New hope

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - News - Tanya MacNaughton

WASO vi­o­list El­liot O'Brien will be part of the or­ches­tra per­form­ing Star Wars: A New Hope In Con­cert at River­side Theatre.

WASO vi­o­list El­liot O’Brien has an easy way to ex­plain the dif­fer­ent roles the vi­o­lin and the big­ger, deeper-sound­ing vi­ola have in an or­ches­tra; af­ter all, he has played both.

“If you think of it as a rock band, the first vi­o­lins are like the soloist or lead singer and the vi­ola is one of the backup singers,” O’Brien, of Heathridge, said.

“We help make the lead singer sound re­ally good. We play a lot of the ac­com­pa­ni­ment.”

The 27-year-old told his mum when he was three years old grow­ing up in Dublin that he wanted to play the vi­o­lin.

“I don’t come from a mu­si­cal fam­ily – no one plays any­thing re­ally – so they started me on a Fisher-Price vi­o­lin and hoped it would keep me go­ing but I wanted the real thing,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien and his fam­ily moved to Perth when he was 17 years old and it was dur­ing his time at WAAPA he was rec­om­mended to switch to vi­ola be­cause of the bet­ter em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and less com­pe­ti­tion in the niche field.

He joined WASO last year, af­ter two years at the Na­tional Academy of Mu­sic in Mel­bourne, and will per­form in Stars Wars: A New Hope In Con­cert at River­side Theatre on Fri­day, Septem­ber 28 and Satur­day, Septem­ber 29. “When the first Star

Wars film came out, which is the one we’re play­ing, orig­i­nally Ge­orge Lu­cas was go­ing to use just clas­si­cal mu­sic that was al­ready writ­ten, like when 2001: A Space Odyssey used a Strauss piece,” he said.

“That was his orig­i­nal plan un­til Steven Spiel­berg told him the guy who wrote the mu­sic for Jaws, John Wil­liams, was amaz­ing and he should check him out.

“A lot of the mu­sic in films at that time was fu­tur­is­tic be­cause they were us­ing elec­tronic key­boards and syn­the­sis­ers mak­ing wacky sounds.

“But they went the other way and bor­rowed from Wagner a bit, us­ing leit­mo­tifs in his opera.

“Like the omi­nous Darth Vader’s The Im­pe­rial March and then ev­ery time you hear the heroic theme you know Luke is about to ap­pear on screen or the good guys are back.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486433

WASO vi­ola player El­liot O’Brien is tak­ing part in the con­cert, where the or­ches­tra will ac­com­pany the iconic film with the live score.

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