Thursday, April 01, 2021

Bastille's "ReOrchestrated" is a jaw-dropping documentary

Grammy-nominated Bastille teamed up with Amazon Prime in a new feature-length documentary, "ReOrchestrated," which was released on February 10, 2021. Directed by Tom Middleton and Toby L, the spectacular project reveals personal interviews, follows the band's gigs and eventually leads to exploring classical orchestra on a whole new level. 

For fans, they can expect to be astounded by this eye-opening documentary and never-before-seen footage of the band's toil in their struggle to rise to fame. 

The documentary tells of how the band often had to get creative by self-promoting through their social media platforms due to the situation. We also see Dan's camera person capturing him tweeting a location for their spontaneous public performance, and his bandmates following along by place white-shaped triangles as clues. 

After independently releasing their EP single, Laura Palmer, in 2011, the band signed with Virgin Records. After their new signing the band went on to release their first debut Bad Blood which was released in March 2013; and they then went on to win the British Breakthrough Act award in 2014. The documentary also shows how Bastille's musical journey began with touring, music festivals, television appearances, award ceremonies, and collaborations.

In May 2017,  the band performed an intimate string quartet performance in partnership with the Streets of London Fundraiser at London's Union Chapel.  The performance was such a success that it led to Dan proposing to his bandmates a unique project which would involve learning classical music while developing the band's third album, Doom's Day. Needless to say, this brought stress and tension among the other bandmates, Kyle Simmons, Chris Woody, and Will Farquarson. 

However despite the tensions, it became clear that Dan's determination and eagerness to recreate their cataloged soundtracks into a masterful orchestrated performance became personal. His ambition, as told in an interview, dates back to when he played the violin as a teenager with him saying, "Maybe this whole ReOrchestrated thing is my personal revenge." In a way, through years of success, he unknowingly developed imposter syndrome and reacquainted his musical skills onto this project.  

The ReOrchastred tour rehearsals captured the band's productivity and creativity; it was a process that led them to relearning their songs and writing new musical notes which was challenging.  In their first performance at the London Royal Albert Hall, Dan and his bandmates were on edge.  The band played 'Flaws' from their album "Bad Blood." The footage of this first before was interspersed with old footage from past gigs within the documentary. It was almost nostalgic to watch, yet helped to create a memorable performance. Hearing Dan's classical voice echo, as he performed along with his bandmates, with a background of gospel singers and orchestral musicians was an experience in itself. It was a special moment which felt like you were watching their dreams come to fruition in front of your very eyes.  

The biggest event took place at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, with a 53 piece orchestra and a 12 piece gospel choir. The participation of Senab Adekunle and Jonny Abraham, choirs performance was hauntingly beautiful; it was hard not to feel teary-eyed during their live performance. In an interview, Kristjan Jarvi, the Music Conductor of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic showed he had an immense gratitude for Bastille's unique sound and experimental lyricism with him saying; “That's what I love about them because the less definition something has and the more attractive you're intuitive to it. It is so full of love, full of generosity and beauty." In a sense, they've proven themselves to be a fearless band and carried their success by sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Bastille's ReOrchestrated is uplifting and honest, undoubtingly the best musical documentary in 2021. If you haven't watched it yet, you can still view it on Amazon Prime. 

Cristabell Fierros




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