Birdman was the first film drummer Antonio Sanchez scored. A great challenge presented to him by director Alejandro G. Inarritu.
“In the beginning I had no idea how to approach it,” Sanchez said. “But when Inarritu told me that what he wanted was me improvising, being really free, expressive and emotional like the way I try to be when I’m playing drums, then I understood. It was very easy once we figured out the approach.”
Sanchez will perform a live set to Birdman as its projected on a screen at Wilkins Theater on Kean University’s campus in Union.
“The first time I did it was almost three years ago in L.A. before Birdman got the Oscar for best film. One of the aspects I enjoy the most about doing this show is that I improvise all of the time. I try to keep the dramatic effect that we achieved in the original score intact, but once I take care of that, every performance is different.”
The Antonio Sanchez Birdman score received multiple awards and nods. Regrettably for the drummer the Academy rescinded its nomination because of the film’s use of several non-original classical numbers.
“I don’t know how many other times I will be nominated for an Oscar. That was probably a one-time thing for me. I think it’s sad that they have these really archaic rules about scoring. They gave two different versions of why it was going to be disqualified. The first one was that it was more incidental music than original music. Then they did a recount and realized they were wrong. Then they came up with a second reason which was that the original score was too diluted by the classical music. I was being nixed from the list.”
Sanchez says most people will remember the score for his drums, not the incidental music, and invites movie and music fans to decide for themselves.
“Anybody that comes to the performance will fully enjoy it. To begin with, the movie is an outstanding movie. I’ve seen it I don’t know how many times but every time I see it I discover something different. And then the live performance with the drums alongside the movie is something very unique.”
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