Packing up and trekking from the United States and into Northern Macedonia is an unlikely locale most artists would check off their musical bucket list, particularly during a global pandemic. Yet, the Macedonian capital of Skopje is exactly where Los Angeles rockers Saint Motel traveled to perform their film score-inspired album The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the first time.
“What an incredible way to perform The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in the most thematically true way possible, live with one of the best orchestras in the world and showcasing not only all the songs but the incredible film score transitions,” says frontman A/J Jackson. “It’s something truly special.”
Joined by the Fames Orchestra of Macedonia, under the direction of film composer Duke Bojadziev, and in partnership with the HD live stream platform, DREAMSTAGE, Saint Motel will perform the album in its entirety, along with film score transitions composed by Bojadziev, live in Skopje on Aug. 18.
“We want to tap into the classic Hollywood film score experience,” says Jackson. “Imagine this as an ‘Extra Feature’ on the DVD of your favorite movie, where you see the composer in the room with the orchestra making the score that you know and love. In our case, it just so happens to be a movie that doesn’t exist.”
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, co-produced by Jackson and Mark Needham (Dolly Parton, The Killers), is a culmination of three Part releases, setting up the band’s ultimate film score with a musical storyline, moving through characters, conflict, resolution, and all its orchestrated “scenes.”
Bojadziev, who is based in Macedonia, originally worked with the band on the album interludes and first mentioned the orchestra to the band in 2019. “It just stayed with me in the back of my mind,” shares Jackson. “Naturally, when we needed to do something epic to celebrate the album, this made perfect sense.”
Traveling to Macedonia from Los Angeles wasn’t without its challenges for the band. Saint Motel had never performed the album live and had to first get it down, and were not even sure if travel was a possibility with all the COVID restrictions worldwide.
“We hadn’t played live in a room with other people in over a year,” says Jackson. “I had to remind myself to keep singing because I was constantly distracted by the sheer beauty of being surrounded by a 29-piece orchestra. There were also language barriers, time barriers, budget barriers… it has not been an easy feat.”
If travel allows, Jackson would love to create more cinematic, musical experiences in more international destinations.
“Who knows where the world is heading as far as live music is concerned but the idea of being able to do these super unique, one-off livestreams in exotic locales, where you interpret and perform the music in new ways is absolutely something I would love to continue to do,” he says. “Maybe this is how we tour from now on.”
Go here for tickets to Saint Motel: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Live with Orchestra.