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New Project: John Williams Potter Scoring


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Hi all! We are very excited to present a composition project that has been a long time in the making. We have created the Potter Scoring Project, where we constructed a score for Harry Potter and the

Mr. Bellamy has entered the chat.     

Update - Our next set of cues is posted! Check out "Diggorys and Portkeys" and "The Quidditch World Cup."  You can also subscribe to weekly emails for the new cues. We'd love to discuss and hear wh

8 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

#trendsetter 

 

Wow, we've been on this forum for years and managed to have never seen that playlist. It is interesting that we used some of the exact same clips as you in our temp process that started us off (we put JW's music over the entire movie before composing for Goblet of Fire).

I think you'll find it interesting as we post more cues which direction we've gone in with some of the themes. For example, where you have the family theme over Harry and Dumbledore's conversation at the end, we're using the Wand of the Phoenix to recall the connection between Harry and Voldemort. Hopefully you'll stay tuned for updates. :) 

 

Thanks for all your comments!
MS

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44 minutes ago, Thor said:

You should have done this for the post-GOBLET scores. GOBLET OF FIRE is a superb score in and of itself, perhaps second only to PRISONER OF AZKABAN in the whole franchise. Replace the Hoopers and Desplats instead! :)

 

We're definitely not trying to replace Patrick Doyle, we appreciate his score! We wanted to start from the premise of continuing all of John Williams' themes, in his style. We're going for unity... Stay tuned!

 

MS

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Goblet of Fire is actually my favorite of the series score wise, but I often imagine what someone being 100% faithful to Williams could be like. And the first track definitely has me intrigued in the eventual directions this can take. Particularly in possible new motifs, since they would be eventually needed. Like to see where this goes!

 

Now, I take it some parts are taken from the first 3 scores? I can pick up on synth mock ups in spots, but others sound fairly "real" in a sense.

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I really really really like the Voldemort/Hedwig counterpoint bit, great idea.

Sorry to be somewhat negative, but I really really really dislike how Face of Voldemort is just pasted in there and at 0:40 it sharply, significantly and unmistakeably accents... absolutely nothing onscreen. Holding off on the rest until we get to more interesting and juicy stuff than sneaking around to a low held note.

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I concur, I love the idea of this project, but as Holko mentions (the same part I picked up right away!) the theme's revelatory statement is prematurely given before the pan up to the statue which kind of deflates the power of the music in context of the picture. However this is my bias showing because I love how spine-tinglingly haunting Doyle's use of Hedwig's Theme is used in that opening that it's hard to picture it another way.

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3 hours ago, Arpy said:

I concur, I love the idea of this project, but as Holko mentions (the same part I picked up right away!) the theme's revelatory statement is prematurely given before the pan up to the statue which kind of deflates the power of the music in context of the picture.

 

I was thinking the same thing when I heard it, and I have no recollection of how Doyle did it.

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Thanks for the feedback. We, of course, love Doyle's opening too. I totally understand what you mean regarding the sudden louder appearance of Face of Voldemort. Because this main title is different from others in that the camera is panning slowly and unveiling this scene, we had made the decision to play this uncut music over it that would provide the whole rendition of that Voldemort theme to establish the tone as more of Nagini and the graveyard are revealed (and thus bringing us back to Hedwig once the title does start to appear). It's also sort of modeled after how the opening of PoA unfolds, even though that Hedwig doesn't have any sudden jolts in it like you're talking about. 

 

Have no fear though! The entire score after this point will hopefully satisfy your need for lack of sudden bumps! We definitely wanted to avoid just copy/pasting, and moving forward from that establishing scene we've created a lot of new renditions of Williams' themes that we think fit well and will be "interesting and juicy." 

 

BP

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21 minutes ago, GoodMusician said:

But it was scoring Deathly Hallows after reading the book

 

I've always said half-jokingly that JW scored the books. the tone fits perfectly even when the movies differ and there's little moments like unused Hogwarts Forever statements. Or in PoA when there's invisibility material in the Shrieking Shack. I know that's not the case but I would have loved to see him complete those character arcs with his themes. DH would have benefitted from the nostalgia and ties to the beginning that the book had. Well, all of them would.

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4 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Anyone else think Anthem of Evil is how Williams would write a theme for the Death Eaters? It's dark and evil (lol), but also regal, stately, alluding to the fact that many of the Death Eaters were from rich, powerful families from the Wizarding World?

 

I actually thought of Knights of Ren theme for Death Eaters.

 

And the Wayfinder motif for the horcruxes.

 

And the trio theme for.... well, the trio!

 

And the victory theme for the order of the phoenix.

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Nah, the Knights of Ren theme is too wild, too aleatoric, for the Death Eaters, and most of them are more "organized". Maybe a theme for the Snatchers who capture the trio by the end of Deathly Hallows 1...

 

I wonder what would a JW theme for Bellatrix Lestrange sound like... He has written few themes for female villains (Irina is the only one that comes to my mind), and maybe even less, if any, for completly psychopathic, chaotic evil ones. Most of the villains of the movies he scores don't have her cruel, psychopatic, agent of chaos-like personality, right?

 

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17 hours ago, GoodMusician said:

God... looking back, I wrote this stuff 10 years ago (posted on soundcloud 5 years ago)
 

 

You wrote this?! Wow, it brings back memories! I used to listen to these three cues a lot, especially "Dedalus, Dursleys and Dudley".

I had them in my iTunes archive (which I lost in 2012), but I couldn't remember where exactly I had downloaded them, and I've often wondered if the composer in question had scored the rest of the book. Very cool to re-listen to these.

