Jordan Peele’s horror classic set to classical music
In the spirit of Halloween, the Minnesota Orchestra will continue its popular “Movies and Music” series, with a live rendition of the original soundtrack of Jordan Peele’s genre-bending 2017 blockbuster film, “Get Out.” The one-time, live-in-concert performance of “Get Out” will take place on Friday, October 27, at 7 p.m. The film-music concert version of “Get Out” first premiered in 2018, with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Minnesota Orchestra performance will show the film on a screen just above the concert stage. Principal Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the orchestra in a re-imagined version of the film’s award-winning soundtrack by Michael Abel, along with the acclaimed “First Family of Twin Cities Music,” The Steeles.
The film “Get Out” follows a young black photographer named Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), as they visit Rose’s family in upstate New York. What begins as a series of uncomfortable but relatively benign interactions, slowly morphs into something far more ominous. At its core, the movie deals with the idea of humanity—ultimately begging the question of when does fascination become consumption?
Among its many awards and nominations, “Get Out” notably won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, with Peele becoming the first Black screenwriter to win the award. Jordan Peele’s career first began as a comedian, best known as one half of the comedic duo Key and Peele. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s decision to classify the film as a comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes was met with backlash across the internet—including a tweet from Jordan Peele himself saying “Get Out is a documentary”.
According to an interview conducted with Indiewire prior to a launch event, Peele notes, “The problem is, it’s not a movie that can really be put into a genre box. Originally, I set out to make a horror movie. I ended up showing it to people and hearing, you know, it doesn’t even feel like horror. It’s in this thriller world. So, it was a social thriller.” Since then, Peele has gone on to create more genre-defining hits including “Us,” “Candyman,” and “Nope.”
American Composer Michael Abels’ soundtrack for “Get Out” stands out as a remarkable debut project for the California-based artist, winning the 2017 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Original Score. Abels was specifically chosen by Peele for his unique ability to bend genres of music together to create new sounds and experiences using strings, harps, drums, and the human voice to bring new textures to the film’s score. The main title track, “Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga,” includes voices meant to represent the ancestors calling out in Swahili, trying to save the characters from their potential fate. In an interview with Crack Magazine, Abels notes the importance of having the voices speak in Swahili, “We hear an African language in their tone. Yet we don’t hear the exact words they’re saying, because the dead speak to us through imagery and emotion.”
Sarah Hicks serves as the Principal Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra’s “Live at Orchestra Hall.” Since 2006, Hicks has led a broad range of programs and has earned wide acclaim as a guest conductor across the U.S. and abroad. Her notable projects have included co-creating the “Inside the Classics” series, and the “Sam & Sarah” series with orchestra violist Sam Bergman. Hicks has since gone on to lead original productions with collaborators such as PaviElle French, Kevin Kling, Peter Rothstein, Robert Elhai and The Moving Company. A specialist in film-music and the film-in-concert genre, Hicks premiered “Pixar in Concert” and Disney’s “Pixar’s Coco in Concert.” Her live concert recording of “A Celebration of the Music from Coco” at the Hollywood Bowl can be seen on Disney+ and her work on “The Little Mermaid Live!” was broadcast on ABC. In an interview with Hicks, she said the process of creating a film-in-concert is no small task. The soundtracks have to be translated into sheet music for the entire run of the film. And because the soundtrack is stripped from the film’s audio, this involves technical challenges that must be overcome to make the film-in-concert a success.
Siblings J.D, Fred, Jearlyn, Jevetta and Billy make up The Steeles. From recording with Prince, Donald Fagen, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Sounds of Blackness and many others, The Steeles have been an integral part of the “Minnesota Sound” and have traveled the world in the acclaimed musical “The Gospel at Colonus,” performing a Broadway run as well as national and international tours. They’ve provided vocals for various soundtracks including “Graffiti Bridge,” “Blankman,” “Hoop Dreams,” “Corrina,” and “Meantime” on UPtv. Referred to as the “First Family of Twin Cities Music,” The Steeles have performed at the 150th anniversary of the Mayo Clinic, a tribute to Prince at the Viking’s inaugural game at the U.S Bank Stadium, and a program with the Minnesota Orchestra and Charles Lazarus titled “Our Love Is Here to Stay.”
“Get Out” live in concert will take place Friday, October 27, at 7 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Ticket prices range from $33 to $73. The concert run-time is two hours, including a 20-minute intermission. This film is rated R. Children under the age of 17 will not be admitted to this concert, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662. The Music & Movies series is sponsored by U.S. Bank.
Farah Habad welcomes reader comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.