THE LION KING: RHYTHMS OF THE PRIDE LANDS – Interview with the show’s arranger Steve Sidwell

Steve Sidwell

We’re carrying on with our discovery of Frontierland Theater’s newest production, The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Lands, this time with arranger and bandmaster Steve Sidwell, who tells us more about the show’s music.

How did you approach The Lion King and the Rhythms of Pride Lands?

For this show, we tried to develop new ideas, which is always difficult when you are working on such a famous story. It has been successfully treated in a variety of forms, which makes things more complicated. But Disney knows how to collaborate with creators to breathe new life into its stories. And, in fact, the concepts and models of this show have inspired the music immensely.

With such a famous soundtrack, how did you find the balance between respect for this musical legacy and bringing fresh air?

It was a real challenge. It is always very difficult to change such an iconic work. Balance is hard to find. It’s been 25 years now that The Lion King has been released. It has become a timeless classic, but at the same time, we wanted to consider it with a new look. The decor of our show being based on musical instruments, it was a key element of our approach. We took some risks, but always with immense respect for the original work. In addition, our show lasts only half an hour and is played in a very particular context: our guests are in a Park and they try to do a lot of things. It was therefore necessary to offer them a particularly exciting experience. To do this, I made sure to keep a great energy throughout the show, while providing for quieter moments with the ballads, so that children and adults can enjoy the show.

How does music fit into this show?

From a general point of view, music is an art based on collaboration. In a live production, there is always the visual aspect, and in addition to technology, there is dance, staging, singing and costumes, all of which create an atmosphere. I am very inspired by all these elements. In The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land, music plays a vital role. When writing for a show like this, you must be aware that music accompanies a performance: singers, acrobats and dancers, with this superb aerial choreography. Everything has allowed me to create a truly unique music, whose originality has been praised by Disneyland Paris teams. This is the best compliment I could get.

From what material did you work?

We used elements of the animation classic as well as the musical, from the magnificent instrumental score of Hans Zimmer, especially for the final fight scene, to the songs of Elton John and Lebo M.

For the wildebeest stampede and the final fight, I had access to the orchestral scores of the film. This allowed me to study very precisely what had been done for the film, and I tried to recreate the same atmosphere, while adding some novelties. And for the songs, to the extent that they had to be cut in order to fit into our format, I started from scratch. It allowed me to develop a different, unique concept. I tried to make them exhilarating, modern and original, while preserving their African influences.

What type of orchestra did you use?

A traditional orchestra, except for percussion. I was fortunate to have at my disposal a large symphony orchestra, a big band and a huge rhythm section. We had djembes, tamas or “talking drums” from West Africa, kalimbas or “thumb pianos” from sub-Saharan Africa, a kora, an instrument from Mali, congas and bongos. We used as many African instruments as possible. It was impressive to see all these instruments brought together during the recording at the famous Angel Recording Studios in London. Extraordinary! I learned a lot on this occasion. Working between Paris and London, I had the opportunity to meet many experts because African drums are really a specialist business. For the fight scenes and wildebeest, we also had a big chorus typical of Hollywood that sang in Latin, and a Gospel choir that sang in Swahili. We even had a specialist of this language with us to make sure of the pronunciation. The best conditions were brought together.

How did you manage the “live” dimension of the show?

It’s something I’ve done many times. Of course, the show has a soundtrack, but I did not want the audience to be aware of it. I wanted all the musical elements to blend into each other. The recorded music has been designed in such a way that it leaves a space for live singers. We also took into account the unique audio system of our theater, which greatly influenced the way we recorded and mixed the music. In fact, everyone in the audience can enjoy perfect stereo. Wherever you sit, you will be surrounded on all sides by the music.

In this show, it’s the songs that tell the story, not the dialogues.

Many things had to be reworked to fit the format of the show. This is one of the reasons why there is no dialogue. It’s up to the music to fulfill that role. It’s a way of doing that I know well. It’s more enjoyable as the script is written with talent and precision.

You’re saying that The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land was an artistic and emotional experience?

That’s my motto: making music to share emotions. And on The Lion King and Rhythms of Pride Land, it was not difficult because it is such a magnificent show, both from the point of view of writing and staging. The emotions came naturally. I just had to deal with tension and relaxation. The Disneyland Paris teams are so talented; it’s a joy to work with them. They guided me very easily in the right direction. I’m only more impatient to discover the reactions of the public!

0 thoughts on “THE LION KING: RHYTHMS OF THE PRIDE LANDS – Interview with the show’s arranger Steve Sidwell”

  1. Hi, there! I’m from Brazil, and I’ll be at DisneylandParis on my 40th birthday with my family (a husband and 3 daughters). May I have my “magical birthday ever”? This include a character? How I order it? We’re ordering a 1day/2parks ticket, and we have a doubt about the time of Paris Express. It leaves Disnenyland at 8pm, is that time AFTER the fireworks and night parade? We’re very excited with this family travel,and we’ll be waiting ansiously for your reply

  2. Wonderful article, please more like this!

    I’ve never seen that castle elevation artwork before, could you post it in a higher resolution? Would love to thoroughly investigate the details of it.

