"It's the biggest and most prestigious show for a reason," he says. Some 160 cues, not only the nominated material but all of the production numbers, ‘In Memoriam' and all of the music has to get done in just a few days. "It is the most challenging in terms of time.
Speaking of the LA Phil, who decided that a cue from "Superman" would be the "In Memoriam" music?
"That suggestion came from Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil. For me to be in that room at that moment with John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel, that's something that I'll treasure forever." Very respectfully, we had composer John Williams do the re-orchestration.
‘Black Panther' is announced, they push that button." "In the past they had five cues for the nominees. Now, we go into Capitol studios, pre-record and mix those, and that's left to a playback person. When the winner is announced, the conductor would go ‘Number five!' and give the downbeat.
The music director does not decide when a winner's speech has gone on too long.
If something malfunctions, they're prepared to play everything live.
"It's always the director. I don't think [the producers] really wanted to play anybody off, but this year some people really pushed." Sometimes people want to make an emotional plea, a political plea — they want to make the world better, that's always the case.
And we play the big numbers when we go to commercial. We have music prepared to play anyone on, although it's more of a generic play-on. The trick is to make sure that there is no sonic difference between the live stuff and the pre-records." "I always have extra stuff in the book.
The play-ons and play-offs for presenters are not played live by the orchestra.
We had laid out exactly what was going to happen, and they came in and adjustments were made. It was incredible." The orchestra didn't play, only her core rock band onstage. "They rehearsed at the Dolby Theatre, I think it was on Friday night.
So the show finally ends, and we hear the orchestra playing the last piece under the end credits. Was it live?
During the course of a post-Oscars interview, Minor revealed 10 things most viewers probably don't know about music on show-biz's biggest night:
Do you not drink water for two days prior? "That was one of my first questions. Philharmonic played onstage during ‘In Memoriam' so there was a mad dash by everybody to the restrooms." This year, the L.A.
Was there any plan to perform "All the Stars" after Kendrick Lamar declined to attend?
The core of the song, length, timing, musicians onstage, all that is determined early on. So it's during rehearsals that all the major adjustments are made." "The minute the nominations come out, there is a conversation with the artist's management, the studio, producers, everyone. But when you get in the room, that's where the magic happens.
"It was magical, surreal, and I felt like we did what we came to do, which was to use music to raise the vibrations on the planet," he adds. "People left feeling hopeful, happy, tapping their feet."
But I wanted a different soundscape, starting with the theme. I used Afro-Cuban and Latin percussion to create a tribal kind of rhythm. This is the Oscars, so you have to have the big majestic play-ons. We had music from Italy, Romania, Spain, Cuba, South Africa, West Africa, India, throughout the show." "I wanted the show to be more inclusive, musically. Then we included music from nominated foreign films from the last 20 years or more.
There was an overall concept for the music on Oscar night.
"I don't believe that the Academy would do anything without the consent of the artist. We didn't have anything prepared for the orchestra sessions, or the rehearsals." I don't really know the ins and outs of that number in particular. When he decided he wasn't going to come, there was talk of, what would it look like if there was a performance without him? That was, of course, discussed with the artist's management.
This year, he scored his biggest gig yet: as music director of the Academy Awards. Rickey Minor is an old hand at conducting music for live TV shows, having handled such chores on "American Idol," the Grammys and the Emmys.
Did the musicians get a bathroom break? The show ran three hours and 23 minutes.
"That was a pre-record because it was cut to video. A third of the musicians went to the bathroom, a third went home and a third went to the bar."” />
Decisions about how to present the five nominated songs are complicated.
So what about Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper doing "Shallow?"