This week doesn’t offer much for me to journal about, simply because I focused on scoring scenes, and didn’t use any specific romantic influences. I spent a large portion of my time at the beginning of the week working on the cue “In the Garage.” This was an important scene for me; it really introduces the viewer to Luke, but also spotlights Leia, the droids, and briefly mentions Obi-Wan. That gives me a lot to introduce musically. A scene this full of important character background could easily give the listener thematic overload, so I struggled to maintain a consistent flow. I decided this scene needed a more tonal approach than some of my other scenes, but this isn’t a bad decision in my mind. Luke is introduced as a homebody, someone that’s lived on the farm his entire life. It makes sense that he would be surrounded by “tonal” music during this portion of the movie, and as he begins to experience life outside the farm, the music becomes less and less tonal.
I started this week by tweaking and finishing small portions of the “Binary Sunset” and “Burning Homestead” cues. I started working on ethnic music ideas for certain scenes on the desert planet of Tatooine. I wanted it to have a unique sound, so I’m combining instruments from Africa, India, China, and Europe to create a timbre that is distinctive to the planet and cannot be attributed to any single place on Earth. I wrote a percussive, “marketplace” type of music for the scene in which they enter the spaceport, and I created a breathy, flute-like piece for when R2-D2 is wandering the desert alone.
This week I was on vacation at the beach, so I didn’t quite reach my hourly goal. I mainly focused on the cue “Burning Homestead,” in which Luke sees his house burned down. This cue took quite a bit of time because it has three very distinct parts
I worked on the “TIE Fighter Attack” cue, the last of my cue demos. I wanted to write a few demos before I began scoring the film, and the demos worked out beautifully. They gave me a good idea of how I would go about scoring scenes in the movie, and they allowed me to experiment using a variety of moods, the “TIE Fighter Attack” scene being an action sequence. Dr. Moser had suggested I use Movement 5 of Stravinsky’s Firebird for a chase scene or action scene, and I thought Firebird was perfect for temp tracking the TIE Fighter attack. I drew heavily from Stravinsky’s orchestration when I wrote this cue, and occasionally imitated his style, particularly when the TIE Fighters first appear in the scene.
For week 2 of my project, I finished researching Wagner’s leitmotifs, this time studying more of their use in film. Bribitzer-Stull observes that “Layering of associations throughout a film make themes more powerful at the film’s conclusion. It is thus the musical development of themes rather than the crafting of the themes themselves that should comprise the bulk of a film composer’s work.”
Week 1 was a great starting point for my project. Monday’s meeting with Dr. Moser yielded some interesting questions. These questions will remain unanswerable, but I believe they will guide me as I look to write my own music for Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope…