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RTÉ CO perform Hitchcock scores with movie clips

1 of 1 Dial M for Murder at the NCH, Dublin on Friday August 15
Dial M for Murder at the NCH, Dublin on Friday August 15

A screening of Hitchcock film extracts with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra performing the scores live can be seen at the NCH, Dublin on Friday August 15, 8.00pm.

In Dial M for Murder, Conductor Neil Thomson uses a monitor to show him the clips which will be projected onto a big screen at this exciting performance.

The great Alfred Hitchcock was born this week (on August 13 1899) and he died on April 29, 1980. He paid particular attention to the scores of his numerous film classics and employed great composers of the day like Bernard Hermann and Dimitri Tiomkin to create that unmistakable atmosphere of suspense and mystery.

"These films take a lot of preparation," explains conductor Neil Thomson. "I don't use a click-track to synchronise with screen. I just have a clock with seconds and half-seconds on it which makes it riskier at certain moments but also allows you to shape the music more 'musically' in others because you are not constantly restrained by the 'click'.

"The first part of the preparation is going through the practice DVD that comes with the conductor's score. It has a clock in the corner of the screen and you have to go through and write in the timings of exactly when certain moments occur.

"When Anthony Perkins rips open the shower curtain in Psycho or when Dorothy's house lands at the end of the cyclone in The Wizard of Oz. If you get either of those wrong the audience will certainly notice.”

The rest of the preparation, Thomson explains, involves dogged repetition: "Watching the film over and over again until your sense of tempo has become a physical memory."

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