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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars; an Interview with the Music Composer Kevin Kiner

Written By E. Corrado

When did you find out you were going to be working on ‘Clone Wars’? Two years ago in November or December of 2006. After I did an audition for it, I ended up getting the job.

What was it like working on ‘Clone Wars’? First of all it was very intimidating and daunting. John Williams did a fantastic job with the Star Wars movies and Star Wars definitely has some of the most memorable themes. I got support, input, and honest opinions from the people who were working on the project about what what they liked and didn’t like.

What were the challenges, if any, that you faced while working on ‘Clone Wars’? Well, George Lucas wanted every planet to have it’s own theme. It’s like there would be a Bulgarian planet, an African planet, and an Egyptian planet musically, so I had to research different types of music, and all the little idiosyncrasies that their music has. For the orchestra, every week you’re bringing in a different combination of styles.

How do you think the ‘Clone Wars’ movie compares to the original ‘Star Wars’ movies? Star Wars: The Clone Wars did not start out as a movie. It was originally going to be a three part TV series. But George Lucas liked it so much that he wrote a beginning for it since it already had an ending. From the beginning I was working on a TV show, and when it became a movie, I rewrote it to have a more orchestral feel, since it was being recorded with a 90 piece orchestra. It’s also animation, so that’s different as well.

When did you know that you wanted to be a composer? Probably not until after college. I was on the road conducting for a band, and I would have to arrange pieces for different instruments. I also played guitar, but I realized that I was better at composing and arranging than guitar. Arranging is a very natural step in composing, since if you have a violin for example, but no part for violin, you have to write something new.

When composing music, what software do you use, before it goes to the orchestra? Logic Pro, and Logic Audio which are from Apple.

Are there any scores that you’ve done that you aren’t happy with, or think that you could have done better? I’m pretty happy with most of the stuff I’ve done. Part of the process of composing, is thinking ‘should it go like this, or like that’, but you end up figuring it out and you kind of like what you’re doing. If I could change anything I’ve done, I would probably do the first few episodes of Superboy over again. At first, the music was written in the style of Miami Vice. Looking back, this was not a very good idea, but that was only for the first 6 episodes or so.

What was your favorite movie, or TV show to write music for, and why? Well that’s kind of hard, since it’s like trying to choose who’s your favorite child, but if I had to pick a few, I would have to say, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, CSI Miami, Stargate, and The Visitor.

What was your favorite part of doing the music for ‘Clone Wars’? Getting to be in that world. I grew up being a huge fan of it, and I really liked exploring that since it’s so sophisticated. The first time I saw Star Wars in 1977, I had never heard anything like that music.

The Star Wars: The Clone Wars soundtrack was released August 12th, 2008 in stores, and August 16th, 2008 on iTunes.

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