Composer Harry Gregson-Williams has scored Ridley Scott’s recent release Kingdom of Heaven and completed scores for two new releases; Tony Scott’s Domino as well as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by director Andrew Adamson at his new production facility, Wavecrest Music. Steinberg’s Cubase SX was not only used to score the films, but is the center of this new production facility.
Based in the artsy seaside community of Venice, Calif., Wavecrest blends a creative atmosphere with cutting-edge technology; both key ingredients in today’s world of film scoring. The two-story building houses composition and editing rooms and well as live recording and meeting spaces.
Steinberg’s Cubase SX not only serves as Gregson-Williams’ main composition and arranging palette, but is also command central for the various sample libraries, VST Instruments and outboard gear he’s acquired. However, Gregson-Williams wasn’t always so digitally equipped. “I didn’t own a computer, let alone use a computer for music, until I came here to L.A. I made that transition simply because it seemed that this was a way I could help express myself.”
Gregson-Williams, a veteran of Hollywood dubbing stages (Shrek 2, Man on Fire, Spy Game), notes that computers have made it possible for filmmakers to get a near-final impression of the score early on in the process, and can manipulate it faster (and less expensively) than in the past. “It’s music made to order,” he says. “With the advent of reasonable sampled libraries, one can get a really decent mock-up going. There is plenty of room to express yourself, but it’s really a collaboration. Computers in music allow one to include the filmmakers in your thought process.”
On a film such as Domino, a “band-oriented” score with a lot of guitars, drums and electronics, Gregson-Williams states that he must work fast and keep pace with the films aggressive editing. Conversely, on The Chronicles of Narnia, where an open, sweeping orchestral score is called for, Cubase can be called upon for instant arrangement changes.
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