The beloved animated film, "The Triplets of Belleville" is screened as composer Benoit Charest leads Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville in the live performance of his original score for the film, including his academy award nominated best song. In the spirit of the film, Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville transports audiences to the exciting streets of 1920s Paris and Le Jazz Hot.
Kidnapped by mysterious, square-shouldered henchmen, a Tour de France cyclist named Champion is spirited across the ocean to the teeming metropolis of Belleville. His near-sighted grandmother and faithful dog follow his trail and are taken in by a trio of eccentric jazz-era divas. The motley sleuths follow the clues to an under- ground speakeasy, where they entertain the crowd. The chase is on!
Q&A with Benoit Charest
What was the inspiration of bringing The Triplets of Belleville to life again through live performance?
Well ‘’Le Terrible Orchestre’’ (In French Terrible means terrible too, but it is a figure of speech meaning the contrary: fantastic, so to say.) was put together purposely for this ciné-concert.
What moved you to revisit The Triplets of Belleveille and make it a cine-concert?
To get out of my studio and away from being in front of a computer all day! And I thought since the film is musical, it would be a good idea to create the ciné-concert.
How do you accomplish the sound of a vacuum cleaner, bicycle, newspaper, record player and the various other sounds in the film?
Ah! That’s a professional secret… Sorry… Seriously: for the vacuum it took me a while but I discovered that I could control a pitch made by the flesh on my fingers when I put my hand over the nozzle… Roughly and octave and a half. For the bike and newspaper, I basically recorded samples and boosted the gain then played around with them.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Even with a pair of 2’s, stay in the game… Advice from a poker player.
Whom do you define as visionary?
Someone with good eyesight? I guess it’s someone stubborn enough to pursue their own ideas… then I guess it’s up to the people to acknowledge them as new and innovative.
What do you hope the audience takes away from your performances?
Pleasure out of seeing a beautiful animation and hearing real musicians!
What’s next; do you have your sights set on any new adventures?
We just finished a month tour of France. So for the moment, I’m writing and practicing. Film projects are on the way, but none that I could officially announce.
What songs, artists or styles of music are you currently listening to?
My musical tastes and cravings are quite eclectic. This past month I have listened to:
- Satie early works
- Kendrick Lamar
- John Adams –Nixon in China
- Ali Farka Touré
- Franco Califano
- Copeland- Appalachian Spring
- Al Green
- Sonny Rollins
- Cuban Rumba