Magazine article Variety

New Wrinkles Inform Fantasy Film's Music

Magazine article Variety

New Wrinkles Inform Fantasy Film's Music

Article excerpt

"When you're talking about fantasy, about transporting people to other worlds, there's no medium greater than music to do that," says "A Wrinkle in Time" director Ava DuVernay. "Music is so necessary to help inform a heightened reality."

For this much-anticipated Disney sci-fi film (based on the classic Madeleine L'Engle novel), DuVernay enlisted "Game of Thrones" composer Ramin Djawadi and convinced singer-songwriter Sade to write her first movie song in more than three decades.

Djawadi pulled out all the stops, assembling a 71-piece orchestra, a 40-voice choir and a 24-voice children's choir, then adding synthesizers and solo instruments from around the world - the sonic equivalent of DuVernay's multicultural, multiethnic cast.

"There were no boundaries," Djawadi says. "Those were things that Ava and I discussed right away." And unlike so many of Djawadi's previous, often action projects (from "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld" to "Pacific Rim" and "Iron Man"), the nature of the story meant he didn't worry when his 4-year-old twins wandered into the studio to watch Daddy work.

One of the most startling aspects of Djawadi's "Wrinkle" score is his inspired notion of "bending" notes whenever Meg (Storm Reid) and her fellow astral travelers warp time and space. "The human voice is the most versatile of all instruments," he reasons, so the choir is often heard sliding up the scale while the orchestra plays in a more traditional fashion.

As might be expected for a film that features a trio of supernatural beings (played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling) as Meg's guides, as well as an intergalactic search for her missing father (Chris Pine) and a growing evil in the universe, the score demanded multiple themes.

The children's choir sings Meg's adventure theme as the characters visit the planet Uriel and go flying across its surface. With the added notes of tabla, hammered dulcimer and vocoder, the larger-than-life beings are variously treated mysteriously, mystically and grandly. The Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) gets taiko drums, and nasty, dark sounds are realized both electronically and orchestrally for the dangerous planet Camazotz. ->

The German-born composer spent five months writing more than 100 minutes of music late last year, collaborating closely with DuVernay. …

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