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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.     

Thanks, everyone! This feedback means so much to us, we are super glad you're looking forward to HBP!   @mrbellamy that is awesome, and we're excited to tackle this scene when we get there

Wow, I can't begin to describe how much better this version was than the original. The film version's awkward silences were filled, the old Voldemort and Wormtail themes came back, and the family theme (reworked for the tense duel) gave me goosebumps. I wish more people would take a listen to this project-  it's an absolute must-listen for any Potter or JW fan.

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@Demosthenes - Thank you for such an awesome, positive comment! We really appreciate hearing your thoughts. It also means a lot to us to see enjoyment regarding this cue specifically because it’s been the one we’ve had the most excitement about. 

@TSMefford - Yes the family theme really had the chance to flex its muscles at the end of this movie, and in this cue especially. Thanks for noticing that specifically, and also for the comment!

BP

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Hi everyone! As the movie is wrapping up, we have three cues for you before the very end. After the huge third task and graveyard scene cues, it was nice to keep that momentum but work on a smaller scale.

Here is Cue No. 34: Cedric is Dead, followed by the reveals in Cues No. 35 and 36: Mad-Eye Interrogates Harry / Barty Crouch Jr. Revealed. Thanks for listening!

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3 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Yes, I'll definitely listen to the whole thing if I can somehow sync it up to the movie's centre channel.

I'll just listen to it as music, I have gone this far without touching any of the books/movies, not going to break a "perfect record" ;)

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Thanks guys, the full score is first on the list after the end credits! We're excited about that too because it was planned on the macro scale so hopefully that'll come across.

@The River (Fal) - impressive. It'll be great to hear your opinion of the score by itself, then! We'll be including all of the cues' notes digital booklet-style if you're not opposed to basic plot summaries to follow along.

MS

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Yes! I can't wait to sync this up!

 

EDIT: Does anyone know how to mix this with the movie's dialogue? I extracted the center channel from my DVD, but even that contains loud music. Even when I mixed the movie's audio with a volume of 10% into the file, I could still hear Doyle's music.

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8 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Yes! I can't wait to sync this up!

 

EDIT: Does anyone know how to mix this with the movie's dialogue? I extracted the center channel from my DVD, but even that contains loud music. Even when I mixed the movie's audio with a volume of 10% into the file, I could still hear Doyle's music.

 

In that case you would probably have to do quite a bit of editing. Best you could do probably would be to try and edit / silence everything around the dialog. That's what I'll be doing at least.

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On 6/14/2020 at 5:54 PM, Ravendor Studios said:

Hi everyone!

We've reached the last two cues in the movie. We hope you enjoy Cue No. 37: Cedric's Funeral, and Cue No. 38: Everything's Going to Change. Special thanks to our colleague with the Voxos choir library who allowed us to record this special cue.

We have really appreciated hearing from you guys both on the thread and through messages as we've posted this project, and we're so thankful for all your enthusiasm. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts on these cues. We also have some fun things planned for the next few weeks. On June 21st, check back for the Goblet of Fire end credits.

As this is such a "by the fans, for the fans" project, it's really been amazing to have your support and we think you'll like these upcoming posts too. Thank you!!!

 

This is indeed lovely. I cannot get past how moving the friendship and family themes are in any guise and Leaving Hogwarts remains a powerful cue no matter how or where it is used.

 

I daresay I prefer this music to what we got in the movie.

 

What a great loss we suffered when the franchise dropped these two themes and only retained the main theme. I feel these 2 themes equally make Harry potter what it is.

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On 6/29/2020 at 2:47 AM, bollemanneke said:

I extracted the center channel from my DVD, but even that contains loud music. Even when I mixed the movie's audio with a volume of 10% into the file, I could still hear Doyle's music.

 

@bollemanneke I wondered if that would happen. I did that with Prisoner of Azkaban in the pre-LLL box set days and it was pretty messy unfortunately. Best of luck if you go for it, @TSMefford

 

@TheUlyssesian - thanks for your post, we really appreciate it! I agree, especially since family is such a strong theme of the series it just killed us to not have that continued musically. Glad you liked the end too. Basically, that and the Voldemort themes were our biggest motivators for doing this project.

