Montreal’s OVMF (Orchestre à Vents de Musiques de Films) presents a concert celebrating music by renowned Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, from some of the most beloved films of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. Born in 1950, Hisaishi began his musical career with the ensemble MKWAJU, legendary in avant-garde circles, before connecting by chance with Miyazaki for his second feature film (and the debut of Ghibli), NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND. The friendship they forged has lasted decades and led to so many memorable film scores — with Miyazaki as well as Takeshi “Beat” Kitano.
Directed and arranged by Jocelyn Leblanc, the orchestra of 30 musicians and 5 percussionists will be accompanied by a choir of 38 for select works. The OVMF has been performing film-music concerts for the past 18 years, with memorable events featuring music from STAR WARS, HARRY POTTER, STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO, James Bond, Marvel, and more. For this special Fantasia presentation, the orchestra will play scores from Ghibli classics PRINCESS MONONOKE, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, CASTLE IN THE SKY, KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, SPIRITED AWAY and of course NAUSICAÄ. This marvelous music will be further enhanced by projections evoking the spirit of Miyazaki, care of Fantasia regular Francis Théberge’s TiND (thisisnotdesign) project, with live visuals created and performed by daphnee4000. This concert, celebrating the sounds the most revered works in animation history, is sure to be a highlight of this year’s festival. – Rupert Bottenberg