Nicholas Hooper Speaks about the Score to “Order of the Phoenix”


May 09, 2007

Posted by SueTLC

The May 8 edition of Film Music Weekly contains a new interview with Nicholas Hooper about his score he composed for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Recorded in March and April at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, England, the music for the fifth Harry Potter film will again contain the beautiful Hedwig’s Theme originally created by John Williams for Sorcerer’s Stone, where we will hear this piece again “first in the film’s opening and then subsequently at particular dramatic moments.”
The music will feature a choir, the 90 member Chamber Orchestra of London, electronic sounds, and even a particular drum. ““Worth particular note was a huge Taiko drum from Japan, suggested by my agent Darrell Alexander — it makes a deep sound you can actually feel,†says Nicholas Hooper. Mr. Hooper continues on to describe two of the new themes we will hear in the soundtrack, due to be released on July 10.

â€The themes of the film itself demanded a lot of fresh and different material. Two of the main themes developed were the ‘Umbridge Theme’ and the ‘Possession Theme’,†explains Nicholas Hooper. “Professor Umbridge is a new central character in this fifth story, and is an apparently fluffy but cruel and increasingly mad witch who is planted in the school by the Ministry of Magic. The theme reflects her character in an insistent, irritating way and was great
fun to write — should be a hit with ring tones!

The ‘Possession Theme’ is the story of Harry’s gradual possession by Voldemort, who convinces him that Sirius Black, his godfather, is being tortured. It appears in various forms, at times slow but mainly with a sense of panic, and often getting faster and faster. This searing theme was enormously rewarding to write.â€

To read this entire interview, click here (PDF, pg 4) Thanks much to lost duck!