 

MS

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On 6/29/2020 at 8:47 AM, bollemanneke said:

Yes! I can't wait to sync this up!

 

EDIT: Does anyone know how to mix this with the movie's dialogue? I extracted the center channel from my DVD, but even that contains loud music. Even when I mixed the movie's audio with a volume of 10% into the file, I could still hear Doyle's music.

 

Audacity has a vocals remove function you could try, it's far from perfect but it's free to try.

 

On 6/29/2020 at 7:25 PM, TheUlyssesian said:

What a great loss we suffered when the franchise dropped these two themes and only retained the main theme. I feel these 2 themes equally make Harry potter what it is.

 

You can thank Mike Newell for that.

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1 hour ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Oh! How absurd. I thought JW turned them down.

 

Yeah, it's pathetic. There's a link to an interview from that time somewhere here on JWfan where Newell disses Williams and calls his music childish. I'll see if I can find it (don't get your hopes up LOL).

 

Edit: that was easy

 

 

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@artguy360 - Thank you so much! It's great to hear from you, and means a lot to us that people are listening. This is such a niche project that we just hoped to reach people who'd be interested. Feel free to reach out with any of your thoughts from the score, and we're so glad you enjoyed it!

Also @JTWfan77 that is just crazy about Newell's comments. We hadn't heard that before either. It certainly doesn't help any of the continuity issues across the films even though Doyle's score works on its own.

MS

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I feel like this proves more the point that Williams' original themes didn't fit in, the more the series went on, than it does the opposite. 

I'm certain John Williams could have made a lot of them work, but, well, this isn't John Williams. 

I feel like the project concentrated way too much on forcing one or several designated John Williams themes into any given scene, that don't sit comfortably. 

 

There's so much more to achieving a John Williams type score than pinching his themes and arranging them in ways to fit a picture. I'd be totally taken out of the picture if I heard some of the choices you made. A good part of it also doesn't flow very well. It's like you were so busy making the arrangements work that you neglected if it works as a film score. 

 

I mean, this is rather harsh for what's essentially a work of passion, I just want to add my feelings. 

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I don't think this is quite the point that I would say his themes don't fit in. I'd be extremely curious to see this same approach taken with 5-8 as I feel that's where the films really take a turn into territory that Williams would have to adapt more to. However, it's John Williams and I think he is more than capable of making his themes work and I think if things had been allowed and he had tackled the rest of the franchise, yes, he may have dropped some of his early themes, but I'd wager plenty of them would've stayed. To drop all of them after a certain point, when (especially in the later films) there are so many moments that could have a bigger emotional connection utilizing some of that music...it's a huge missed opportunity.

 

Another thing I will say is something that may also contribute to the feeling of some of the music feeling out of place is the more "MIDI" sound to the music. I have certainly heard plenty of composers in Hollywood utilizing demos of far worse quality than what was produced here and it really doesn't do the music itself any favors. However, when done with a live orchestra or even with a ton of work put into making the MIDI sound as real as possible, the same piece all comes together. Something that comes to mind are some of Hooper's demos for the Potter films he scored. The MIDI sound especially can lead to darker moments feeling silly or too light. So I'll admit that I did have to sort imagine more during moments like those.

 

All that being said, personally, yes, this isn't perfect. It's not John Williams, but I don't think anyone is saying it is. We'll never know what could've been. But I think @Ravendor Studios has done a pretty remarkable job giving us a glimpse of what it could've been like, roughly. I actually had the opposite revelation as you @gkgyver. I was quite surprised as how well some of the themes fit in. Particularly the family theme and the way it was used. There were moments where it was used that I legitimately got goosebumps, even in MIDI form.

 

Ultimately I think it goes to show the power of music. Doyle did a great score, but it does lack a true emotional connection at times to what came before and I think, above all else, there is more of that here.

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I believe that Williams' scores would have dedicated a large portion of their runtime to new themes. Probably with subtle melodic ties to the primary thematic material (Hedwig's Theme, Family Theme, HWW, Voldenort).

