Audio: Interview with John Powell

By • May 23, 2018

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

Since his major Hollywood scoring debut with 1997’s “Face/Off,” English expatriate John Powell has been on the propulsive cutting edge of scoring. With a frequent taste for offbeat bravado and instrumentation, Powell’s rambunctious rhythms helped turn the face of animation scoring into delightfully fractured fairytales from the kazoos of “Chicken Run” to the erhus of “Kung Fu Panda” and the soaring bagpipes of his Oscar-nominated “How to Train Your Dragon.” The expected gun-and-car mayhem of how to handle action suddenly became an exotic beat-down with the furious Afro-pulse of the “Bourne Identity” franchise, the murderously romantic tangos of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” as well as the blazingly traditional symphonic superheroics of “X-Men The Last Stand.”

At his continual best, there’s a daredevil sense of invention to John Powell’s work, the feeling that his frequent love for big themes and melodies can take us anywhere. Yet perhaps no musical franchise has a sense of the expected like the gloriously sweeping sound of “Star Wars,” whose musical route was forever set by John Williams. But leave it to that saga’s disruptor space jockey, and his new scoring co-pilot to take a new course through the Kessel Run for “Solo – A Star Wars Story.” However, it’s not like the tone of “Star Wars” music has been blown away like Alderaan by a composer with a Kylo Ren attitude. Instead, Powell goes beyond the expected John Williams sound to make “Solo” very much about his own grab-bag style, all without breaking the wheel of this origin film’s squeaky clean Millennium Falcon. For “Solo” is all about a scoundrel breaking the rules, his symphonic bravado and heist rhythms making this the first truly unique soundtrack in the “Star Wars” feature film cannon, while still delivering the thrilling, and musically iconic goods that fans expect.

John with cast at Cannes

Now on a new episode of On the Score, John Powell talks about taking the dice to the kingdom that put interstellar, old school orchestral thrills back on the map, but with an attitude that promises a bright musical future ahead for the scoring days of iconic characters past.

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a Buy the Soundtrack: SOLO: A STORY WARS STORY
a Buy John Powell’s choral album “Hubris” on June 15th at Amazon.com
a Visit John Powell’s Website

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