Avengers: Infinity War is a home­com­ing for Alan Sil­vestri

Weekly Trust - - Entertainment - Source: THR.com

Avengers: Infinity War’ Com­poser Had Tough Time With One Scene in Par­tic­u­lar

Com­poser Alan Sil­vestri looks at ty­ing the giant film to­gether through mu­sic and ex­plains “Thanos’ tough­est de­ci­sion isn’t a strate­gic one; it’s an emo­tional one.”

The Os­car-nom­i­nated com­poser set the tone for Avengers lead­ing man Cap­tain Amer­ica with that char­ac­ter’s first solo film in 2011 and scored the team’s first movie, The Avengers, re­leased a year later. Af­ter sit­ting out Avengers: Age of Ul­tron, he’s re­turned in time to give Thanos (Josh Brolin) the at­ten­tion a pow­er­ful tyrant like him de­serves. Di­rec­tors Joe and An­thony Russo and Marvel Stu­dios head Kevin Feige sat down with Sil­vestri very early in the process on Infinity War.

“At our first meet­ing, we be­gan with the ques­tion ‘Is it even pos­si­ble to give each char­ac­ter’s mu­si­cal theme a nod?’” Sil­vestri tells Heat Vi­sion. “We were open to it, but every­one was pretty much in agree­ment that it would be more of a dis­trac­tion to even at­tempt it.”

But Sil­vestri notes that he gave a nod to com­poser Lud­wig Go­rans­son’s Black Pan­ther theme when the Avengers head to Wakanda. The Infinity War score is purely or­ches­tral, which is what the Rus­sos wanted. Sil­vestri had never worked with a di­rect­ing duo prior to this film, and ad­mits he had reser­va­tions about the process.

“I was very skep­ti­cal at first be­cause be­ing the di­rec­tor, it’s a very sub­jec­tive job,” he says. “That per­son, whether it’s a man or woman, is the cap­tain on the ship. If some­one needs a de­fin­i­tive an­swer on some­thing, they go ask the cap­tain.”

Sil­vestri’s fears were quickly al­layed af­ter their first meet­ing. “It is truly in­cred­i­ble the way the brothers work to­gether,” he says. “They never both start talk­ing at the same time. They in­stinc­tively know what the divi­sion of la­bor is within this en­tity known as ‘The Russo Brothers.’ It re­ally was like work­ing with one per­son.”

Sil­vestri con­firms that the fo­cus of this Avengers film is on Thanos.

“Thanos didn’t just get his own mu­si­cal theme; he got his own sen­si­bil­ity. He clearly de­served that if for no other rea­son than the sheer amount of cin­e­matic real es­tate he oc­cu­pies in the film,” says Sil­vestri.

For the film’s other an­tag­o­nists - the four Chil­dren of Thanos known as the Black Or­der - Sil­vestri wanted to es­tab­lish a mu­si­cal link.

“Thanos and his crew were all treated like Thanos. They have his mu­si­cal stamp be­cause it’s his vi­sion that they’re ex­e­cut­ing,” says Sil­vestri.

The Infinity Stones are heav­ily fea­tured in the film, but Sil­vestri de­cided against giv­ing them their own mu­si­cal sig­na­ture.

“In the first Cap­tain Amer­ica, I did some things with the Tesser­act [one of the Infinity Stones] that had to do with voices and some harp,” shares Sil­vestri. “The mu­sic for the Infinity Stones is ac­tu­ally built around Thanos’ re­ac­tion. Ev­ery time he got one, that mo­ment was al­ways sig­nif­i­cant and of­ten times emo­tional.”

When asked if he had to score any deaths in the film, Sil­vestri had to an­swer care­fully.

“You don’t get a lot of Marvel deaths, not at this level,” ad­mits Sil­vestri. “When a char­ac­ter that’s been around for mul­ti­ple films dies, you want the au­di­ence to feel that emo­tion­ally. … If they don’t, then the nar­ra­tive doesn’t work and you’ve failed. So, I have to do that mo­ment jus­tice, but then, the very next scene could be on the bat­tle­field with some­thing hu­mor­ous oc­cur­ring. So it was a real tight rope mu­si­cally.”

The most chal­leng­ing scene to score was laced with spoil­ers re­gard­ing Thanos. Sil­vestri chose his words care­fully when de­scrib­ing the par­tic­u­lar mo­ment with his fa­vorite char­ac­ter.

“This is a hard one to an­swer… the scene deals with Thanos. He’s a very pow­er­ful be­ing who does bad things, but he’s also a thought­ful char­ac­ter with a very hu­man side to him thanks to Joe and An­thony and the writ­ers. I will say that Thanos’ tough­est de­ci­sion isn’t a strate­gic one; it’s an emo­tional one,” he notes.

Sil­ver­stri jokes that Thanos is hard at work dur­ing the two-and-a-half hour run­time.

“Thanos needed to ac­com­plish a cer­tain amount of work be­fore the end of the film, and that leaves things in a very in­ter­est­ing place for the fourth Avengers,” says Sil­vestri.

Look­ing back at Age of Ul­tron, Sil­vestri notes that score con­ti­nu­ity is a pow­er­ful tool for com­posers, and Danny Elf­man made use of Sil­vestri’s Avengers theme for the se­quel. A rather gloomy, emo­tional ver­sion of the theme was also used in the first trailer for Infinity War.

“There is a cer­tain power as­so­ci­ated with hear­ing the­matic ma­te­rial as­so­ci­ated with spe­cific char­ac­ters, es­pe­cially in brands. John Wil­liams showed us that power with Star Wars,” says Sil­vestri. “When done right, the mu­sic be­comes an­other char­ac­ter in the prop­erty.”

Avengers: Infinity War opened on Fri­day.

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