I started this week by tweaking and finishing small portions of the “Binary Sunset” and “Burning Homestead” cues. I started working on ethnic music ideas for certain scenes on the desert planet of Tatooine. I wanted it to have a unique sound, so I’m combining instruments from Africa, India, China, and Europe to create a timbre that is distinctive to the planet and cannot be attributed to any single place on Earth. I wrote a percussive, “marketplace” type of music for the scene in which they enter the spaceport, and I created a breathy, flute-like piece for when R2-D2 is wandering the desert alone.
I worked a good deal on the cue “Alderaan’s Fate.” Since I had just finished “Burning Homestead” using the death/sorrow leitmotif, I wanted to continue my work with that material and use it in a new arrangement for the destruction of the planet. The opening of this cue alternates a good bit between Tarkin/Imperial themes and Leia’s theme, but I was able to interweave them in a way that doesn’t feel disruptive or separated. I did a broad, sweeping arrangement of the death/sorrow leitmotif, which I felt was appropriate in this context, compared to the lonely moment of Luke watching his home burn. I also felt it was important to continue this cue when it cuts to Ben’s reaction. Williams ended his cue as the planet exploded, but I think Ben’s reaction is just as important. He feels the destruction of the planet and it affects him, so I think the audience/listener should also feel this effect through the continuation of the music. It’s only a few extra seconds, but I think it’s vital to the power of the moment.
Towards the end of the week, I wrote “March of the Jawas,” music for the scene in which the Jawas abduct R2-D2 and take him to their sandcrawler. Early in the week, Dr. Moser told me he liked my melodic content in the Jawa march, but he felt that the playful nature of the Jawas should be evident through unstructured rhythms. The march should feel familiar, but at the same time, something should just not be right. I wrote the lower instruments in the piece to be a steady, constant rhythm, and I then wrote the upper voices, mainly woodwinds, with complete disregard to the lower rhythms. This allowed for the low parts to seem structured, and the upper parts to seem unorganized and frantic, and the effect turned out to be a perfect representation of the Jawas.
Next, I plan to write the cues “Droids for Sale” and “In the Garage,” which would give me a long list of consecutive scenes with music I’ve written (14 minutes straight), in addition to another 15 minutes of music for various cues scattered throughout the movie.