49 Responses to Nicholas Hooper Speaks about the Score to “Order of the Phoenix”

Avatar Image says: Goodness! This person really knows what he's talking about!Avatar Image says: LOL, does anyone else think of the Imperial March when he talks about the Umbridge theme? Haha...Avatar Image says: It seems like he got right in to this. Wonderful! I am very much looking forward to hearing Mr Hooper's score. Love John Williams' work on the first three, not so much a fan of Patrick Doyle's GoF score unfortunately. It was decent, but failed to capture me. Can't wait for OotP. Avatar Image says: woohoo! top 5 comments! can't wait to hear it. does anyone know where you can listen to it NOW?Avatar Image says: Sounds great. I can't wait to hear the new soundtrack.Avatar Image says: He really seems to have got involved in the music and the tone of the film.I can`t wait to hear it,he really seems to know what he`s talking about. Imagine an Umbridge ring tone,no-one would dare ignore it for fear of being put in detention.Avatar Image says: OMG! Yes! Finally, someone who knows what he's talking about. I too think it's essential to use Hedwig's theme, and not Doyle's lame version. Will this be a version that Cooper does, or are they using the original from John Williams? Anyhow I am so glad for this, he sounds so right for the job!Avatar Image says: Goodness, this really does back up what Michael Goldenberg said in his interview with Melissa - i.e. that everyone involved in the film really does care about it being good. Hooper certainly sounds like he has taken it all very seriously (which is especially good as there seems to be a high chance of him returning for HBP along with Mr. Yates).Avatar Image says: I'd love a sample. :) Can't wait for the soundtrack!Avatar Image says: "Will this be a version that Cooper does, or are they using the original from John Williams?" He will obviously be using the original Hedwig's theme, but scoring it in such a way that it fits with the tone of the current film. OOTP is a very different film to PS/SS, it is much darker, so you will probably see him doing a "darker" version of the theme at points in the film, although there may be points in the film that the lighter version will be used. The main point is that the theme itself is kept. Even if you didn't like Doyle's version of it, at least he kept that theme in the film, as a continuity point from the earlier films. Avatar Image says: I might be the only one in the world who thinks this, but I bally well hate Hedwig's Theme. It's twee, overblown, saccharine and pretty much encompasses everything that the films lack when compared to the books. Still, I like Nicholas Hooper's previous stuff, so generally it seems promising.Avatar Image says: I like that Hooper seems to not be using the John Williams themes that much, ala Patrick Doyle. The themes are still heard but they're not overused. I like this. Like each movie getting a new director, I like that they've been changing music composers for the last few. I seem to be one of the few that actually loves the Doyle Goblet of Fire score, I think he brought some great new themes to the mix, and I have a feeling Nicholas Hooper will accomplish the same, and probably moreso. Can't wait to hear the Ministry battle music.Avatar Image says: After reading that I'm looking forward a lot to hearing it. Only quibble is the 'possession theme' - as we HPnuts know it was not actually possession (except briefly in the MoM), but we have to let it go as muggle shorthand.:) I agree with you, Brandon: Doyle wrote some excellent and memorable themes in his score, though the quality was uneven. Hogwarts Hymn is my favourite, but the waltzes, Hogwarts March and Cedric's theme worked very well - the moment of mood change in the return from the graveyard scene being particularly effective. Avatar Image says: He's using taiko drums! Fantastic! And a ring tone hit for Umbridge! hahaha, that's great. I can't wait to hear the score.Avatar Image says: I hope I like this soundtrack as much as I liked what he had to say about it. My favorite is still the PoA soundtrack, but maybe that's because PoA was my favorite book. Maybe this new one will replace it?Avatar Image says: >>I might be the only one in the world who thinks this, but I bally well hate Hedwig's Theme. It's twee, overblown, saccharine and pretty much encompasses everything that the films lack when compared to the books. (Tistytosty) You're not the only one! I feel exactly the same about it. I think some of Williams's themes are great (and I even like Harry's Wondrous World, so I'm not just a jaded cynic) but too much of the original soundtrack is - as you say - twee, saccharine and overblown. And yes, that theme really did sum up the problem with film 1 - it's bland, kiddie-wizard stuff. The PoA soundtrack was good and I loved what Doyle did with Williams's themes, so I hope the darker and less sugary approach to Hedwig's Theme is taken by Hooper too.Avatar Image says: Hedwig's theme is not good. At least the PS and CoS versions were not. They seem too obvious and not subtle enough. Is the one on the WB site what they're going to use in the movie? I hope they only use it for the opening bit or something.Avatar Image says: I'm extremely excited about this score. Nicholas Hooper seems really enthusiastic and I wasn't overly impressed with Patrick Doyle's work on GoF since there was nothing identifiable about it. I hope the Umbridge theme is light yet sinister, that would be excellent. Oh and Choral work, FINALLY! We've had some glimpses in past scores but this should be excellent. I hope we get another AOL preview like we did with Goblet. Avatar Image says: sounds great. the score is so important to movie like this, if they dont get it right, its a serious problem. But, so far they have had great composers.Avatar Image says: *politly dissagrees with all the hedwigs theme haters* I'm actually fairly excited to hear some of hoopers work. If it is his stuff in the trailer, i'm very optimistic. I'm actually glad hedwigs theme is a consisten part of the scores. I think it shows that Williams had a knack for creating memorable themes. This is one of them. :)Avatar Image says: I'm really looking forward to this- and I'm one who kind of misses John Williams. It sounds like Mr. Hooper is just as passionate as Michael Goldenberg and David Yates. I'm sure that will come through in the work.Avatar Image says: I am excited even more when I read that Nick is going to be using some electronically-influenced music (meaning electronic sounding, like Orbital or house music or something along those lines), as well as use of a Taiko drum. I love the fact that Nick is using different musical instruments from different countries (not UK-centric). I don't