‘Birdman’ Composer Sanchez: One of the Hardest Things You Can Do

‘Birdman’ Composer Antonio Sanchez on the Difficulties of Playing the Drum-Score Live
by Chris Willman
2/12/2015 5:47pm PST

2014-12-29-snchez2-thumbJazz percussionist Antonio Sánchez has never had the chance to do a two-hour drum solo in concert before. But that’s effectively what he’ll be doing Thursday at L.A.’s Theatre at the Ace, where Birdman will have a special screening stripped of his one-man percussion score so that he can recreate it on stage for roughly 1,600 viewers….

“Unfortunately, they kind of sprung this on me just last week, right before I went to London for the BAFTAs,” [British Academy of Film and Television Arts] Sánchez [said]. “I’ve been practicing for the last two days, so hopefully it will be at least decent. It’s not easy….”

And if you’re thinking it might be tough to recreate something…composed spontaneously rather than with a great deal of premeditation, you’d be right. But [Sanchez] already did it once before, when [Director Alejandro González] Iñárritu had him re-record the score because they agreed the sound of the first drum set they used was too clean-sounding.

“To recreate something that was improved using your stream of consciousness is one of the hardest things you can do as a musician,” [Sanchez] said.

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