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Michael Giacchino is one of the best composers in the modern age of the film business, partially because of his ability to understand the work of his predecessors and adapt them to a new, yet unique context. He's also a success because he's so damned busy, with two films this year and four for next year all containing a musical score penned by him. One of this year's selections is the upcoming blockbuster Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, set for release on July 11th. To the surprise of concert hall audiences in Lucern and London, the composer premiered a suite of themes from the film right before their very eyes. Don't believe us? As you can see above, we have the video to prove it.
Four days ago, the following message went out on Mr. Giacchino's official Twitter feed:
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes From our concert in Lucern: http://t.co/7U7PCXdTzo Enjoy!— Michael Giacchino (@m_giacchino) June 20, 2014
The video in the tweet is from one of the Lucern performance of Star Trek: Live In Concert, with the better quality video at the top coming from one of the Royal Albert Hall performances. While the London performance has better audio, the Lucern video has Michael Giacchino himself setting up the piece for the audience by saying, "I literally just wrote this, so I'll try not to mess it up for you." Giacchino teased that the piece was from a "small independent movie" he was working on back home, while at the same time praising the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra who had just wrapped playing a live score presentation of Star Trek Into Darkness before switching gears to play the suite of themes from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.
The music is classic Giacchino, as it reflects some of his lower key pieces he's written in his career. If you're a fan of the show Lost, you'll recognize his sentimental usage of the piano via soft themes of remembrance and emotions. Juxtaposed with the oppressive percussion, the film's themes of balancing war and peace is represented quite well in this short musical montage. By the time the piece ends, with an ominous chorus of bells and horns, we're reminded that we know how this conflict is going to end. The only question is, who's going to be sacrificed on the road to conquest?
This wouldn't be a Michael Giacchino piece without some sort of call back to the golden composers of the previous generation, and the composer that comes to mind with this suite from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is the composer that Giacchino's music draws the most comparison to: John Williams himself. Listening to this piece, it's hard not to recall images from the various trailers that have been released online – something that Williams is very proficient at invoking with his own scores. In fact, a fan with really good video editing skills could easily pull together a long form trailer set to this musical suite: much like George Lucas did with the singles from all three Star Wars prequels.
By the end of the piece, Maestro Giacchino came back to subtly sell Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes to the audience. His one request to the audience was as follows:
"Just promise me you'll go see the movie, alright? They spent a lot of money on this thing and we've gotta get that back."
Flipping back to his more sincere side, Michael Giacchino thanked the audience by telling them that he was, "the luckiest guy on Earth to be able to do this and share this with [them]." Audiences will be able to hear for themselves what music from the luckiest guy on Earth sounds like as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes releases its soundtrack to the world on July 8th – just three days before the film rolls out in theaters domestically. If this is what his riff on Planet of the Apes sounds like, imagine what his riff on Jurassic Park will sound like in his score to next year's Jurassic World.