News articles tagged 'Alexandre Desplat'
27 October 2016 at 02:11 GMT
Between 2001 and 2011, four composers brought us nearly ten hours of music to underscore the Harry Potter films. There’s melody for characters, for action, for loss and for love, and we’re going to attempt to whittle that list down to the most memorable top five.
For variety (and because it’d be a foregone conclusion otherwise) we’re omitting John Williams’ signature composition, Hedwig’s Theme, from the list.
Aside: if what we’ve heard of the Fantastic Beasts soundtrack is anything to go by, that theme is going to transcend ‘Potter’ and become the musical signature of J.K. Rowling’s entire wizarding world.
You can also click any of the track titles to hear the piece, or to download sheet music. Let’s begin!
This haunting melody is Alexandre Desplat’s signature theme used throughout Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. We hear a soft choral version of the theme as the film opens, and probably the best rendition during Dragon Flight. The melody swells and takes full orchestral flight as the captive Gringotts dragon too breaks free of its restraints and flies to freedom with Harry, Ron and Hermione as passengers.
13 August 2015 at 23:02 GMT
Earlier this month, we reported that the Harry Potter soundtracks would be released on vinyl for the first time, beginning with the score for Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Now, a vinyl release for Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has been announced. The score will be available as a double LP on special black and blue marbled vinyl, with a pressing limited to 1000 copies. The score will be released on September 28 of this year, a month after the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 release.
Alexandre Desplat scored both Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2; you can learn more about his scores and the six earlier releases in our soundtracks and sheet music section.
4 August 2015 at 13:03 GMT
The folks over at New On Vinyl let us know that for the first time, the Harry Potter soundtracks will be released on vinyl. Alexandre Desplat’s 2010 score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the first to be released, and will be available as a double LP, on green marbled vinyl, with a limited print run of 1000 copies.
Alexandre Desplat scored the seventh and eighth Harry Potter films, taking over from John Williams (Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban), Patrick Doyle (Goblet of Fire) and Nicholas Hooper (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince).
You can preorder the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 vinyl by clicking here. It will be available for shipping on 31 August. Learn more about the Harry Potter scores over at our soundtracks and sheet music section.
6 July 2011 at 13:51 GMT
Recently, Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan sites, spoke with composer Alexandre Desplat.
Desplat recently scored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (he also scored part one last year).
Alexandre Desplat: You know these films are such huge machines–there’s such a huge expectation and so much pressure from the past because its the biggest series of the last 10 years–that you have to be very careful and double-check, triple-check that every note you write is accurate and fine, and you want to challenge yourself to be, if not as good, to approach the talent of the master that John Williams is, so it requires a little bit of attention. You can’t write a score of that kind in a short amount of time so you need to really try things over and over again. Also on these big machines now, the editing keeps changing and you have to adapt to that, so you need that time to be able to write properly and accurately.
Did you compose the soundtrack for Part 2 as a follow up for Part 1 or did you treat them as separate projects?
When I first was asked to write Part 1, it was not yet signed that I would write Part 2, so, unfortunately, I could not write thinking of the two episodes at the same time. However, there are still some themes of Part 1 which continue in Part 2 like what I call the “Band of Brothers” theme when all the friends reunite at the beginning of Part 1. We hear this theme again in Part 2 and also some of the themes and motifs of “Obliviate,” the thing that opens Part 2, that comes back also in Part 2, so there is some continuity.
Did you get to see the first half of the final film with your score added to it, and how did you feel about seeing everything put together?
I saw Part 1 finished a long time again, and it was great. I think the essence of what it portrayed–the sense of loneliness and a loss of childhood–were very strong, and I think it was a great first part.
Since Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was filmed way before it normally would be, did you got more time to score the film, and if so, did that affect your scoring process at all?
I think I had a lot of time to write, a very comfortable amount of time to write, because all together writing it and composing took about three and a half to four months for each episode. When you’re filming on set, you can decide on shooting all the scenes that belong to this set and then you can still change them. It’s very different with the score. I had to wait until I saw Part 2 edited to be able to start putting ideas together and try to find a sense of an arc and a dramatic sense for the film. There was enough time, and it was hard work for many months but also still very inspiring.
There are quite a few deaths in this film. Which was the most difficult to write, for and were there any that hit you harder than the others?
Death is very present in the Harry Potter story from the beginning because it starts with an orphan who lost his parents, and, actually, the theme of death is very present in this episode, since Lily, Harry’s mother, is the lead character of this episode. We start the film with hearing Lily’s theme, which will kind of ghost the film all along and be the music thread that will take us from the beginning to the end of the film. So that’s one element of death, the people that you miss, the people that you long for, the sorrow, and the question about death and the resurrection stone and how you cope with the death of the people you love. That’s very present in the themes that are used and you see it when you see the film and hear the soundtrack that I’ve tried to be very sensitive and emotional on these matters. The other side of death is, of course, also the battles, the duels, the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, and they are both fighting for death, and there’s no mercy. So I wrote some epic and lyrical pieces for these battle moments.
