The Double is the latest thriller that features Oscar nominated Jessie Eisenberg ("The Social Network" and the upcoming, "Batman vs. Superman" movie) battling himself sorta of. This is where the music steps into the scene. A tough job of sorta where the composer has to play musical chairs physchologically and builds upon that to create not only musical tension throughout the film, but provide a musical dramatic arch to showcase what leads up to a satisfying conclusion.
That is the job of composer Andrew Hewitt, who based I had personally never heard of until this score is a UK based composer with several films there that include "The Four Horseman", "Cuckoo", "The Sea" and "The Brass Teapot". A classically trained musician, Andrew really goes for it on this score which has received acclaim so far and should be a solid discovery for this year.
For this interview with Andrew, he shares his thoughts on working on "The Double", how his score came to be, how he got interested in working on the film, the soundtrack album and his future upcoming projects, so please sit back and read into the doubled musical mind of this future star composer.
Hello Andrew, how are you and thank you very much for granting me the time to conduct this interview with you today.
AH: My pleasure!
Please tell the readers about what made you become interested in music and composing.
AH: I had been trained initially as a classical performer, playing and touring globally since childhood, when I fell in love with cinema as a teenager - and particularly with the scores I grew up with in the 80s and 90s. I set about using my classical training to work towards writing and conduct my own film music. So I'm self taught as a composer and film composer - which can of course be the most liberating and personal way to come to anything.
Let’s talk about your recent work on the film “The Double” starring Jessie Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. What got you interested in this project?
AH: I had scored everything that director Richard Ayoade had ever done, since we were at Cambridge University together, and so it was a question of "what has he created this time!", and I couldn’t wait to dive in.
After seeing the film, did you know immediately what sound was required stylistically for it or did you get input from the director in terms of what he wanted for it?
AH: I started scoring the film after Richard was discussing things with me during his script writing stage - which he and I always do. So he was playing my stuff on set to Jesse and Mia, and editing the film to the music in many places. It was a half and half situation of composing before, during and after the edit. The sound and style came from the inner workings of Simon's mind...fractured and repetitive. American minimalism seemed the perfect choice.
Was it hard for you to compose the main theme?
AH: All the pieces for THE DOUBLE came very smoothly - it was a wonderful creative experience from start to finish - the type that feels like everyone in the major creative positions are all on the same page.
How much music did you end up recording for the film?
AH: I think it is around 40 minutes.
What were the recording sessions like?
AH: They were very exciting and full of great energy. Much of the music is very precise indeed, and some of it is extremely fast too, so I had to get wonderful players, and I think we got a fabulous result.
Let’s talk about the soundtrack album upcoming on Milan Records. How did you assemble it?
AH: Richard and I planned very carefully a narrative sequence, interspersing songs with score, so that one really got a sense of a journey through the film. I think the best score albums are those which allow you to re-live the experience of the film. We then finish up with a 'bonus' collection of all the electronic and quasi-diegetic music that I wrote for the film too - including for instance the theme for the TV show that Jesse watches and loves so very much: The Replicator.
In looking back on the film, do you feel that your contribution to it has made it better? Are you proud of your score?
AH: THE DOUBLE was a film we all made together, rather than different people coming in on their own to add or subtract things at different times, and I am very proud of the result, because I think all the elements of the cinematic landscape work hand in hand - which is of course the aim of any good filmmaker.
What is your favorite film score that you’ve written?
AH: I think I would say I love them all! Which you have to, really, if you are going to create good material...you have to fall in love every time.
Who is your favorite director that you’ve worked with so far in your career?
AH: I wouldn’t want to pick and choose - I've enjoyed them all in different ways!
What is your favorite film that you’ve personally scored to date?
AH: Again, I love all the films I've scored. I think it's impossible to score a film well unless you fall in love with it, every time.
Please tell the readers about your future upcoming projects.
AH: I just finished scoring NARCOPOLIS, a British sci-fi thriller, and I'm currently scoring BILL for BBC Films, which is a fabulous montypython-esque comedy set in English tudor times about William (Bill!) Shakespeare. We're going for the lush romantic scoring style of the 1950s, which is very exciting, and I can't wait to get to the orchestral sessions for this one. I've then several other features in the works....though i will have to wait until they get the green light to announce them!
I really want to thank you once again Andrew for granting me this interview and I really honored to meet you and everything.
AH: My great pleasure!
Very special thanks to Andrew for being gracious with his time for conduct this short and fun interview. A real pleasure. Special thanks also go to Milan Records' Stefan Karrer. You're the best! Thanks for the opportunity.
The soundtrack to The Double will be released by Milan Records on CD and digitally on May 6 @ www.amazon.com/The-Double-Original-Soundtrack-Album/dp/B00JAD6E4O/ref=sr... and @ iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/double-original-soundtrack/id865956966
Please feel free to visit Andrew's official website @ http://www.andrew-hewitt.co.uk/ for more information on Andrew as well as music samples and updates on his current projects.
Here's Andrew's Mini-Biography:
"Andrew was classically trained from childhood as a pianist and tenor singer. He won music scholarships and entrance bursaries to Westminster Abbey Choir, Uppingham School, the National Youth Music Theatre, St Johns College, Cambridge and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Before university he had already toured chorally worldwide, and on graduation in 2000 continued on to perform regularly in concerts, global tours and CD recordings for such classical groups as John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir, Robert King's The King's Consort, The John Rutter Singers, Synergy, Opera Rara, the London Voices and Metro Voices. These performances covered every style, from contemporary premieres, to session choirs, and baroqoue, classical and avant-garde works.
At Abbey Road and Air Studios he performed on many film scores, for such conductors as John Williams and Howard Shore - including the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Doomsday and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Andrew combines a lifelong passion for film with extensive classical training, recording and performance experience. He orchestrates and conducts all of his scores, fusing them with electronic textures at his home studio. He recently accepted invitations to membership of the World Soundtrack Academy, BASCA, and BAFTA.
Andrew trained classically in piano and voice from childhood in the choir of Westminster Abbey (earning Distinctions in all final ABRSM performances, and the LAMDA Gold Medal), winning scholarships and full tuition awards to lead the National Youth Music Theatre, to read Music (BA Hons) at Cambridge University, and to post-graduate study at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Before turning to composition, he performed across America, Canada, Australia, the Far East, Europe, at the highest levels of concert, opera, and studio recording, in the UK's most prestigious classical ensembles - and also in the scores to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Andrew was BAFTA Nominated Best New Composer for Film and TV by the British Academy for his very first score, and after several years scoring tv - series, specials, commercials, award-winning short films and documentaries - is currently scoring his eighth feature film.
Andrew is represented for both USA and UK productions by Los Angeles agent Patty Macmillan at the Allegro Talent Group."