Today I went to a fascinating presentation at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Harry Gregson-Williams talked about his remarkable career as a film composer. He is the musical genius behind the music of such films as the Shrek series, the Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, Man on Fire, and many others. He shared the following insights:
o He mentioned simplicity is often the way to go in film music.
o He often has to figure out what the director wants, even before the director knows exactly what that is.
o He often has to write the music for scenes even before the film is finished, and special effects are still in the works, which is difficult at best.
o Even when he does his very best, sometimes the director chooses to use other music than his.
Film composers are masters at building that often unconscious emotional reaction to film scenes, but presumably they are well aware of what they are doing and how they are doing it.
It was a very interesting event, held at the beautiful Wallis Theatre. If you haven’t been to the Wallis yet, which just opened last year, take in an event there. They did a beautiful job turning a post office into a wonderful setting for all kinds of cultural events. Not to be missed. For more information about The Wallis Theatre, visit thewallis.org. For more photos, see my Flickr page: flickr.com/joybennett.