Watch Revenge SUN 9|8c.
Evening my dear Revengers
First off - SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! If you haven't watched the finale, then for god's sake don't read this.
Well, we're finally here - the season finale! …. and we plan to go out with a bang …..
So with that in mind, it brings me great pleasure to bring you the final installment of the Revenge Score Blog - the special edition …….. tonight's score is a little different from everything that has gone before - you're going to hear all the familiar Revenge themes, but a little ….. bigger ……
For this final episode, we were able to bring in a much larger orchestra (50 players) to give us that extra push over the cliff (thank you Nigel Tufnell). And what a difference it made! For the first time on Revenge you're going to hear not just strings, but live brass, woodwinds, massive percussion and live harp. Conducting this big ensemble while watching this episode up on the big screen was an experience I'll never forget. The power of 50 amazingly talented musicians playing my score back at me was really breathtaking.
There's so much in tonight's score and so much in tonight's episode that I can't really get to it all - I have favorites, but I'm trying to be nice to all my children …… however, look out for Emily's Adagio (aka "Don't Do Anything Revengy") at the end when Emily is on the phone to Nolan - a beautiful, slowed down version of the main theme, gorgeously brought out by the orchestra and solo flautist Amy Tatum. As to my other favorites, let's have a closer look:
Tonight's video blog addresses two big (and I mean BIG) cues. When I first saw this episode with the producers, my first thought was, wow, this is almost a miniature movie - so much happens just within the first act, that it really needs a continuous piece of music to propel you through it from the first frame to the now familiar title card. Usually on Revenge I break up the cues into lots of little sub cues, and we record them one at a time, but this required a performance, so the entire first act is one long piece of music, played from start to finish in one take.
We open on an extreme close up of Emily's eye, and as her voice over starts, we hear an ominous rumble on the orchestral bass drum and a low machine gun tremelo from the cellos, setting us up for that first scream. "DANIEL!" - the brass and timpani come crashing in, and as our characters scramble in the aftermath of the robbery, the brass and basses grunt and creak with a sense of imminent danger. As Emily's lie is revealed, the music slows and we're propelled via the main theme melody into a dark web of harp, strings, woodwinds and brass while Daniel and Conrad try to figure a way out of this mess. This leads to my first favorite spot - a beautiful cello solo by Vanessa Freebairn Smith draws us into Jack's mind as he sees the check from Daniel in his cash register and starts to make decisions we hope will lead him back to Emily (oh if only).
As Emily walks to Nolan's house, the lyrical spell is broken as she finds the door open and that ransom note waiting inside. This was a great opportunity to use the big string section to create some sickening effects. Led by concertmaster Mark Robertson, the violins gliss and trem, meshing with a bed of creaks and scrapes (which were created by my now familiar room full of metal junk toys purchased at the start of the season - a lot of these sounds were made by using a cello bow on things such as metal shelves). The brass re appear again as the White Haired Man is revealed and as the invitation to the inevitable showdown is made, we're literally thrown towards the Revenge Title card - the last hit you hear is an anvil. Yep an actual anvil, hit with a hammer, on top of an orchestral bass drum. Subtle, it is not.
The next portion of the episode that needed a similarly lengthy cue was Emily's showdown with the White Haired Man. One thing I've been very fond of doing with Revenge is starting a cue much earlier than the actual scene I'm trying to emphasize, in order to sort of transport us there, set us up for the punch. With that in mind, the cue actually starts as Conrad proposes to Lydia, with a soft piano motif, which sends us into a staccato violin and viola pattern we haven't heard since the first couple of episodes. The brass add a particularly nice layer of intrigue to the scene where the evidence is left in Agent McGowan's trunk. We hear the main theme played on the harp by Gayle Levant with harmonics as we cut to Emily waiting in the White Haired Man's chamber of horrors. The tense stand off between the two is a bed of some of the darkest murk I could create with synths and Guitar Viol, before the main fight section comes crashing in with the full weight of the orchestra. Brass, percussion, string effects, anvils, Taiko drums and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on at this point, just tear through the fight. I wanted this to be the most chaotic piece of music in the series so far and I'm hoping it really takes you there. The nice unexpected flashback to Emily's childhood gave us a chance to re visit the David Clarke theme and take us to the end of the act.
I really hope you enjoyed this episode as much as we did making it. It was a truly magical experience, all the way from the drawing board to the orchestra stage. Huge thanks has to go to Mike Kelly and the show's writing team who inspire so much music for me to write and for my crew and I to produce, and the actors, who's performances I've been delving into for material all year. Thank you to my awesome crew, orchestra and support team, and ABC, especially Dawn Soler, who continually support the music in this show by giving us the opportunity to hear a real orchestra. It ads such a layer of class to the project and we're all so proud to be a part of it. Also, thanks to ABC's Melyssa Hardwick for producing this fantastic blog week in week out!
But most importantly, thank you to YOU - the fans, who have kept us on the air, supported us with your lovely comments and tweets all through the season, and without whom, there would be no show. See you in SEASON TWO!!!!
With much love and Revenginess …..