    Kind regards
    Disneyland Paris Treasures

  3. Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog. Im really impressed by your blog.

  4. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  5. What’s the point of attracting adults and “reconnecting them with childhooh emotions and memories” if once they’re there you’ll treat them like they’re not welcome?
    Maybe the problem is not our perception is wrong. Maybe the problem is you really don’t want us to go.

  6. There’s a Santa Fe style hotel? Oh my! Will have to go back and stay there! Only hotel I had time to see on my first visit was the Disneyland Hotel on my way into the park to see Captain Eo after it re-opened in June 2010. I was on a one-day visit via the Eurostar from London (on holiday there from Australia) so very limited time – too limited. But I loved it.

  7. I’ve been 4 times to Disneyland Paris in the last 3 years and each time the service has been absolutely dredful and not even apologetic – would love to see how this changes.

  8. I found this post on 13 place in google search results, you should decrease your bounce rate. You will see results in no time, i know what can help you, just type in google for: Dasusuri’s Bounce Plugin

  9. I found this post on 24 place in google search results, you should lower your bounce rate. You will see more traffic and sales fast, i know what can help you, just search in google for: Sizydy’s Bounce Plugin

  10. Hello, your blog has high bounce rate, that’s why it doesn’t rank in google and lose average 50% of traffic. You should install one useful wordpress plugin and you will see ranking increase and more sales quickly. Just search in google for: Sizydy’s Bounce Plugin

  11. Actually, you can do this in a one-liner:$( .table tr:even’).addClass( highlight’);That sotceler finds all tr’s which are directly under any element with the table’ class, and the filter only matches every other tr element.

  12. Also my question:-) Is there a way to buy something although i’m not working at Disneyland Paris?

  13. So, so sad to see this icon show close! I first saw it in California in 1987 and was blown away by what was then incredible 3D technology, as well as Michael’s performance. When I visited Disneyland Paris for the first (and thus far, only) time on 24 June 2010 I was on a EuroStar day trip to the park from London which I was visiting for Michael Jackson 1st anniversary events with his UK fans. When I heard that Disneyland Paris and other Disney Parks were re-opening the film as a tribute to Michael, I HAD to make the journey across the channel to see it again. Needless to say, I made the most of the opportunity for repeat screenings on that day. And though I’ve since seen it repeatedly in Anaheim and Tokyo (shortly before it closed there last year) I’ll never, ever forget seeing it on the big screen for the first time since the 80s at Disneyland Paris. I’m not sure I want to go back now. 🙁

  14. It’s a shame this classic has to go, really!
    I’m glad I got the chance to experience it once again with the tribute performance.

    It was not quite the same since many of the original effects and the look and feel of the cinema were missing, still the old 3D glasses/technique and and analogue! print/and projector was used, which was and is kind of lazy from Disney. Also, the print was very worn out the last time I’ve seen it and should have been replaced long ago.

    But, still better than no Captain EO.

    Since Captain EO will never return to the Disney parks, please release a worthy blu-ray of this classic masterpiece (in 3D and 2D). I’m sure plenty of Disney-, Michael Jackson-, Anjelica Huston, Franics Ford Coppola- and George Lucas-Fans would buy it in an instant!

    I sure would!

  15. Why oh why is this closing?

    Have seen it several times at Disneyland Paris in the last couple of years and and each showing was packed out! Judging by everyone’s reaction on the way out, the audience clearly loved both the film and its effects.

    Bad decision, Disney 🙁

  16. The reason it has closed is that jardly anyone watches. Figures have dwindled and have been for years. It has been declining in the mast few years. Everyone moans and groans but it costs Disney to keep it running and if the audiences ain’t coming, who can afford to keep it.

  17. between Oxford and CambridgeONSet the price of a $268look on approximately $358 and buyers will flip away. While you are it true the quick gladness in a bestthe states in the nation with such as AC Milan red and black

  18. Would it be possible to meet with some one in hr on the 2nd idecember2015 to discuss student placement with you. Students would be 18 plus studying travel and tourism funded via Erasmus
    Kind regards

    Sue

  19. We used these just after Christmas. Such a vast improvement since our last visit in summer 2014. Well done! I still had to wait from about 9am to get a good spot in the queue, but then we only waited about 10 minutes in the actual pavilion, as opposed to 70 minutes last time!

