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Magik* Magik Orchestra doing it for the kids with classical meets indie concert

Maestro, Minna Choi taps her conductor’s baton and a cast of indie-rock musos, classical musicians and a 30-strong boys choir gather for “When We Were Young”. In a recent interview with the, Choi explained that it is a concert to raise funds for her San Francisco-based, Magik* Magik Orchestra and their leading initiative - Magik For Kids. And also to celebrate the orchestra’s fifth birthday with a big bang of a party.

'When We Were Young', a fundraising gala concert by Magik* Magik Orchestra with indie rockers performing tunes dear to their hearts when they were young.
The Dodo's to perform with Magik* Magik Orchestra for 'When We Were Young'

Presented by Another Planet Entertainment and NoisePop, “When We Were Young” will feature a slew of indie stalwarts from Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, The Dodos, The Lonely Forest, Rogue Wave, John Vanderslice and Geographer who will all be performing songs dear to their hearts when they were kids. It will be held at The Fox Theatre, Oakland on Fri, Jan 31 at 8pm.

The Grammy Award-winning Pacific Boys Choir will also perform with the bands and the orchestra. It should be a wonderful night to take the kids out to experience some music first hand. The evening will be divided into three acts like a theatre piece. The stage will have a casual vibe with louche couches so within each of the 45minute set, when artistes aren’t behind a mic they can sit back and enjoy the show.

This gives Choi, a proven dynamo of a conductor (one of her first gigs was for Radiohead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood who is also a BBC Composer-in-residence and Magik were in 2012 invited on a 27-date tour with Ben Gibbard’s Death Cab for Cutie) and gifted arranger the perfect opportunity to do what she does best. Arranging music, here with a nostalgic bent to harken emotions while collaborating with rock artists and classical musicians to make it all pop seamlessly.

The collective of classical musicians many whom are graduates of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where Choi graduated with a Masters in Composition in 2006, can swell to almost 150-strong when required. Many of these musicians are also part of ensembles and orchestras in the Bay area with disciplined and accomplished music sensibilities.

As Magik* Magik Orchestra, the group has been involved in more than 100 projects from providing string orchestration for The Dodos’ studio album, “Carrier”; to performing live with Nice Cave and The Bad Seeds at the Bill Graham Auditorium; scoring for Hollywood films – the 2011 “Looper” featuring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; and even doing the soundtrack for a video game.

Choi can certainly do the traditional string quartet for hire – Anne Hathaway and her beau, Adam Shulman are listed on their client list as a Magik chamber ensemble played at their 2012 nuptials. But the work that has truly inspired her and has become Magik’s calling card are the collaborations with indie-rock bands.

We had a chat to Choi about this wonderful collective that she’s dreamt up and willed into reality. Now a thriving business, she has even bigger ambitions for it’s future. Given her flawless track record and stewardship thus far, it seems perfectly likely they will slowly but surely come to pass… with a bit of magik of course.

Please click here for the interview.

When We Were Young

When: Fri, Jan 31 at 8pm

Where: The Fox Theatre, Oakland

Tickets at $29.50, $35, $45 and $150

Available from the Fox Theatre and Ticketmaster

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