Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 saw the World Premiere of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, accompanied by music adapted by composer Ryan Shore. Shore took music cues from the original movies and molded it to fit the format of these fun mini epics. Check out Forces of Destiny on the Disney YouTube channel and Galaxy of Adventures on the Star Wars Kids channel and welcome to the site Ryan Shore.
FT – You’ve now scored two Star Wars animated series, Forces of Destiny and Galaxy of Adventures. How did you first get involved with these projects?
RS – I was recommended to Lucasfilm through my friends at Ghostbot. Ghostbot was the animation studio for Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, and we had previously worked together on other projects. After scoring Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Lucasfilm asked me to score Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures.
FT – How have you approached writing music for such an iconic franchise like Star Wars? Has it been intimidating or nerve-racking?
RS – John Williams has so brilliantly established the iconic themes and musical vocabulary for the Star Wars universe, and so I’ve been able to approach the scores for these series with his tremendous influence for music direction. When I’m scoring, I do my best to not be intimidated, and instead I try to only focus on the scenes, characters and moments that I’m scoring. That said, there are definitely times when I lift my pencil up from writing, and I think about the incredibly rich history of Star Wars canon, and it’s at times like that when I do sometimes feel more of the nerves. Thankfully though I usually am not feeling that when I’m composing.
FT – With Forces of Destiny you created music for original stories, while with Galaxy of Adventures you’re scoring retellings of iconic scenes. How do you approach these different types of storytelling?
RS – For Star Wars: Forces of Destiny I was able to compose my own scores while quoting John Williams’ iconic themes using a leitmotif approach. For Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures I begin by trying to utilize as many of John Williams original recordings from the original films as possible into the scores. However, although we’re retelling many iconic scenes from the films, we don’t always tell them in the exact same way shot for shot, and therefore the original recordings don’t always synchronize perfectly.
At those times I’ll do my best to still utilize the original recordings through creative editing, and then I compose my own music to weave in and out of John Williams’ music to create one continuous score where it’s hopefully not obvious where the original recordings begin and end, and where my original music begins and ends.
FT – Do you have favorite episodes or moments from each show? I know in Galaxy of Adventures, I’ve loved hearing Battle of the Heroes play in different scenes.
RS – I have so many favorite episodes and moments and so it’s difficult to single out only a few. I do really love the episode “Luke vs. the Death Star X-Wing Assault” because of the way I was able to incorporate the Force theme in a way that was different from how the original scene was scored in the film.
FT – What are some of your own personal inspirations for scoring these projects?
RS – When composing, I’m constantly thinking of John Williams indelible music for Star Wars, and I’m also always channeling the feelings I first had (and still do!) when watching each of the Star Wars films.
FT – How much latitude are you given by Lucasfilm to incorporate your own musical style with the already established themes from the original score by John Williams?
RS – I’m given a very good degree of latitude when I’m writing. The process is very collaborative between myself and Lucasfilm. I always begin each episodes by watching the episodes with the filmmakers and we talk about the music, where in the scenes it should be heard, and the feelings we’d like the audience to have while watching and listening. All of that wonderful direction has a very large influence on me when I’m composing.
RS – I would like to say that scoring for Star Wars has been a “dream-come-true”, however I never even thought it would be possible to compose for Star Wars, and so I never even dreamed of it. It means the world to me to be able to collaborate with my friends at Lucasfilm on the iconic Star Wars franchise, and to have the extreme privilege of being able to play within the same musical sandbox that my musical hero John Williams has created.
FT – If you could be any creature or do anything in the Star Wars universe what would that be?
RS – I’d like to be a member of the band playing Lapti Nek or any other music in the cantina.
FT – Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers?
RS – I just recently scored a tremendous animated feature film titled The Legend of Muay Thai: 9 Satra. It is a 96 minute animated feature, and I composed a 96 minute orchestral score including an original song heard twice within the film. I couldn’t be more proud of the music, and I’m so excited to have just received Thailand’s equivalent of their Academy Award for Best Score. I can’t wait for this film to be released United States later this year!
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