really have an opinion on the "Hedwig Theme" stuff. I like all versions of the piece. Good going, Mr. Hooper.Avatar Image says: Finally, something about the score. I am glad that Hooper is using "Hedwig's Theme" (Crookshanks, his last name is HOOPER, not Cooper!), but I was hoping he'd incorporate a bit more of Williams's less major themes (such as "A Window to the Past" to represent Sirius) to make a reappearance. I do hope he'll reference "Hedwig's Theme" in full in the OOTP score, rather than in fragments like Doyle did for GOF. And I am ecstatic to hear there will be a choir in the OOTP score! One of the disappointing aspects of Doyle's score was the lack of choir -- Williams used the choir to excellent fact in PS/SS and POA, and I hope Hooper does the same. Can't wait for the movie and the soundtrack!Avatar Image says: Yay! It's some info on the score! I'm a great appreciator of classical music and Harry Potter, so I'm becoming very restless about the score! I just can't wait to hear it, and it sounds absolutly AMAZING!Avatar Image says: Does anyone remember how soon they have provided a sneak preview of the musical score for the movies? I really want to hear some of this music, and I remember that a sneak peak was provided for both PoA and GoF.Avatar Image says: "I am excited even more when I read that Nick is going to be using some electronically-influenced music (meaning electronic sounding, like Orbital or house music or something along those lines)" Me too, that's one of my favorite music genres. So, it will be really cool if the soundtrack sounds like that.Avatar Image says: Brandon, only ONE person THOUGHT the Umbridge theme would SOUND like a ringtone, AND even that person REPOSTED to say they UNDERSTOOD. There's NO NEED to OVERGENERALIZE what ONE person said to EVERYONE, nor is there ANY need for all the CAPS. Ah, right, Hedwig's theme. I liked it, but I'm tired of it now. Almost too iconic, though I'd never call it "twee". I'm glad for the french horn players, but I almost wish we didn't have to hear it again. Hooper's description of Umbridge was just perfect, and I *love* character themes in general; they have a good effect and they put me in mind of Peter and the Wolf and Peter Pan (tick, tick, tick, tick, tick ... ).Avatar Image says: Personally, I'd like to see another song like "Something Wicked this Way Comes." I enjoyed watching my 3 yr old nephew sing it over and over and over (but his Mom/my sister hated it). Where else do you get a chance to sing Shakespeare? Yes, now you too can have that song stuck in your head all day! aughra, slightly evil, mostly michievous... Avatar Image says: In defence of Patrick Doyle's GOF score, it has really grown on me in the past year. Not only is it darker than Williams', but Doyle seems to capture the more graceful and elegant GOF, esp with the Yule Ball and brewing romance. I definitely recommend you hear tracks such as: "Foreign Visitors Arrive" "Quidditch World Cup" "Another Year Ends" and my favourite... "Harry in the Winter" I'm looking forward to Hooper's score, though, especially since a choir will be accompanying it. Avatar Image says: I'm so excited for the score! This is probably my favorite thing about the films when they come out.Avatar Image says: I liked the voldemort-theme of doyle a lot better than that of Williams. Willams's voldemort-theme was just a bit... off. It sounded more silly than evil. aah, watever, they got rid of it anyway. I bet hooper is gonna do a good job.Avatar Image says: I'm so glad we're getting more than 20 seconds of Hedwig's Theme in OoP!! I liked Doyle's darker version, but it was only one quick tiny verse. Hedwig's Theme IS the HP movie theme. OoP soundtrack seemed lacking without it. Only downside, there is no mention of Window to the Past--the theme of Harry's relationship with both Sirius and Lupin. Avatar Image says: ew. aughra has an ugly picture lol. Avatar Image says: Oh awesome! A choir always sounds amazing in classical pieces- especially with all those tense moments the film is sure to have. Drum sounds really awesome too. The music really sets the tone for a film. Can't wait to find out what songs I'll want to figure out from the sheet music on my piano! :) I think what I liked about GoF was the good balance of lightness and kind of crashing booms to most of it- and incorporating "A Window To The Past" was brilliant- that song itself describes the entirety of Harry Potter and his world to me without words. PoA is still my favorite soundtrack I think. Avatar Image says: "Where else do you get a chance to sing Shakespeare?" -aughra Actually, I've had quite a bit of opportunities in my life to sing Shakespeare, but I might be unusual. :D Certainly, singing Shakespeare is not usually a part of popular culture like "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is/was. As for the score, I think it sounds exciting... not being the biggest fan of the films myself, I haven't paid a lot of attention to the various scores, but I do know that the music underscoring a movie makes a tremendous difference in how I experience it. Hooper sounds like he knows what he's doing.Avatar Image says: Yeah, yeah , yeah.. can't wait! Always love the scores..:DAvatar Image says: "Brandon, only ONE person THOUGHT the Umbridge theme would SOUND like a ringtone, AND even that person REPOSTED to say they UNDERSTOOD. There's NO NEED to OVERGENERALIZE what ONE person said to EVERYONE, nor is there ANY need for all the CAPS." No need for violence! I just wanted to help clarify it before it got out of hand--not that it was going to, but let's just say it was a hunch based on the nature of some of these talkbacks in the past. ;) In any case I apologize.Avatar Image says: Same here Libby, "A Window to the Past" is so beautiful, probably my favourite theme so far, along with Hedwig's theme of course! The possession theme sounds interesting...sounds like a very dark song, which is perfect for the end scenes at the Ministry!Avatar Image says: Where was Window to the Past used in GoF ?? And does anyone know the part of the GoF score after Amos cries about Cedric, then there's this shot of the maze and the stands that goes up and stops at Moody's office. That part had very beautiful movie, although it was so brief. Does anyone know which track from the score this was ? I want to hear it and hope it's longer than in the movie.Avatar Image says: "Does anyone know which track from the score this was ?" Andrew, that part comes from the "Death of Cedric" track on the GOF soundtrack. Every time I hear that track or see that part of the movie, tears come to my eyes, so beautiful and sad.Avatar Image says: I still want John Williams to come back and score the films.

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