The collaboration between Jason Platt, a local freelance illustrator, and Marc Zyla, Director of Education and Community Outreach for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) resulted in the production of an illustrated video telling the story behind Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. The video was released in a five-part series, corresponding to the five symphonic movements, just prior to the “Postcards from Paris” performance in October of 2017 by the QCSO.
When Symphonie Fantastique was originally performed in 1830 it was accompanied by program notes, which told the tale of unrequited love paralleling Berlioz’s infatuation with a woman named Harriet Simpson. To modernize the story, Jason Platt’s illustrations feature a young man wearing a beanie and headphones, wandering throughout various familiar Quad City locations.
Listen here to our conversation about how the video was created, and how the synergy resulting from a collaborative artistic endeavor allows both artists to benefit from access to a larger audience.
Jason Platt is also the creator of a web comic entitled “Mister & Me” and is employed full time as an illustrator who focuses on the art of cartooning. Marc Zyla is passionate about showcasing the QCSO, and through his innovative efforts is helping to expand their listening base to a wider audience. In the process, he is changing the public’s perception of classical musicians. He is also the principal horn player for the QCSO.