MY AFFAIR WITH JAMES BOND
18 December 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Warsaw
Karen Edwards | vocals, piano
Piotr Baron Sextet:
Piotr Baron | saxophone, leader
Maciej Adamczak | double bass
Robert Majewski | trumpet
Gabriel Niedziela | guitar
Michał Tokaj | piano
Łukasz Żyta | percussion
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Paweł Kos-Nowicki | conductor
Score from James Bond films arranged by Karen Edwards
Karen Edwards – photo Artist archive; Piotr Baron – photo Magdalena Adamczewska; Robert Majewski – photo Marcin Masalski; Gabriel Niedziela – photo Wojciech Dobrogojski; Michał Tokaj – photo Jacek Poremba; Łukasz Zyta – photo Maria Jarzyna; Paweł Kos-Nowicki – photo Atelier Klitka – Julita Delbar
James Bond is back – as always – in the awaited premiere of No Time to Die (directed by Cary Fukunaga), delayed as a result of the pandemic, one year before the 60th anniversary of the British agent’s presence in cinemas (70th anniversary of his presence in literature). Starting from 1962’s Doctor No starring Sean Connery, the history of James Bond has been characterised not only by breathtaking adventures, missions, stunning clashes, chases and romances in picturesque sceneries all over the world, but also by fascinating music score, always including the “James Bond Theme” with a repeated chromatic motif B – C – C sharp – C composed by Monty Norman to the first episode of James Bond’s adventures and recurring in subsequent episodes (accompanied by a characteristic guitar solo, originally played by Vic Flick who was paid merely 6 British pounds for this job). The theme was arranged by John Barry, who combined it with his own original score in eleven subsequent films about the adventures of agent 007. He is also the author of another famous recurring theme known as the “007 Theme”. What is interesting, in the cycle’s breakthrough film Casino Royale, which introduced numerous (also controversial) innovations as compared to previous films, the “James Bond Theme” is fully heard only in final scenes. Original scores accompanying scenes in a way that reflected the action in the film (starting with Live and Let Die) were composed by different composers, although John Barry returned in four more episodes of the series. The composers were: George Martin, Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Conti, Michael Kamen, Éric Serra, David Arnold (5 films, 1997-2008), Thomas Newman and Hans Zimmer in the latest episode.
The most characteristic element of Bond scores are, however, the famous title songs performed as a background to opening titles accompanied by dream-like animations. Thorough selection of authors and performers plus the context accompanying awaited premieres of the productions guaranteed that the songs (usually released as singles) would become “superhits”. Although some of them were criticised as less successful or not so adequate, most of them were critically-acclaimed, some even awarded with the most prestigious film award – an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The songs awarded with an Oscar were Adele’s Skyfall and Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall. The most recent song, No Time to Die performed by Billie Eilish, has also been acclaimed by critics. Other famous “Bond songs” include Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey), Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die, Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better, Sheena Easton’s For Your Eyes Only, Duran Duran’s A View to a Kill or, last but not least, Louis Armstrong’s We Have All The Time In The World.
During the December concert, our Orchestra together with the outstanding Piotr Baron Sextet and under the baton of Paweł Kos-Nowicki will present a fascinating suite of selected themes and songs from over a dozen Bond films arranged by Karen Edwards, American arranger, pianist and composer. Born in South Carolina, she received her initial music education from her father, who was a musical director at a Baptist church. Since early childhood, she has drawn inspirations from soul and gospel music. Graduate of the University of North Texas in the class of piano and winner of several Grammy Awards for Jazz Performance. She cooperated with a number of world-famous artists, such as David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Peabo Bryson, Tony Bennett, Pharoah Sanders or Prince. She also cooperated with Jarek Śmietana and his ensemble, giving concerts in Europe and in the Middle East. The result of the cooperation was an album titled Karen Edwards & Jarek Śmietana Everything Ice. She performed in clubs and music theatres of New York and Los Angeles, where, apart from giving concerts, she was also involved in several musical films as an actress. During the concert, the outstanding artist will perform piano and vocal parts of famous songs.
Tickets: Polskie Radio – Bilety24