Interview with David Arnold, composer.

David Arnold is a Bond composer.

re there any specific instruments you try to find a way to use in your scores? If so, what are they and where would we notice where you’ve sneaked them in?

I love the sounds of deep low strings… cellos, low violas and low violins… it’s a velvety rich dark sound, and alongside dark trombone chords and French horns gives you that foreboding but sensual Bond sound. I also love the sound of harp and alto flute. Most notably, all of these sounds are in “Night At The Opera” from QUANTUM OF SOLACE. The flute/harp combination is something John Barry made famous in his work for the Bond films that he scored.

What turns any score into a Bond movie score beyond the use of the theme here and there?

You’ll get a million different answers to this question… but for me it’s a sense of danger, mystery, an undercurrent of violence and a slightly perverse sense of romanticism. To represent those elements in a musical form should get you close to the sound of a Bond score.

 What was your favourite scene to score?

I liked the scene between Bond and Elektra (in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) when they’re in the bedroom and being tender with each other… probably because I liked the theme I came up with for her and it played well in this scene. “A Night At The Opera” from QOS and “Surrender” from TOMORROW NEVER DIES were highlights.

Not counting your own, what’s your favourite Bond theme?

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. Definitely.

What made you approach Chris Cornell for the song “You Know My Name”? That was a match made in heaven.

We wanted a singer who sounded like Daniel Craig looked and moved. Chris has the power, grit and, when needed, sensitivity to welcome the audience into the world of CASINO ROYALE.

What piece of music that you wrote for the Bond series are you proudest of?

I like quite a lot of cues over the years, it’s difficult to say which is a favourite… but I suppose as it was the theme that got me in to the Eon/Bond family in the first place… I’ll go for “Surrender” from TOMORROW NEVER DIES.

Who is you favourite composer, in other words a “hero to you”?

John Barry… who else????

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