Though it's possible his tight 2005 schedule would have prompted him to go the adaptation route as with CoS.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, gkgyver said:

I feel like this proves more the point that Williams' original themes didn't fit in, the more the series went on, than it does the opposite. 

I'm certain John Williams could have made a lot of them work, but, well, this isn't John Williams. 

I feel like the project concentrated way too much on forcing one or several designated John Williams themes into any given scene, that don't sit comfortably. 

 

There's so much more to achieving a John Williams type score than pinching his themes and arranging them in ways to fit a picture. I'd be totally taken out of the picture if I heard some of the choices you made. A good part of it also doesn't flow very well. It's like you were so busy making the arrangements work that you neglected if it works as a film score. 

 

I mean, this is rather harsh for what's essentially a work of passion, I just want to add my feelings. 

Yeah, I kind of agree with most of what you're saying. I still think it was a breathtaking and admirable effort, but listening to this as a score makes the problems really stand out.

 

For one thing, there's the samples, though I totally understand they couldn't go for better ones.

 

But then there's the constant 'Oh, right, John Williams sometimes does this, so we'll try to do this here too.' Even though I know it's not him and that they aren't trying to replace him, that's still jarring. I don't know how else to put this.

 

Some of it works brilliantly, but other moments just don't feel like anything Williams would ever have done and I can sometimes just tell when they were unsure what to o next.

 

Oh boy, I'm being harsh today.

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53 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Some of it works brilliantly, but other moments just don't feel like anything Williams would ever have done and I can sometimes just tell when they were unsure what to o next.

 

Lol. I'll just say again, that I don't think this is a perfect effort, not that it has to be, but we can speculate all day long about what Williams would and would not have done, but none of us will ever know that. None of us are Williams. And no one else here that I know of has attempted to compose an entire score to begin to answer this question.

 

I'm sure there's some alternate timeline somewhere where Williams did all of Potter instead of Star Wars or something. I'd be curious to hear what it sounds like, but honestly it could sound like anything.

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According to the original post, this was supposed to be the following:

Quote

 

we constructed a score for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the style of John Williams, imagining the musical continuity that could exist if the thematic material from 1-3 connected the following movies. 

 

We've attempted to emulate Williams’ writing style to musically unify this with the first three installments. 

 

 

And I'm saying it's not "a score in the style of John Williams", it's a score taking existing themes, statements and moments from existing John Williams scores, and gluing them together in an attempt to fit a picture. Those are two very different things. 

It's like the adapting of Williams' Superman The Movie into the sequels, only less effective. 

 

I'm not criticizing it for not being John Williams, I'm saying don't say things like this because you're doomed to fail. It doesn't "emulate Williams' writing style" very well, and it doesn't "musically unify" it to the first three, either. 

 

The opening titles cue alone is a good example, because it's so busy stitching Williams themes together, that it sounds like an arrangement of blocks rather than a piece of music. There's no rhythm to it, so it fails to grab you, which opening titles should. 

It's also not good storytelling because the scene relies on the mystery of where we are and what's about to happen, and the re-score screams Voldemort all over the place. 

 

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9 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Hermione's 'theme' is seriously overused. Also don't understnad why the scene between Harry and Cho began with WTTP.

 

I'll admit that yeah some of the Window to the Past usage was a stretch. I don't feel like it's needed much in this film personally. It would be more appropriate and applicable in Order of the Phoenix when we continue to interact with Sirius and learn more about his past as well as Harry's parents.

 

I am now picturing a wonderful new rendition during the scene when Sirius gives Harry the picture of the order. Probably have some sort of theme for the Order, but when you see his parents...and have Sirius reminiscing...it would give that scene so much more emotional power. Sort of like the scene in Star Trek Beyond where young Spock sees the photo of the original crew.  

 

I can also agree that some things were overused, but in this case...I'd rather some over-usage as opposed to the...basically none usage that we got. There's so little connecting this score to the previous ones that I'm okay with over-correcting a bit to get there. Especially for one groups perspective. Again, I do love Doyle's score, don't get me wrong. But there's many scenes that just feel emotionally emptier than they could even with the gorgeous music Doyle came up with. Like yes, the music is nice, but it mostly means... not much. Granted, the other side of that is that the over-usage of things can also remove the meaning as well so I can see that.

