Monday, January 19, 2015

Music Education Monday: Behind the score of Birdman with drummer Antonio Sanchez

The Academy Award nominated film Birdman, now playing in theaters across the US, has won acclaim for its script, cinematography, lead performance by Michael Keaton, and the musical score created by drummer Antonio Sanchez.

Perhaps best known to jazz fans for his work with guitarist Pat Metheny, Sanchez (pictured) unfortunately was eliminated from consideration in this year's Oscars due to a technicality, as the film's soundtrack also included some pre-existing material.

But that snub hasn't stopped viewers and critics from raving about Sanchez' contribution to Birdman, and this article about Sanchez and the Birdman score at includes a video in which the drummer talks about how he put the music together.

Down below here on this page, there's a video of a complete master class that Sanchez did in 2013 when he was a guest artist-in-residence at Berklee College of Music. Though the class is focused on jazz drumming, not film scoring, it offers more insight into Sanchez' techniques and his approach to music.

For more about Antonio Sanchez' score for Birdman, read this article from Vanity Fair; this interview the drummer did with, which includes some audio samples from the score; his interview with the blog The Film Experience; and this article from You can hear audio of all 28 minutes of Sanchez' music for Birdman here.

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