Composing ‘Odilo Fabian’ was a process that took many months, and was overseen by Alex Lamy – a longtime collaborator of ours who has also worked on ‘I Am The Doorway’ and more. Here, he discusses his process of creating the sound of ‘Odilo Fabian’.

Finding the sound for Odilo was something that really happened before any composing was done. Matthew and I had been bouncing ideas off of each other since reading the script and had very similar ideas from the start; we both wanted the piano to do a lot of the work, we both liked the idea of having choir throughout Odilo’s story – adding that sense of magic – and we knew we’d need a good theme to tie everything together.

Composing ‘Odilo Fabian’ was a process that took many months, and was overseen by Alex Lamy – a longtime collaborator of ours who has also worked on ‘I Am The Doorway’ and more. Here, he discusses his process of creating the sound of ‘Odilo Fabian’.

Finding the sound for Odilo was something that really happened before any composing was done. Matthew and I had been bouncing ideas off of each other since reading the script and had very similar ideas from the start; we both wanted the piano to do a lot of the work, we both liked the idea of having choir throughout Odilo’s story – adding that sense of magic – and we knew we’d need a good theme to tie everything together.

We were both inspired a lot by James Horner’s music when thinking about sonic palette for the film, and I’d just finished an arrangement of Horner’s theme from Cocoon, so I was very much in that headspace. Keeping the music delicate, I leant on using solo instruments to take our melody with gentle orchestration underneath. Odilo took the piano and violin, and Alice was embodied by the flute, but there was one another interesting aspect to record as well – singing plants! 

We were both inspired a lot by James Horner’s music when thinking about sonic palette for the film, and I’d just finished an arrangement of Horner’s theme from Cocoon, so I was very much in that headspace. Keeping the music delicate, I leant on using solo instruments to take our melody with gentle orchestration underneath. Odilo took the piano and violin, and Alice was embodied by the flute, but there was one another interesting aspect to record as well – singing plants! 

The script had always called for Odilo’s plants to sing, and we’d settled on a ‘doo-wopping’, Frankie Valli sort of sound – so what better thing than to bring in some of the cast of the West Ends ‘The Jersey Boys’ to record some vocals. We had them feature in a couple of areas of the film, but their main part is towards the start of Odilo’s story, so the music is on a real journey for the first 5 minutes, going from a light hearted and folky opening (sneaking our theme into the opening before the story starts), into Odilo’s magical and slightly melancholy world, then transforming into a band with three-part harmony vocals before settling into the small orchestra and choir for the rest of the film. That first section of the film was a great challenge, but it felt like clear sailing afterwards. Hugh Bonneville’s narration had its own rhythm, which allowed the music to flow very freely, and all that was needed was to keep the music light and magical, letting the story speak for itself.

Alex’s score is now available for download on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and more