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Can't wait to hear Desplats score + Good riddance to Hooper

North_SkyNorth_Sky Posts: 2
edited March 2010 in General
I think he’s such an incredible composer he has an amazing vision and simply knows how to make a score work. Even “New Moon”, despite being a sub-par film, had a nice score and “Largo Witch” is simply breathtaking.

Now not only will DH get an excellent score it’ll also revamp the concept of a good score to the Harry Potter series. Since Williams left the music has taken a steep fall. Doyle managed to make a nice score (though not his best) with some powerful themes and really nice tracks. Hooper on the other hand took Potter and knocked it down quite a ridiculous amount of pegs. For starters: Primary themes. The fifth film had none, not a single recurring theme. Nothing to identify the film with. The whole score felt very television-esque and a lot of the time the music didn’t properly reflect the atmosphere of the film. One big problem is that it always felt like background music, nothing stood out. Even Sirius’ demise was reduced to nothing but a few simple chord progressions (which is pitiful to say the least). The rising chords in “Possession” also do not really reflect the emotional value of the scene either. I think this mainly stems from the simplistic nature of his music. “Dementors in the Underpass” really fails to convey a creepy ambience, unlike “Apparition on the Train” it doesn’t make the hairs on your neck stand up. In fact in the movie you don’t really even notice the track at all.

Another thing is the instrumentation, I can’t fathom why when scoring such a dark chapter in the saga he decided to go with chimes and other light-sounding instruments. While it works for the false-bouncy and annoying attitude of Umbridge why use a section of chimes when the Death Eaters are breaking out of prison? The best he has done is the modulating in “Fireworks” and “Room of Requirement” those tracks were both very good but the rest of it simply doesn’t measure up. Most of the time they go nowhere, they don’t achieve anything and they don’t particularly add anything extra to the scene. The minimalist approach can work in some scenes but a lot of the time it just highlights his TV background.

The 6th films was an improvement it had more shade and colour to it and it actually had themes this time round. The best of which is the chorale piece “In Noctem” an eerie song which is surprisingly beautiful and sets the right mood for the film. Unfortunately the rest of them don’t really measure up. The Death Eaters theme seems a little too subdued at times and doesn’t really emphaise the desperation and fear of the scenes where it appears, the opening attack on the Millenium Bridge is simply the same rhythm repeated with a string ostinato and the occasional punctuation from a brass ensemble. The other themes are hard to really remember because they are so undeveloped. I will say that Hooper improved his pieces and they sound deeper and a lot less televised than the 5th film. But his score still isn’t very thematic, it lacks an identity. He doesn’t pull everything together, he doesn’t unite the score. And once again his emotional works doesn’t really hold the listener the love cues are nothing more than background noise in the film, Dumbledore’s death is once again chord progressions that really fail to hit just how grand a loss this is.
“The Killing of Dumbledore” is a bad offender instead of trying to emphasise the darkness, intensity and the dread of what will happen it plods along in the background barely even registering in the scene. The minimal, simplistic approach Hooper has given the series simply doesn’t match up with what the story being told. The epic and grand moments are barley even touched. Dumbledore’s massive ring of fire was treated like it was just any other scene. The amazing visuals were brought down by a poor underscore.

I miss when Potter had powerful and majestic themes like “Fawkes the Phoenix” and the friendship/love score. Just listen to “A Window to the Past” and it really shows how emotionally gripping it is compare those two the three-note repletion of “Harry and Hermione” and it just really shows how lacking they have become. Doyle had a good grasp of what he was doing “Voldemort” sends shivers down your spine and “Harry In Winter” is an example of how a love theme should play out.


  • In the end Hooper’s music isn’t awful but he certainly isn’t creative or interesting enough to score a big fantasy series. It’s good he left when he did because I think Hallows would suffer from his approach. The lack of any strong identity and themes would tear the films down by quite a bit. There are some moments that are going to require some strong emotional music like Harry’s visit to Gordric’s Hollow and chord progressions would simply not do justice to that.

    I look forward to what Despalt will do, his scores are always very detailed and they tend to create a excellent feel for the films. Here’s hoping Potter will get something great.
  • GodricGryffindorGodricGryffindor Posts: 5,756 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just because Desplat did NEW MOON , it doesn´t mean he is an awful composer!!
    All you haters should hear his scores for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON or AMELIE, they are true masterpieces.
    Even new moon´s score was great!
  • Box-In-HatBox-In-Hat Posts: 5
    edited March 2010
    clearly you lack basic reading skills because the OP said nothing bad about Desplat

    Anyway I agree, Hooper was mediocre in every way it'll be nice to have a great score for the series again.
    Post edited by Box-In-Hat on
  • dashape80dashape80 Posts: 1,238
    At first I didn't care if Desplat got the gig (as long as Williams gets to close with the last film). However, I recently watched New Moon and couldn't believe how HORRIBLE the score was. Seriously, it sounded like I was listening to made for TV background music.

    If Desplat brings to HP anything close to what he did for NEW MOON I'll be extremely disappointing. New Moon has made me skeptical and a bit nervous. For the record I'm not a hater but I've heard Desplat's other scores which I was indifferent about until New Moon came along and made me nervous. Hopefully he can pull it off but I now have doubts. We'll just have to wait till the movie.

    BTW - Hooper did a fine job. Not the best but could have been MUCH worse.
  • PieHolePieHole Posts: 12
    yeah Hooper wasn't bad but he certainly was far, far from great. The fact that he relied on chord progressions sop much really made him look inept especially for scoring such a huge fantasy series. I mean there were massive moments like Sirius Dumby's deaths, the Death Eater attacks ect that were seriously underscored. The music didn't really connect any strong feelings to what was happening on screen and when he resorted some fairly simple chord changes for a big emotional scene it really dragged the whole thing down. His best works was the lighter stuff like Dumbledore's army and Fireworks those were the only moments where he should any signs of technicality.
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