Benjamin Wallfisch Interview: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ composer

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), “Blade Runner 2049” composer Benjamin Wallfisch admits he was a bit intimidated having to compete with the iconic Vangelis music for the original film. “It’s almost impossible to imagine [the film] without that score,” he explains. “What was interesting was taking that great respect and love for that music, and then thinking well, this is a brand new story. These are events that happen 30 years later, and this needs… a very different approach.” Wallfisch worked with mentor Hans Zimmer to create a score that “pays its respects to Vangelis… but it’s something new.”

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 1982 sci-fi classic centers on a young blade runner (Ryan Gosling) who discovers secrets that lead him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years. In creating the score, Wallfisch found that “basically, the film rejected an orchestra.” Instead, it was “all about that majesty of the original score, and the way… it sometimes feels almost improvised.” The duo achieved this by relying heavily on a CS 80 synth. “When you think of ‘Blade Runner,'” he adds, “you think of that sound.”

Wallfisch has worked with Zimmer for several years, providing additional music and orchestrations for “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Batman v. Superman” (2016), and “Dunkirk” (2017), among others. The two shared a Golden Globe nomination alongside Pharrell Williams for scoring “Hidden Figures” (2016). He is also in contention this year for the blockbuster horror film “It.”

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UPLOADED Oct 27, 2017 1:56 pm