ORCHESTRATION / ARRANGING
- YOUTUBE PLAY LIVE FROM THE GUGGENHEIM
Featuring members of the Juilliard and YouTube orchestras, arranged by Greg Pliska.
A live webcast of the YouTube Play Biennal at the Guggenheim, this event included arrangements by Greg for a YouTube/Juilliard orchestra. Tommy Wallach performs “Mind Games”, and Megan Washington plays her hit “Clementine” (with Greg on glockenspiel!).
- MONSIEUR GAINSBOURG REVISITED (Virgin Records)
Produced by James Iha, with orchestrations by Greg Pliska
A tribute album commemorating the 15th anniversary of the death of French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, this album features Greg’s orchestrations on two tracks, both produced by the Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha. “I Love You (Me Either)” finds Cat Power and Karen Elson reprising the great Gainsbourg-Jane Birkin duet, while “L’Hotel” showcases Michael Stipe’s vocals over Iha’s production and Greg’s string writing.
Available on iTunes and from Amazon.
- ROMULUS HUNT (Angel Records)
A Family Opera by Carly Simon, Arranged and Orchestrated by Greg Pliska and Teese Gohl
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Kennedy Center “New Opera for New Ears” program, this pop-rock/classical hybrid holds a distinctive place in Carly Simon’s catalog; the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame calls it her “most far-reaching” accomplishment. Simon’s beautiful melodies float upon a score that combines rock and ethnic instrumentation with lush orchestrations by Teese Gohl and Greg Pliska. “A Boy of Twelve,” one of Greg’s major contributions to the piece, builds an intricate fugal counterpoint out of one of Simon’s tunes, and uses the synthesis of styles to convey the whirlwind of influences on the title character’s young life. The “making of” video (viewable here) opens with “It’s Such a Glorious Day”, one of Greg’s vocal arrangements.
Soundtrack available on Amazon.
- HEM (multiple albums)
Arrangements and orchestration by Greg Pliska
Over more than a decade Hem has amassed an extraordinary catalog of orchestrally-tinged folk music, performing live with the Boston Pops, and at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series (with Greg at the helm of the Gowanus Radio Orchestra). The band’s EVENINGLAND album, with Greg conducting the Slovak Radio Orchestra, garnered this mention from Peter Blackstock (No Depression #54): “The resplendent impact of Pliska’s arranging is at its peak on the Eveningland title track, which consists almost entirely of the Slovak ensemble (plus accents of glockenspiel from Messé and cymbals from Brotter).” Hem’s music has been the centerpiece of Liberty Mutual’s advertising campaigns since 2007. Visit Hem’s website here.
Albums available on iTunes and at the Amazon.com Hem store.
- THE WILDEST DREAM: Conquest of Everest (National Geographic Films)
Score by Joel Douek; Orchestration by Greg Pliska
Called “spectacular” (Empire), “awe-inspiring” (Variety), and “captivating” (Hollywood Reporter), this theatrical-release feature documentary (including IMAX screens) garnered Douek a Best Feature Documentary Score nomination from the International Film Music Critics Association. Telling the story of mountaineer George Mallory’s failed 1924 attempt to reach the as-yet-unconquered summit of Mount Everest, the film weaves contemporary footage of climber Conrad Anker’s recreation of Mallory’s ascent with vintage footage and readings from Mallory and his wife Ruth’s correspondence. Liam Neeson narrates, with featured voices Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Hugh Dancy and Alan Rickman.
“I am highly recommending Douek’s pensively exciting and beautifully daunting score to the powerhouse documentary film THE WILDEST DREAM, which is easily, thus far, one of the best soundtrack albums this year. The score expertly churns with excitement, hope and tragedy and is rarely repetitive in the use of it’s themes or musical idioms and thus always stays fresh and new as the listener ascends through each track. Fans of orchestral scores will not want to pass this one up.” – Illustrating the Score
Original soundtrack available at Amazon.
- FLYING MONSTERS 3D (Atlantic Productions, SKY, National Geographic)
Score by Joel Douek, Orchestration by Greg Pliska
The first-ever 3D film to win a BAFTA award, Flying Monsters 3D accompanies Sir David Attenborough, the world’s leading naturalist, in his quest to uncover the truth about the enigmatic pterosaurs, whose wingspans of up to 40 feet were equal to that of a modern day jet plane. Released in IMAX in the UK, this groundbreaking film uses cutting-edge 3D technology and CGI to bring the story of giant flying monsters and their prehistoric world to life. Audiences of all ages will be in awe as they enter the world and experience, as never before, real flying monsters. US IMAX release coming in October 2011.