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Half-Blood Prince Composer Nicholas Hooper Talks Style and Score in New Interview

HBP Film
Posted by: Edward
July 07, 2009, 10:57 PM

The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Blog recently spoke with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack composer Nicholas Hooper, who spoke about his role and influence in creating the music for the sixth film.  Having worked with film director David Yates on various other projects over the past nineteen years, Mr. Hooper discusses the process of putting his own stamp on the score for the latest film by saying:

"I started by listening to a lot of the John Williams score, particularly from the third movie, “Prisoner of Azkaban,” which I loved and I suppose is closest to what I was trying to do. I used some of his themes, particularly his Hedwig theme. After that, we all decided that it was best if I moved into my own way of composing rather than trying to emulate John Williams, which is impossible. I did a different kind of score for “Half-Blood Prince,” really. It was simpler, the way I write music is simpler."
Mr. Hooper goes on to talk of the kind of feeling he wanted to portray "towards the end of the film, right before Dumbledore is killed."  However, he goes to say that even though the piece "sequence was dropped from the film," he was able to use it for "it had in it the seeds of the germ of the idea that actually follows Dumbledore’s progress throughout the film and comes to quite a musical height at the point where Harry and Dumbledore travel to find Voldemort’s secret Horcrux in the cave. It’s a big moment."

The interview continues with the composer speaking more to the various themes he created for various characters in the film.  One theme being for the character of Draco Malfoy.  Quoteage:
"[The theme] follows him throughout all his visits to the room of requirements. Definitely a Malfoy theme, yeah.  It’s an odd mixture of dark and sad. Well, not sad exactly. It’s moving though. Here’s this poor boy who has been kind of pulled into this. You don’t just feel he’s really evil. So the music couldn’t be about his being evil. It’s not about that. It’s about this kid being pulled out of his depth, really."
Finally, the interview wraps up with the composer speaking of one of his favorite pieces from the film.  He says, "I think my favorite moment was Harry and Dumbledore in the cave because it’s just so big and tough. A couple of people came to listen to it when I was finished and they were in tears after they heard the recording and I thought, “Oh, that’s nice.” I feel like I moved people. I have to say the Harry and Ginny moment is another favorite... They’re in the room of requirements and they’re trying to hide something and they even come across Malfoy’s secret and they don’t know it. Then they kiss. It’s a lovely, beautiful moment in the film. It comes out of an earlier moment when Harry sees Ginny at the beginning of the film. It’s not music that reoccurs throughout the film. It’s just one special melody in the middle."

As readers will recall, a host of bonus material will be available on the CD version of the soundtrack including "a free digital download of the entire soundtrack in 5.1 Surround Sound, along with bonus exclusive content."  The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack will be released on July 14th and is currently available for pre-order over in our own Cauldron Shop and iTunes.

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I cannot wait to hear the soundtrack!

Posted by Dark Yoda on July 08, 2009, 11:47 AM report to moderator

I have been able to hear a full preview of this score, and I must say it is the most disappointing soundtrack I have heard for an anticipated film in a long, long time. Especially for the source material, it deserves better. Let me just say not one moment is memorable, few are magical, and it sounds entirely uncreative. It may serve just well enough in the film, but the music for Dumbledore’s death is, for example, a travesty. And any time he attempts music there is no excitement or originality to it at all. In fact, in times he sounds like he is simply going up and down a keyboard.

Please, if he does end up scoring Deathly Hallows, which I hope he doesn’t, how on Earth is he going to tackle the many action scenarios that we know will be in the film if they really are including as much from the book as they can? Because at this point he has proved incapable. That is my opinion, and I hope many of you will be as outraged as I am so perhaps we can get Williams- or anyone else- to step in for what should be the best entry of the series.

Posted by scallenger on July 08, 2009, 12:47 PM report to moderator
150 Points

I would LOVE for James Newton Howard to do a Potter film. For those who don’t know, he did The Village, King Kong, Signs, and Lady in the Water, among many others.

Posted by starlesswinter on July 08, 2009, 02:19 PM report to moderator
3481 Points

i’ll keep any in-depth comments on hbp soundtrack after i have listened to it more properly, but i can say beforehand that i’m not an enthusiast of mr.hopper’s music. i still think john williams is the best name to make music to the harry potter films and he should be hired for the last two films. it may have been a little refreshing to have a different composer in 4 (mr. doyle did a good job) and 5 (mr. hopper was fortunate in two or three themes), but nothing compares to mr. williams’s lively sense of melody. poa soundtrack is a masterpiece!

Posted by cleber*ROAR!* on July 08, 2009, 09:14 PM report to moderator
4007 Points

i hope its good!

Posted by KC Nox on July 11, 2009, 12:02 AM report to moderator
24135 Points

i can’t wait to own this soundtrack! :)

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on July 14, 2009, 10:25 AM report to moderator
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