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May 30, 2008

 

Composer Harry Gregson-Williams
What Goes Around, Comes Around

 

 

Biography


Studied at St John's College, Cambridge and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Protege of composer Stanley Myers.

Invited to be a part of Media Ventures by Hans Zimmer

Official Web Site
 

Composition Credits (Film)

G-Force
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The Taking of Pelham 123
Prince Caspian
Shrek the Third
Gone Baby Gone
De Ja Vu
The Number 23
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Domino
Kingdom of Heaven
Bridget Jones:
The Age of Reason
Man on Fire
Shrek 2
Team America: World Police
Phone Booth
Shrek 4-D
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
Veronica Guerin
Shrek
Spy Game
Chicken Run
King of the Jungle
The Tigger Movie
Antz
Armageddon
Enemy of the State
The Replacement Killers
Smilla's Sense of Snow
The Borrowers
Broken Arrow
The Rock
The Whole Wide World




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composer Harry Gregson-Williams

"I think if Andrew Adamson was directing the next movie and I hadn't been asked to do it, then I don't think I could help myself from feeling extremely disappointed."

Harry Gregson-Williams


Just after the release of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, composer Harry Gregson-Williams shares about his return to Narnia, his feelings about moving on from the franchise, what he's doing with up-and-coming-composers like David Buckley and Stephen Barton at his Wavecrest Studios, and his upcoming projects which include X-Men Origins:  Wolverine.

  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2
 

Director Andrew Adamson and Harry Gregson-Williams collaborate.  

Director Andrew Adamson and Harry Gregson-Williams collaborate.  

 
  Interview: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2

CC: First off, congrats on PRINCE CASPIAN. The film is doing well and you're score is again very entertaining.

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: Well, thank you.
 

CC: Can you compare the two experiences of composing for THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE versus PRINCE CASPIAN?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: There was one fundamental difference, and it's a physical difference. For THE LION, THE WITCH, and the WARDROBE, I wrote the score in my studio in Los Angeles and recorded it here as well. On PRINCE CASPIAN, since Andrew Adamson was cutting the film in London, the sound and visual effects being done in London, it was required that I pack my gear up and send it over there. So I had to find a studio there and hit the ground running, which I did just after Christmas of last year. It was quite a challenge to recreate the conditions that I feel comfortable writing in. I had to do something similar when writing for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but, in the end, it turned out to be a lot of good fun.
 

CC: How long did it take you to "get comfortable" to write and be creative?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: It took a couple of weeks, but I had left myself a lot of time. I started quite early to give myself plenty of time to experiment.
 

CC: Once you got going, was your process very similar to THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: Yes. It was very similar.


CC: Outside of the relocation, what would say your biggest challenge was musically on PRINCE CASPIAN?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: My biggest challenge was to embrace Andrew (Adamson's) notion that I should bring forward themes from the first movie. Of course, there are a number of new themes that I had to write, but the real conundrum for me was figuring out just how much of the thematic content I was going to bring with me from the last movie. It's strange not starting from square-one. I actually worried about this quite a bit, so what I ended up doing was to push all of that to one side and write Prince Caspian's theme and the cue for the first 8-minutes of the film. I knew this piece would have no reference to the previous movie, so this was good for me because it made me feel as though I was on a fresh musical journey.


CC: Would you say that, at least in some ways, it is more difficult in doing a sequel?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: Yes. I would say that. I don't know what David Arnold would say when one does Bond movie after Bond movie. Perhaps intellectually it's not so difficult for him because what would a Bond movie be without ((hums James Bond theme)) - because you just need those John Barry moments. But somehow he is able to make the scores feel fresh. So for me, once I could see the arc of the story that I'd be able to follow, it all became much clearer.


CC: David Arnold is the composer taking the reigns, as it were, for the franchise.....How does it feel? Is it easy to cut the chord and say, "I've done my part and so whatever he does, great!"

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: I think if Andrew Adamson was directing the next movie and I hadn't been asked to do it, then I don't think I could help myself from feeling extremely disappointed.


CC: As you are then stepping away from the franchise, what do you take away from the experience of working on these two movies?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: I've really enjoyed the whole thing. I can't stress too much how fortunate I have felt being able to work on these movies - especially since I am English and obviously have English sensibilities. I take away a vast experience really. It's been a great opportunity to write some tunes and then stand by them. I had no idea I was going to do PRINCE CASPIAN. Straight after THE LION, THE WITCH and THE WARDROBE, I was probably focusing on another movie already.


CC: What do you mean that you had to "stand by" the tunes you wrote?

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: Well, for a movie like GONE BABY, GONE, I wrote a theme for it and it seemed to work. Ben Affleck was happy with it, but that theme has gone to bed, if you know what I mean. That theme is not going to get another airing in Gone, Baby Gone 2. So it was a bit of a strange sensation to be revisiting the themes from THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, but still it was one I thoroughly enjoyed.
 


Continue the Interview (Page 2)

 

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