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How Terence Blanchard Drew Inspiration From Specific Scenes From 'Harriet'

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Tuesday October 08, 2019

From Variety

How ‘Harriet’ DP and Composer Drew Inspiration From Specific Scenes
By: ZOE HEWITT

“Composer Terence Blanchard, an Oscar-nominated composer who has worked extensively with writer-director Spike Lee, says he was particularly taken by Harriet’s declaration in a scene in which she declares that she would rather die trying to gain freedom than continue to live enslaved, and jumps off a bridge. ‘That statement kind of drove me when writing the score, because I thought it was an amazing thing to say and actually mean,’ he says. ‘That’s not something you throw out there casually.’

When writing for the film, Blanchard focused not on individual instruments but on the power of a 70- to 80-piece orchestra. ‘It’s about the collective, and how that reverberates and comes together to create one powerful sound,’ he says.

Blanchard likens the instrumentation on the score to various colors. Some ‘are softer in nature, and others are vibrant,’ he says. ‘For me, with some of those big sweeping shots, it was just about raw power.’ “

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