March 6, 2014
This Tuesday, March 11, famed composer Patrick Doyle will be in Wellin Hall for a performance of his recently premiered soundtrack for the 1927 silent film It. Doyle will also be speaking about the piece and visiting Professor of Music Lydia Hamessley’s Music in American Film class.
Though Doyle isn’t a household name like famed composer John Williams, Doyle has written the soundtrack for a number of popular films: Sense and Sensibility (1995), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2006) and Brave (2012), among others. His most recent soundtrack is for Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: the Shadow Recruit released in January. Doyle is the winner of numerous nominations and awards, notably the ASCAP Henry Mancini award for his exceptional contributions to film and television music.
The composer was commissioned to write a soundtrack to It in celebration of the Syracuse International Film Festival’s 10th anniversary. In the late ’20s, the romantic comedy was a huge hit, breaking box office records and transforming its star, Clara Bow, into one of the biggest stars of the 1920s, the original “it girl.” It was added to the United States National Film Registry for preservation in 2001. The film will be shown along with Doyle’s score on Tuesday.
Hamessley said of the soundtrack, comprises of a score that will appeal to listeners today while working perfectly with the 1920s setting of the film.” The score is written for 15 players, strings, piano, harp and keyboard. It is being conducted at Hamilton by Director of Music and Arts Administration at Le Moyne College, Travis Newton, who also conducted the premiere in October. He noted, “The score is exquisite…Patrick utilizes the entire spectrum of color for the orchestra, and I think the audience will be amazed that the ensemble consists only of 15 players, plus conductor.” Newton also cites Doyle’s enthusiasm and calls him a “true collaborator.”
The performance and Doyle’s visit were organized by Hamessley who attended the premiere. She says that Doyle’s work has always been a favorite of hers, commenting, “I'm excited to be able to help bring this event to the College. It's a wonderful opportunity to see a lovely, fun film set to a beautiful score; and it's a terrific bonus to have such a prominent film composer visit campus and meet with students.”
Doyle’s lecture is at 7:00 pm followed by a 7:30 performance. Tickets are free.