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8 minutes ago, Drew said:

I would love to hear a Williams-style action cue for the Quidditch World Cup imagining if the film had included the actual game as an action sequence.


Same here! Especially how he would have translated the childlike excitement into the larger Wizarding World. We were robbed by only having 3 Williams Quidditch matches, especially leaving off after year 3 which was so awesome.

MS

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17 hours ago, Once said:

You wrote this?! Wow, it brings back memories! I used to listen to these three cues a lot, especially "Dedalus, Dursleys and Dudley".

I had them in my iTunes archive (which I lost in 2012), but I couldn't remember where exactly I had downloaded them, and I've often wondered if the composer in question had scored the rest of the book. Very cool to re-listen to these.

aww! that's kind of you heh...

One of these days I may need to revive that project. I always enjoyed it. I dunno if I'd try to compose to the book like I had been or switch to the film...

and ooo! Next tracks!

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20 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Fantastic. Love the rendition of the magic theme while walking through the camp and the Family theme for Harry entering the tent is a nice touch.

 

I think this is really driving home the fact that the thematic foundation of the first 3 films was so strong and continuing with the thematic material would have paid such rich dividends later on in the franchise. These themes could definitely grow up and mature with the characters. What a missed opportunity the film-makers had. Even if they could not get Williams, they should have kept his themes.


Thanks so much - that’s the exact standpoint we’re coming from! Not only that, but the foundation of these themes could provide more continuity and recall the emotional and coming-of-age aspects of the characters’ journeys. Those moments are so essential in the series - an example that stood out to us early on was Harry thinking of his parents for strength in the graveyard scene before facing Voldemort, and how heart wrenching it would be to quote the Family Theme for that moment in the movie. You’re so right that the growing and maturing themes could be really impactful, and in working on this, we followed a thematic plan throughout with that perspective.

MS

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Just listened through! I have to say I enjoyed alot of the expansions. I can hear how you honed in on how Williams would do things. I think the hard part with the films is that ideas like the Portkey, for example, should almost be more... magical? glorified? take a moment to exist outside of the film (ala diagon alley or aunt marge's waltz) those moments of pure magic and excitement. But the film kinda powers through it so you aren't left with much except a twirl and hurl lol I feel like that could have been a fun moment to create something separate but I also understand the confines on the film really prevent too much of that.

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14 hours ago, GoodMusician said:

Just listened through! I have to say I enjoyed alot of the expansions. I can hear how you honed in on how Williams would do things. I think the hard part with the films is that ideas like the Portkey, for example, should almost be more... magical? glorified? take a moment to exist outside of the film (ala diagon alley or aunt marge's waltz) those moments of pure magic and excitement. But the film kinda powers through it so you aren't left with much except a twirl and hurl lol I feel like that could have been a fun moment to create something separate but I also understand the confines on the film really prevent too much of that.

 

Yes, there is a lot of care put into this to make sure it sounds like JW’s writing and not my own. In regards to your Portkey comment, a lot of the issues faced while scoring this movie had to do with pacing. The front of this movie is so quick that some things had to be set aside thematically just so the music could help the viewer breathe and digest the huge amount of rushed exposition happening over the opening 10-15 minutes of the film. For those Diagon Alley and Aunt Marge moments, the films they appear in took time at the beginning to introduce magical places, people, and events. In terms of more “magical” or “glorified” objects, I reserved revealing new themes until the introduction of the Triwizard Cup, since it’s the most important magical object in the film. Thanks for the comment and enjoy!


BP

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No worries! And I agree whole heartedly with your approach!

 

I actually am curious, have you discussed how did you all go about spotting this / breaking down when/where/what you covered and when? Did you rely on how the film had been scored for timing/styles or just start fresh?

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17 hours ago, GoodMusician said:

I actually am curious, have you discussed how did you all go about spotting this / breaking down when/where/what you covered and when? Did you rely on how the film had been scored for timing/styles or just start fresh?

 

We started fresh! Ben spotted the movie on silent based on pacing, and we didn't consult Patrick Doyle's work (again, not wanting to replace it, but to make a Williams-based project). Before writing, we temped the movie with JW to establish a thematic and stylistic framework. Then we basically took the "what-if-JW-had-done-this" moments we were super excited about from planning, kept or adapted them, and planned the surrounding concepts. 

 

During the scoring process (Ben composing/Molly making cue sheets) we were able to designate where themes would be used throughout to create a cohesive vision. We also got a handle on which beats in the scenes should be emphasized, how the score could help unify some of those rushed sequences, and always discussed how the tone of each would fit into the bigger picture. We edited the cue timings a little as needed, and played through the score when it was done to make sure we liked the pacing and scope. But it was exciting to build from those ideas and helpful to have established plans for how we'd develop both old and new themes.

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11 hours ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

Did you consider scoring deleted scenes (if there are any...)? as you know sometimes scenes/shots get cut after scoring

 

We mentioned it briefly when brainstorming the idea, but ultimately decided to start by tackling the official film and the narrative they went with there as our goal. Maybe once everything's done on this film we'll do them as bonus scenes. Because it would be fun, and definitely a chance to explore some things more!

 

MS

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thanks for sharing that one! i'm not sure what to say about the first part. It good but it didn't evoke Williams fully to me. Might take another listen. It almost sounds like something from a silent film, which is great! like the cue is technically more difficult and interesting!

 The 2nd one, I felt like although it made sense to come in at the conjuring of the dark mark, it might have needed a lead in? The rest was pretty spot on! 

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