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HomeAwardsPP-Awards Portfolio Michael Giacchino and Incredibles Music

PP-Awards Portfolio Michael Giacchino and Incredibles Music


Brad Bird’s The Incredibles from Pixar is the first film score that Michael Giacchino, 37, has ever done and for him it’s already a bullseye. “Getting this job was the ultimate dream-come-true because it encapsulated all the music, the kind of animation and the type of stories I’ve always loved,” he recalled.Far from being intimidated, he was more than prepared to write and orchestrate for 100 concert musicians. He’s been doing that weekly for the Alias television series, and more recently for Lost.“I had been working on Alias scores, toying with a 1960s orchestra sound,” Giacchino recalled. “Brad heard those and he really liked the sound. He didn’t care that I hadn’t done a movie before.”Before moving up to television music, Giacchino had done sountracks at DreamWorks Interactive for video games based on Steven Spielberg movies. With Spielberg hovering over him, no expense was spared, including the use of a full orchestra. Six of the game scores were subsequently issued on DreamWorks Records.The Incredibles soundtrack was recorded the old-fashioned way, over eight days, and in analog, not digital. The sophisticated three-microphone placement technique that is rarely used anymore was dexterously employed by engineer Dan Wallin.The result: an effervescent, brassy score, rich with harmonic overtones, that swings both rhythmically and in terms of mood shifts. The soundtrack closely tracks the narrative, a Giacchino specialty.“With anything I do I try to stay in line with what the story is,” he explained. “Film is a storytelling art form and music is a storytelling art form. What I hate is when music is being used to push the story forward. Music should gently guide you through the story. I prefer not to use an entire theme until it’s really appropriate.”Tantalizing strands of the main theme for the Pixar release first interweave, but aren’t heard in full until a blazing brass statement occurs when the five family members come together on the island to finally form the Incredibles.His favorite musical influences, from Louis Prima to Henry Mancini, from The Pink Panther soundtracks to John Barry’s James Bond scores, along with a dollop of Hoyt Curtin who wrote the music for many Hanna-Barbera cartoons, can all be discerned, but ultimately it’s a distinctly Giacchino sound.While he continues to compose and orchestrate the two weekly television shows, Giacchino has already started working on his next film score, The Muppets Wizard of Oz from Disney.

Written by Jack Egan

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