Gregson-Williams’ career highlights

Composer reflects on memorable moments

Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer.

  • “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of the hardest things I ever did. The movie came to me with a four- or five-minute voiceover monologue by Casey Affleck. What was needed was a very melodic, slightly wistful piece of music whose lead instrument was already there — the character’s voice.”

  • “(Director) Joel Schumacher was still shooting ‘Veronica Guerin’ on location (in Dublin) and suggested I come over and get a feel for what was going on. I heard this boy singing on the street, and it transported me back, perhaps because of my own background as a boy singer. After much difficulty, I got a recording of him and used it at the moment in the movie when Veronica is shot dead. I couldn’t imagine how I could score this moment any more emotionally than to use the voice of this child.”

  • “I think having a consort of viols and a fantastic (140-member) choir all assembled in Abbey Road for ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ was both thrilling and very alarming for me. I’d had a crash course in how to deal with a viol — I didn’t even know what clef the damn thing played in, let alone what range it was in — and that was a special moment because I was in territory that was completely unknown to me.”

  • “The hush as I picked up my baton before the first note of the concert I did with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (a suite from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’). That was totally thrilling and also incredibly alarming. What in heaven’s name am I doing here? I’m a film composer, not a concert composer. It was fantastic.”

  • “I’m not Mr. Romantic Comedy. This was a breezy, 45-minute score for a lovely little film. For ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,’ what was required of me was a love theme. We went to Abbey Road to record it. Usually I have masses of prerecords, lots of synthesized tracks and programming stuff and complicated machines needing to be synchronized. But on this, it was just the orchestra, ready to play. A very liberating time. It was great fun.”
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0


    Leave a Reply

    No Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    More Film News from Variety