Desplat conducts the score to Deathly Hallows: Part 2
19 November 2010 at 08:35 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan websites, recently caught up with composer Alexandre Desplat to talk about his music for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Harry Potter Fan Zone: What was the first piece of music or melody that you wrote for this film and how did the rest of the music evolve from that idea?
Alexandre Desplat (AD): I worked many bits and pieces, that’s always the way I build my soundtracks. I take a lot of notes on a music pad, on a music writing little book. And so I take notes from these. And, and it’s many of them, it’s not just one. One of the ideas was the opening titles, the theme of “Obliviation”, and most of the “Ministry of Magic”. These three were the three I started to play around with, which means trying different ideas. But I can’t say that one was leading the others. ‘Cause at the same time I was also playing around with “Hedwig’s Theme”, making many questions of how I could twist the neck of this theme and make it different and bring it into my own little world of music. Except that at the end it did not happen because there was not enough room for the scene to be in the version that I’d written. So it’s really a complex process, it’s not just one theme, it’s many, many ideas and themes. I just record ’cause I know I’m going to use a rhythm pattern that I’m going to use and reuse and display here and there.
Question: “Obliviate” seems to be a reoccurring theme in the film. It’s somewhat of a much darker version to “Hedwig’s Theme” in a sense that the track has a sense of flight to it. Could you talk about that track, and how you came up with it?
AD: Well, first of all it, has nothing to do with “Hedwig’s Theme”. It’s completely away from the “Hedwig’s Theme”. There’s not any combinations of notes that sound like “Hedwig’s Theme”. That’s important to state. And if I may add to that statement that I loved the “Hedwig’s Theme” and I was actually impatient to write a version of the theme. But unfortunately, the movie was repelling, it was not. Because of the nature of the film, this theme, didn’t match. So, that’s the first thing. Now “Obliviate”, it is the seeds of the score. Actually this piece is the most important piece. That’s the piece around which the whole score was built. The idea was to find a theme that had a sense of sorrow, loss of innocence, but still with a propelling motor, and also a sense of wide sound to deliver an epic kind of feeling to it. Actually, this piece opens the movie. It’s the first melody that you’ll hear. And it’s music that goes with the theme where the three heroes leave their families, their homes to go to the unknown. They go on the road to fight the dark forces and it captures their anxiety, their fears, their sadness. And that’s why this theme will be recurring in various shades all over the film.
Question: Fans really love “Hedwig’s Theme”. How did you go about choosing which scenes would feature it?
AD: Well, it’s very easy to understand that. The movie being so different from the previous ones because it’s the first time our heroes are away from Hogwarts. They’re not children anymore. They’re young adults. And the theme of Hedwig is really related to the early days of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione. We tried really hard with David Yates to use it at very specific moments. Some of them did not make it until the end of the process, unfortunately, because they were kind of bringing the children to childhood while the movie was doing exactly the opposite, bringing the children into adulthood. So it’s only a few moments when he’s leaving his house, we see Hedwig go in the sky, away from Harry’s hand, when Hedwig is killed, also, by one of the Death Eaters. We’re not related anymore, neither to Hedwig, neither to the childhood of these heroes. That’s why and how the theme is not recurring more than that, sadly, because it’s a fantastic melody. Fantastic.
16 November 2010 at 15:33 GMT
Earlier this month Harry Potter Fan Zone spoke with the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as part of the London press junket.
Below you can read our interviews about the music of the final two films, including producers David Heyman and David Barron commenting on the possibility of John Williams scoring the final Potter film.
Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): Was John Williams ever asked to score Deathly Hallows: Part 2? Did he decline?
David Heyman (DH): Yes, he was. We wanted to make it work with John but John’s schedule didn’t permit.
David Barron (DB): He was just unavailable unfortunately.
HPFZ: He wanted to do it?
Both: He did, very much so.
DH: We asked him around the time of [movie] six. Actually, we talked to him all the way along [about coming back for the end] but his schedule didn’t permit.
DB: It’s incredible for a man of advancing years who you think might be taking it easy, we spoke to him almost two years before the scoring sessions for this film and already then he had schedule issues.
DH: And then he tried to work his schedule to try and accommodate it but it just wasn’t possible.
HPFZ: Alexandre Desplat mentioned that you picked very specific moments for “Hedwig’s Theme”. What was so significant about those moments?
David Yates (DY): Anything that felt like we were being nostalgic or in a way reflective of the past. That’s when we used it.
HPFZ: Was it a conscious decision for him to play with the melody?
DY: Yeah, we wanted it to feel like it was all getting a bit distressed. We wanted to sort of [mess] it up a bit.
We’ll have more, including an interview with Alexandre Desplat, the composer for the Deathly Hallows films, later this week.