On the Beach

Seven Weekly Interviews with CG by Karen Cambrell
February – March 2000

WEEK THREE. Friday 3rd March 2000
Waiting for the Pictures and More Themes

CG: I'd hoped to get the pictures on Tuesday, but there were various delays. ShowTime wanted a few changes here and there on the final cut so I wasn't able to get started until yesterday.

Since I met you last week I've managed to get all of my themes written. There're five basic themes in all, which I think is a couple more than what I had last time. There is the dying theme which I call Morte Aeterna. It starts with a weeping chant then building rage and concluding with a passionate cry. It’s quite a long theme and I’ll be able to use different parts of it in isolation.

Morte Aeterna (piano)
Sketched 26 February 2000

Then there’s the Family Theme. Delicate but charged with dreams.

Family Theme (piano)
Sketched 27 February 2000

And after a couple of attempts I’ve come up with the basis for the Submarine “Go, go, go!” sort of music…

Submarine Theme (piano)
Sketched 28 February 2000

I've almost finished the first cue which has the opening titles, I've called it The World At War because that's precisely what it is, ending in a great nuclear explosion which then segues into on board the submarine deep under the ocean where they've been for weeks waiting for radiation to clear. The World At War would have to be the noisiest part of the entire show, I think, so we really start off with a big bang.

The World At War
Composed 2 March 2000

I'm finding the sequences on the submarine to be the hardest to get my brain around actually. All the music that's going to be on land I can write quite well, I know what I'm doing, it's quite clear to me, but I haven't quite found the language for on the submarine. I've got a theme but I'm finding that even during the opening cue I'm still sort of searching…to be able to nail it.

KC: Do you think that might be because you personally are unfamiliar with being on a submarine or being underwater?

CG: No, no. I can't quite articulate it. I think, I'm trying to analyse it. I'm taking this question quite seriously actually because it's something that I've got to face anyway.

My assistant, Leah Curtis, is on for about a week or so at this point doing the logging of the timecoded events. Then I'm pretty much on my own for the rest of the process until just a few days before the recording when recording engineers and people will start coming on.

I've got most of the administrative stuff in place now, but I still have to get the singers or the choir and find a child singer as well, which all takes a lot of time. Basically I have to do it because there's no one else to do it. I'll have to get onto that on Monday or it'll get away from me.

Getting Set Up.

Preparation and Themes.

Waiting for the Pictures and More Themes

Composing Begins.

Yachts and Choirs.

Nearing the End and Orchestration.

The End and Preparing for the Sessions.

POSTSCRIPT. August 2008