[WATCH] ‘Lion’ composers Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann on finding ‘the right melody’ for emotional film

“We were sort of the last people to be involved in the film,” reveals “Lion” composer Dustin O’Halloran as we chat via webcam (watch above). The Emmy-winning tunesmith collaborated on the score for this Weinstein Company release about an Indian boy who is separated from his family in Calcutta and seeks them out as an adult (Dev Patel) with his friend Volker Bertelmann. Luckily for them, director Garth Davis had used so much of their previous music as temp score that, “already there was a part of us inside the film, even before we started.”

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Bertelmann, better known by his stage name Hauschka, readily admits that, “because the film was already so emotional and so powerful, for us it was quite difficult to find the right melody, and to have a kind of restrained music that actually supports the feelings in a way, but not overtaking the emotions too much.” The duo took their time, “to approach the film by ourselves, just to get a pure emotion,” before coming together to share their ideas.

O’Halloran, an Emmy-winner for his main title theme to “Transparent” (2015), adds, “because it’s such an emotional film, we had to use an incredible amount of restraint.” It’s a decision that, “was also a choice in Garth’s direction that he really chose with a lot of the film as well.” Check out our full interview above for more about O’Halloran and Bertelmann’s work on “Lion.”

Related: Watch our video interview with Dev Patel

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