 

I'm sure if each of us had the time and the chops to do what has been done here then there'd be hundreds of different ways it could go. The kicker though... none of them would ever be close enough for anyone's taste. Lol.

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3 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Agreed. I will admit that the graveyard cue was breathtaking and some things rally work very well, but overall, I would be much more interested if someone just matched a bunch of random JW cues to picture. That way we would at least have the real thing.

 

Yeah but that's too easy! Lol.

 

Now that you mention it though...I wonder what that scene I mentioned from Order of the Phoenix would be like with Window to the Past on it...........Be right back.

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6 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

That's nice, but could you give me access to the file? :P

Also, final score cue is great!

 

Should be accessible now, sorry! Google Drive has changed how they do sharing by default. Still not used to it yet.

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On 2/4/2020 at 7:41 AM, Ravendor Studios said:

As hard as we try to emulate what JW would have wanted, we’re not him, and our opinions will show themselves based off of our love for the material and what we for sure would have wanted.

...At the end of the day, we really couldn’t know what he’d do, and we based this off of one route he could have taken with this film that certainly starts by reviving that fun and magical aesthetic. In keeping with the Star Wars thematic comparisons, this could have very well functioned as a TLJ-style incorporation of material to help tie things together before moving forward even more.

 

Oh boy! hey guys! We are DEFINITELY NOT claiming to be John Williams! The keyword has been “attempt,” and we know we’re just fans like everyone here. We’re not trying to be definitive but rather imagine the more complete scores that we’ve always wanted. You can look at this as fan fiction. Just our thoughts on the topic, no need to agree. It’s been great hearing about the moments you all have also really liked.

 

We know everyone has different ideas of how he would have done it, but it also wasn't the case that we patched things together without a plan. We imagined what we would want as fans, looked at how he has reused material throughout Star Wars as an example, considered the balance of thematic vs. non-thematic material in the first 3 scores, and also took this chance to move forward with the material while tying 1-3 into the next chapter. It is totally fair to say we leaned towards over-use rather than the other way around. (Plus we wanted to utilize as much JW material as we could. Cause he’s the real reason we’re here.) There is a large portion of the score that is original and in those moments, we really did aim at emulating Williams' style; we also studied the orchestration of the first 3 Potter movies to blend between the new and old. 

 

@gkgyver Thanks for explaining your point of view about the beginning - it certainly makes sense. We began with Voldemort to lean into the contrast compared to the previous openings, keeping Hedwig at the start but ebbing and flowing with the ominous scene.

 

@bollemanneke valid point about Hermione, it does stack up a bit in the middle of the score. We felt they were different enough instances with enough separating them. The original moment we knew we wanted was her reveal at the Yule Ball. But also...can we really have too much Hermione? With Window to the Past, it fit well over castle shots in our opinion and we loved its potential for those transitions while Sirius is on Harry’s mind, though he doesn’t have a physical presence in this film. Side note - we did create a temp score first that was a patchwork of Williams cues to score off of (mostly Potter with some surprises that were fun to put in). We’re open to sharing it, just shoot us a message.
 

On 7/7/2020 at 5:09 PM, TSMefford said:

There's so little connecting this score to the previous ones that I'm okay with over-correcting a bit to get there.


@TSMefford we appreciate that, thank you :) it was an interesting balance to play with but this was sort of our standpoint too. We just wanted to hear this music continue.

 

We also posted this here exactly so we could discuss! We knew it couldn’t make everyone happy from the start and have appreciated all the messages about this, from people who love it, who disagree with our choices, or anywhere in between.

 

MS & BP

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4 hours ago, Ravendor Studios said:

Oh boy! hey guys! We are DEFINITELY NOT claiming to be John Williams! The keyword has been “attempt,” and we know we’re just fans like everyone here. We’re not trying to be definitive but rather imagine the more complete scores that we’ve always wanted. You can look at this as fan fiction. Just our thoughts on the topic, no need to agree. It’s been great hearing about the moments you all have also really liked.

 

MS & BP

 

Precisely. It was very enjoyable to see what you guys came up with personally!

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