Orchestra backs Malay epic

Date Posted: 21 May 2010

MPO members and KRU Studios execs are all smiles during the press conference.

21 May – Touted as an industry first, KRU Studios has collaborated with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) in music scores for "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa", which will also carry the title 'The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines" for international release.

According to Norman Abdul Halim, president of KRU Studios and the Executive Producer of "Mahawangsa", they were grateful and touched by the MPO for producing world-class music scores, despite the fact that it was initially thought to be impossible in achieving.

"We met up with the people from MPO since last August and were thankful that they agreed after seeing how 'Mahawangsa' is capable to be marketed internationally. As far as our budget goes, we couldn't afford to hire MPO as our music arrangers. But they were very supportive and thus we have the best music score for the movie."

Norman also explained that "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa", the eighth film until director Yusry Abdul Halim, needed musical arrangements from other parties, unlike most films under KRU Studios, as their skills and resources to produce classical orchestra music are limited.

Norman (second from right) explaining details of "HMM" to the press.

A scene from the upcoming Malay epic "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa"

Recording for the music scores were done consecutively for three days starting from 23 March 2010 under music director Claus Peter Flor, accompanied by 105 professional musicians. KRU Studios' young composers such as Reza Ramsey and Yudi Ashadi composed the original scores, before being re-arranged by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose and Vivian Chua for MPO's orchestration. Mellow-voiced singer Anuar Zain was chosen to perform the theme track titled "Sedetik Lebih".

A scene from the upcoming Malay epic "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa"

Norman also announced that the movie, which has a reported budget of RM 8 million, has been sold to a whopping 34 territories, including the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Thailand, Russia, China and France. Besides that, the original soundtrack and behind-the-scenes book for "HMM" will also be sold soon. "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa" is currently marketed at the Cannes Film Festival, and is also in the final stages of CGI production which will be completed in July 2010. The movie is scheduled for release early 2011 in Malaysia. A Singaporean release cannot be confirmed at the time of writing.

Writer: Goh Wen Xuan

Related Movies

Which of these giant film franchise(s) is/are your favourite ? [View Poll]