Obi-Wan Kenobi Composer Natalie Holt Breaks Down Scoring The Present’s Greatest Scenes [Interview]

With episode 1, how did you wish to assist set the tone for the sequence? What themes did you wish to arrange?

Nicely, it modified, as a result of after I began, we did not know if John [Williams] was going to be concerned or not. Once I first began writing for the sequence, I had a month the place Deborah was saying, “We’re not going to be allowed to make use of any of the previous themes, so let’s simply do one thing new.” She’d been fascinated by a spare rating, paring again to a piano or one thing for Obi. She mentioned, “Not even an instrument, identical to a whistle, simply one thing simplistic. He is alone within the desert and misplaced and alone and perhaps we might mirror that with the rating.” 

It simply did not work. It wanted extra. I have been on this journey looking for a theme. It was laborious since you’ve acquired the tone, like “The Mandalorian” and all of the traditional “Star Wars” music that you’re used to. And this does not match. It is in between, since you’ve acquired heritage characters and new characters. Actually, early on within the first assembly I performed Deborah the Inquisitors theme and she or he mentioned, “Yep. Good.” It stayed. That theme was the one which got here first. I did one thing trendy and rhythmic for them and with a number of synths, and it appeared to work. With Leia and Alderaan and all these, it was extra tough to search out them due to putting the best stability between the previous and the brand new.

As soon as John got here on board and we knew that we have been going to get that essential theme from him, then it modified all the pieces. He watched it by means of and allowed us to make use of the themes in episode 6 as properly. We knew the place we have been going, and that set the tone as soon as he got here aboard.

The thought of the lonely piano for the lonely determine within the desert sounds nice, although. Did it not work as a result of it wasn’t overtly “Star Wars?”

Yeah. That is all the time a thought. It is like, “This is not ‘Star Wars’ sufficient.” It is such a particular factor. There are all these individuals who’ve been on board, John himself and Invoice Ross, who’ve been with this for 40 years. Issues are all the time going previous individuals who can determine, like Kathleen Kennedy. She vets all of the music as properly. It is a particular tone that you need to discover. It was attention-grabbing.

As soon as you bought John Williams’ theme for Obi-Wan, how did that open doorways for you? How did that encourage the music you have been composing?

Yeah, simply seeing how he was orchestrating it, utilizing extra orchestral colours, form of someplace within the center, going again to that massive sweeping “Star Wars” sound that everyone desires, that massive orchestra sound. However I believe Deborah wished to maintain issues a bit extra minimal. I believe she wished me to deliver a bit extra of a modernity to it. She wished my synths and the extra uncommon devices that I delivered to the sport as properly, however there’s the delicate stability with the massive orchestral sound as properly.

The entire course of feels like one gigantic balancing act. 

Yeah, yeah. The entire time was an actual balancing act. I do not assume everyone’s going to ever be blissful, until John had carried out the entire thing. I am positive there are some “Star Wars” followers that want that was the case, however he is 90. I believe it is actually acceptable how this results in these. The payoff in episode 6 is so massive. You understand, “Oh, he is grow to be Vader now.” I had the rhythm from the Imperial March all over, resulting in that time. When he lastly will get there, it feels satisfying and thrilling to listen to that theme lastly.

How about the usage of the Power theme? How a lot ought to or not it’s used? It is nice in episode 2.

The Power Theme is an actual contentious one, and I believe George Lucas himself simply felt the Power Theme acquired somewhat overused within the J.J. Abrams world. I believe ultimately, when Obi lifts the rock, that is nonetheless … he is discovered the Power there, however he is nonetheless not with the Power when he is saving Leia in episode 2. It is kind of the stirrings of it once more. Yeah, that second was Invoice Ross from John Williams’ camp, that was the one second in episode 2 that he oversaw. There was a handover, into ensuring that was extra within the conventional vein, that little part the place he saves Leia as she falls down. Earlier than that there is fairly a contemporary chase sequence throughout the roof and Reva’s parkouring over the roof. And so it goes into that, into one thing somewhat extra conventional “Star Wars.”

Can you actually tinker with the previous work a lot? In case you wished to make any tiny changes to the Power Theme, are you able to?

Nicely, that is the factor. I believe all these moments the place there have been snippets of John Williams, it was a bunch. It isn’t me deciding “That is what I will do.” Since you’re in a franchise like this, it is larger than you. There are such a lot of voices. John Williams and his group have gotten a lot expertise of what the “Star Wars” music is, that these moments felt they have been very steered by the individuals in cost, if that is sensible.

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