  20. We had a wonderfull new years evening at euro disney 2015 – 2016!!!!
    It was fantastic!!
    Thank you!

  21. Will the foliage be refurbished? Many leaves and small branches are missing and spoil the attraction so hopefully these will be refurbished.

  22. Hello We are a family of 4 with my husband and 2 children.I am 32 weeks pregnant.With the easy access card will I have access to attractions with my family.

  23. would changing the perception around DP to attract adults or a particular age groups not be at the expense of other age groups eg kids, teenagers.

  24. What a shame that they cast aside the park’s heritage, people’s memories and their love of DLP by destroying the named stones and replacing them with bland slabs.
    There were a few broken and loose ones, but surely they could have been kept and relayed to a better standard than they had previously.
    It has really dampened our DLP experience. What next? Removal of the castle?

  25. it’sasmallworld is more beautifulthan before.

    I will ride to it’s a smallworld during go to disneyland paris.

  26. i come to disney land for 20 years every year 2or3 times
    i am a real disney fan i collect it also but my complain is this year
    when y order to stay in the hotel why did they not mention
    that there is so many attraction close in the park you mention about the hotel but let also know about what happen in the park
    i hope you understand why i writhe this
    i hope that you will reply
    thanks yolande

  27. I want cast menbers . business chaienge back stage new shw works
    my challenge .
    U.S.A I want art work project menbers.

  28. Hello, I am staying at the Hotel on 9/23/16. That day is my daughter’s birthday. Do you have the opportunity to purchase a cake?

  29. Can anyone help with getting in touch with photopass for Disneyland Paris. Tried sending email through contact us but email keeps coming back undeliverable. All photos are not coming up and need them to find my photos.

  30. Not Impressed! Big Thunder mountain is one of my favorite Disney Rides! Shut! Simlarly, the Star Wars events are apparently unavailable.No mention of these attractions being shut when my booking was made in June. My grandson, for whom we arranged this trip, has extatically reached the height limit, and a star wars addict/devotee will now be denied these pleasures. Will there be a refund/discount offered?

  31. What’s up,I log on to your new stuff named “Disney Announces Transformative Multi-Year Expansion for Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Paris News” like every week.Your writing style is witty, keep it up! And you can look our website about proxy.

  32. It’s actually a great and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Estaba buscando esa informacion hace espacio, te lo agradezco, estoy de contrato con tu punto de vista y
    grano igual. Despues de buscar mucho por Internet encontre lo que buscaba.
    Genial!!! muchas gracias

  34. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m glad to express that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot unquestionably will make certain to don’t overlook this web site and provides it a look regularly.

  35. I see you don’t monetize disneylandparis-news.com, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn additional bucks every month with new monetization method.
    This is the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve all websites), for more info simply search in gooogle: murgrabia’s tools

  36. Are a person tired of looking within the mirror and experiencing those yucky red holes and bumps all over the face?
    The way would yoou like apparent, wonderful skin? We have put together all of the best
    tips to help you geet distinct skin that will you can bbe pleaserd with, and help you
    for you to noo longer have to endure troublesome blemishes.Criminal
    injury claims

    Many that are suffering uusing acne blemishes appear often the
    oil-filled pores. If yoou choose decide to pop a pimple, do it with freseh hands.
    Do noot forget about your own personal fingernails, either; a
    person want to minimize the risk of launching more bacteria into the
    contaminated pore. You wilol most likely ssee a reduction regarding pmple
    iif you happen to be equipped to appear your pimples responsibly.

    Stay hydraed tto help with acne pimples breakouts. Try to drink noo
    less than eight glasses of water a good day to maintain clewr
    skin. Drinking water flushes out the unhealthy toxins in your body, which will also includes
    your skin. Not only will your skin get rrid acne-causing toxins,
    nevertheless will probably bee equipped to retain the correct
    quantity of wetness, to give it some sort of healthy glow.qiagen

    If you needcriminal injury claims to reduce a large, red
    pimple, use a cold compress or perhaps an marriott jobsioce cube draped inn a material.
    Applying this cold shrink just before cargo area can easily cause reduced redness the next day,
    because the cold will certainly reduce your blookd flow to be able to the blemish as well as the
    puffiness will decrease.

    One of thhe best approaches to clear up acne is to have
    a twenty minute go outdoirs each day. The sun’s rays
    and new air have a good incredibly positive effect on skin. Make sure
    that a person don’t stay out a long time, although, as
    burning the skin has a negative result plus your acne could ccome to be even worse in the
    possiblee future.loan mortgage rate refinance

    As you can discover, clear, lovely skin can easily be yours.
    You will no longer possess tto dread looking within the mirroor justt to have tese annoying, red bumps staring back at you.
    Follow our ownn tips and you can tell acne piimples to pack its luggage and move on out there.
    You aree now ready to enjoy hunting in this mirror at your innovative,
    beautiful, clear skin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.