NarniaWeb Interviews Geoffrey Burgon
We’d like to thank Geoffrey Burgon for giving us the opportunity to ask him some questions about his Narnia scores. Burgon wrote the music for the BBC productions of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian/The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair.
NW: How did you first become involved with the BBC Narnia project?
The producer asked me to write for the show, probably because of other scores that I’d written for TV.
NW: When did you first come into contact with the Narnia stories?
Although I’d heard of them I had never read any of the books, until I got involved in the series.
NW: Did you take inspiration from the books when writing the music?
The inspiration came from the films, rather than the books.
NW: How did you go about inventing memorable themes for characters like Aslan and Tumnus?
I watch the videos over and over at home, in a ‘rough cut’ form, and wait for ideas to come.
NW: Did you have an idea about what “Narnian” music should sound like?
Not until I’d watched the films. Then I tried to write a theme that embodied Aslan’s nobilty and strength.
NW: The stories were released in parts as television serials. Did this make developing a course of musical ideas more difficult than it would be with a film?
Not really. Once I’d found the theme and the ‘sound’ of the music, it was quite easy to get back into the swing of it as I approached each new episode. Each story needed a different approach, but I always had the previous music in mind.
NW: Do you have a favourite of the three Narnia productions that you worked on?
The first one, simply because it was the first I think, and it was fun to write for something new and different.
NW: How do you feel about the new The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie that is being released this December?
I’ll have to reserve judgement until I see it.
NW: Do you have any advice that you can give younger or beginner composers?
Write as much as you can. And write pieces that you can get played, for your friends, for a school choir or orchestra, that sort of thing – you need to hear your work performed.
You can find out about the upcoming release of the soundtrack here.