, and they wanted to know where they were hiding the orchestra. Which goes to show you how far sampling technology and virtual technique has come: good enough to be part of the music for a live ballet. As we all in virtula orchestration already know, the public cannot tell the difference from virtual and real. As P.T. Barnum said, "You can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool some of the people all the time". No, that is not right...how did that old saw go??
    Doyle W. Donehoo, Composer
    Radar Music
    www.doylewdonehoo.com

  3. #3

    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdonehoo
    I just came back from the Ballet San Jose Middle Kingdom show, which was very nice. The music was as good as anything I have heard anywhere (including here at the NS BBS and that includes the GPO contest (I was a judge)). The composer used GPO for part of his Virtual orchestra, mainly strings (but other instruments as well), and he had good GPO virtual orchestra technique. It sounded very good. I spent some time with the composer talking shop, and even met the Execuitive Director of the show. I hope Gary can post some of the music.

    I was talking to some people next to me during the breaks, and I told them what I did and so on, and they wanted to know where they were hiding the orchestra. Which goes to show you how far sampling technology and virtual technique has come: good enough to be part of the music for a live ballet. As we all in virtula orchestration already know, the public cannot tell the difference from virtual and real. As P.T. Barnum said, "You can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool some of the people all the time". No, that is not right...how did that old saw go??
    dwdonehoo -

    Wasn't that a great ballet? I thought it was a great mix of traditions and of course composer Phil Young's music speaks for itself. Apparently during recording one of the trumpet players thought the "string section" came in a bit late.

    It's too bad GGarritan was unable to come. He deserves some of the applause. It's also too bad the run couldn't be extended but maybe at least the music will be available.

    Happy Chinese New Year

  4. #4
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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Thanks for the report Doyle and Paul, and hope you had a Happy Chinese New Years! I am so happy both of you made it to the world premiere of the San Jose Ballet production of "MIDDLE KINGDOM — ANCIENT CHINA" What a fabulous production blending western orchestration with traditional Chinese instruments.

    For those who don't know about the production, "MIDDLE KINGDOM — ANCIENT CHINA" is a 4-act dance production by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and the Chinese Performing Artists of America which intermingles Western ballet and traditional Chinese dance and music. There are more than 40 performing artists in this production. There were six performances, February 10 - 13, 2005, at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts andperhaps there may be more performances in the future. Phil Young composed the music for the production.

    "Stunning" ... "No pit musicians were harmed, as there were none. Phil Young's pleasing score was recorded" - San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 13, 2005 (Even the San Francisco Chronicle nor the audience seemed to know that much of the score was sampled rather than recorded musicians).

    "There are many reasons to admire ... including its beautiful costumes and sets, its cross-cultural significance and its sheer ambition." - San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 12, 2005


    About Phil Young
    Phil Young is a remarkable and gifted composer who's symphonic music has been performed in USA, Germany and China. Mr. Young studied composition with Luo Zhongrong, one of the leading composers in China, and became a staff composer for the Beijing Symphony. Among the variety of music he wrote, his ballet music Fire Dance, composed for Jia Zuoguang, a renowned choreographer, won in China’s national competition. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1981, he studied with Elinor Armer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received high academic award. His symphonic piece Fantasy for Orchestra won the Conservatory Competition in 1986 and was chosen for the Spring Concert at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, which was broadcasted live by the KQED radio station. The piece was later included in the Thuringer Symphony’s 2001 concert season in Germany and well received by both the audience and the orchestra.

    Mr. Young is currently the music director of the Chinese Performing Artists of America, his composition for Dragon 2000™ has won overwhelming receptions. His latest composition From the East which is included in this concert, has received enthusiastic review from the San Francisco Classical Voice. Phil resides in San Jose and has been writing music for the local performing groups in varies forms including orchestral, chamber, electronic, chorus and film. His music has been performed internationally by Beijing Symphony in China, Tuhringer Symphony in Germany, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Ballet San Jose Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra and South Bay Chamber Orchestra.


    For a Flash Slide Show of the Costumes go Here.

    Gary Garritan

  5. #5
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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Here is another review of Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" Review By Keith Kreitman, writing for "Inside Bay Area ". Kudos to Phil Young!

    I DREAD reviewing a production where I don't have enough superlative adjectives to adequately describe the experience. The premiere of "Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" during the weekend at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts did that to me. Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and Chinese Performing Artists of America gave me the most exhilarating dance theater experience in memory. It's an epic of visual splendor. I feel safe in predicting that it's a sure masterpiece and that when it tours, it will win the admiration of the ballet world. Every element of the production contributed to its success. Choreography by Dennis Nahat and Yong Yao blends classical dance of Western and Chinese roots, with the famed Chinese acrobatics thrown in. The creators must have come near exhausting the vocabularies of both the Western and Asian dance traditions — the show became a test of their dancers' resources. And what dancing! They met the challenge. The combined company of 27 from Ballet San Jose and 10 dancers and six martial arts artists from the San Jose-based Chinese Performing Artists of America were flawless, especially in the acrobatics. As a chorus, in pas de deux and in solos, they held the audience spellbound. There also was some great humor. Individually, the funniest dancers represented animals from the Chinese Lunar Year calendar. The monkey by Fei Chen is a marvel of acrobatic movement. Yingchao Zhang from China repeatedly wowed the audience, especially playing the ox in the Chinese zodiac sequence. The stage boasted vibrant color combinations by Ching Shyu (set), as well as costumes brought over from China. Dazzling would be an understatement. Lighting by Kenneth L. Keith turned the show into a brilliant visual feast.

    CPAA resident composer Phil Young provided music that not only laid the platform upon which the dancers could emote, but could easily stand alone as an outstanding modern work.

    "Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" is a classic example of how all elements in a production contribute to its success. While the themes almost didn't matter — the beauty of the performances held the audience spellbound — the three-act show covers stories from 5,000 years of Chinese history. Among the tales are a story of the creation, the Chinese invention of printing, gunpowder and the compass as well as battles and all sorts of dances. Ann Woo, executive director of CPAA, went to the right guy with her idea. Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's Nahat has a global view of dance, accepting and promoting all genres. (He made a sensational ballet set to the music of Elvis Presley and gave us the great "Out of Africa" several years ago.) The only sad thing about "Middle Kingdom" is that it had only a four-day run.

  6. #6

    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Thank you for the compliments. I owe a great part of my success in producing this ballet music to Garritan Personal Orchestra, which came to me as a timingly "lifesaver". GPO's strings did a magical touch and brought life to my soundtrack. I also owe my gratitude to my friend Paul Gurnee who introduced Gary to me, when I was desperate for good sound library.

    My salute to you all!

    Phil

  7. #7
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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by pesante
    Thank you for the compliments. I owe a great part of my success in producing this ballet music to Garritan Personal Orchestra, which came to me as a timingly "lifesaver". GPO's strings did a magical touch and brought life to my soundtrack. I also owe my gratitude to my friend Paul Gurnee who introduced Gary to me, when I was desperate for good sound library.

    My salute to you all!

    Phil
    Phil,

    Welcome to the forum and it is good to have you with use.

    I have heard so many things about the performance of "Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" - and especially how excellent the music was. It was such an honor for you to use GPO in your music for the ballet.

    I am looking forward to hearing about more of your successes.

    And thank you Paul for introducing us!

    Gary Garritan

  8. #8
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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Phil Young wrote that the San Jose Ballet did an encore performance of "Middle Kingdom - Ancient China" last week. Phil's music got a good mention in the San Jose Mercury News:
    "Kingdom" is a lavishly produced extravaganza celebrating China's contributions to world culture.... programmatic music that straddles East and West (by Phil Young), this program is not to be missed. Young's lushly romantic score, in particular, is highly effective in giving the work a kind of filmic grandeur that the choreography sometimes lacks."
    Congratulations Phil - what a great endorsement for you and your music!

    And thank you for mentioning Personal Orchestra in the program credits

    May you continue to do great things. And thanks for sharing the good news.

    Gary Garritan



  9. #9

    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Phil Young wrote that the San Jose Ballet did an encore performance of "Middle Kingdom - Ancient China" last week. Phil's music got a good mention in the San Jose Mercury News:
    "Kingdom" is a lavishly produced extravaganza celebrating China's contributions to world culture.... programmatic music that straddles East and West (by Phil Young), this program is not to be missed. Young's lushly romantic score, in particular, is highly effective in giving the work a kind of filmic grandeur that the choreography sometimes lacks."
    Congratulations Phil - what a great endorsement for you and your music!

    And thank you for mentioning Personal Orchestra in the program credits

    May you continue to do great things. And thanks for sharing the good news.

    Gary Garritan

    Thank you Gary for your compliment, and above all, thank you for your
    wonderful creation - Garritan Personal Orchestra sound library! It is Godsend.


    Phil

  10. #10

    Re: San Jose Ballet Dances to Phil Young's Music

    Many congratulations, Phil!

    My best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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