Prolific, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino went in two directions at once this spring — boisterous fun for The Incredibles 2, dark and scary for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, films that are currently dominating the American box office. I visited the recording sessions for Incredibles and then talked to the composer about writing two big scores back-to-back for major film franchises. It was also an opportunity to discuss his latest concert work, celebrating the 60th anniversary of NASA, June 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
I was honored to be asked by conductor Leonard Slatkin to consult on, and then participate in, a six-night festival of film music with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. On Jan. 24 I led a discussion of the McCarthy era and its impact on Hollywood; the next night, Slatkin and I were joined by composer John Williams and director Stanley Donen; and on Jan. 31 I talked about the restoration of Metropolis with producer John Goberman. Part of the fun for me was not only writing the program notes but helping design a multi-page timeline of great moments in film-music history. Here is an overview of the festival.