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Serj Tankian's Elect the Dead Symphony Goes Big Screen

01/27/2010
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A reader forwarded this announcement: Reprise Records and Serj Tankian have teamed up with theatrical distributor Cinema Purgatorio to present a series of nationwide screenings of Tankian's Elect the Dead Symphony — a very special orchestral interpretation of Tankian's critically acclaimed solo debut Elect the Dead. The dynamic one-off performance was recorded and filmed in HD by six cameras at the majestic Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

The dramatic result has been captured in the Elect the Dead Symphony — a CD/DVD that will be released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on March 9th, 2010. Confirmed screening dates are below with more in the works. Many of the shows have been suggested by fans and are being organized in conjunction with the Armenian-American community, including the Armenian National Committee of America (anca.org)

With the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at his side, Tankian's epic songs and operatic vocals on Elect the Dead Symphony take on a whole new sense of grandeur when performed by a full 70-piece orchestra, while the DVD's sweeping edits showcase the drama of the concert. This unique meshing of two very different musical worlds was a vision Tankian has long wanted to make a reality. What sets Elect The Dead Symphony apart from other successful pairings between rock artists and orchestras is that Tankian specifically rearranged his songs to be performed with only orchestral instruments.

"I was elated to have the opportunity to arrange my songs from Elect the Dead for a full orchestra with the APO," Tankian says. "The arrangements are quite different than those on the record, including bonus tracks never played live." Both bonus tracks, "Gate 21" and "The Charade," have never been released and are included on the CD, CD/DVD, and vinyl formats of Elect the Dead Symphony. The DVD also features rare and intimate backstage footage, as well as one-on-one interviews with Tankian and various members of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

The album contains elements of rock morphed into classical, and skewed time signatures that Tankian has made his own, all of which were scored by Tankian himself and orchestrated for the full ensemble by respected New Zealand composer John Psathas. The album has been mixed by Dutch musician Junkie XL, known for his remixes for such artists as Britney Spears, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Michael Bublé, Madonna, Scissor Sisters, Sarah McLachlan, and many more.

Elect the Dead was released by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on October 12th, 2007 and received glowing reviews from various media, including the Los Angeles Times, which called it "brutally engaging guitar-rock" with "steely lyricism and throttling textures," while Rolling Stone noted that it "delivers amped, intricate, and political hard rock."

Confirmed screening dates for Elect the Dead Symphony are as follows:
2/19 Portland, OR The Hollywood
2/19 Indianapolis, IN Republic Theatres
2/19-20 Bloomington, IN The Ryder at the Fine Arts
2/19-21 New Concord, OH Muskingum University
2/20 Providence, RI The Cable Car (9 pm)
2/20 Seattle, WA Northwest Film Forum
2/21 San Antonio, TX Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes
2/21 New York, NY The Leonard Nimoy Theatre @ Symphony Space
2/22 Somerville, MA The Coolidge Corner
2/26-27 Salt Lake City, UT The Tower
2/27 New Haven, CT Criterion Cinemas (8 pm)
3/04 Syracuse, NY The Palace Theatre
3/06 Shreveport, LA Robinson Film Center
3/07 Chicago, IL CIMM Festival at Lincoln Hall
www.serjtankian.com

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