Harry Gregson-Williams Talks Prince Caspian
Just after the release of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, composer Harry Gregson-Williams shares about his return to Narnia, his feelings about moving on from the franchise, what he’s doing with up-and-coming-composers like David Buckley and Stephen Barton at his Wavecrest Studios, and his upcoming projects which include X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
CC: Can you compare the two experiences of composing for THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE versus PRINCE CASPIAN?
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: There was one fundamental difference, and it’s a physical difference. For THE LION, THE WITCH, and the WARDROBE, I wrote the score in my studio in Los Angeles and recorded it here as well. On PRINCE CASPIAN, since Andrew Adamson was cutting the film in London, the sound and visual effects being done in London, it was required that I pack my gear up and send it over there. So I had to find a studio there and hit the ground running, which I did just after Christmas of last year. It was quite a challenge to recreate the conditions that I feel comfortable writing in. I had to do something similar when writing for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but, in the end, it turned out to be a lot of good fun.
CC: How long did it take you to “get comfortable” to write and be creative?
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: It took a couple of weeks, but I had left myself a lot of time. I started quite early to give myself plenty of time to experiment.
CC: Once you got going, was your process very similar to THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE?
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: Yes. It was very similar.
CC: Outside of the relocation, what would say your biggest challenge was musically on PRINCE CASPIAN?
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS: My biggest challenge was to embrace Andrew (Adamson’s) notion that I should bring forward themes from the first movie. Of course, there are a number of new themes that I had to write, but the real conundrum for me was figuring out just how much of the thematic content I was going to bring with me from the last movie. It’s strange not starting from square-one. I actually worried about this quite a bit, so what I ended up doing was to push all of that to one side and write Prince Caspian’s theme and the cue for the first 8-minutes of the film. I knew this piece would have no reference to the previous movie, so this was good for me because it made me feel as though I was on a fresh musical journey.