Ilan Eshkeri's Stardust: A Film Score Guide
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Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, Stardust (2007) was an instant hit with fans of fantasy and science-fiction. The film follows the adventures of a young man who crosses through a gap in a wall which separates England from a magical kingdom.
The fantastical atmosphere required by the narrative is maintained by the scale and grandeur of much of the musical score, written by rising British composer Ilan Eshkeri. Trained in the craft by composers Michael Kamen, Ed Shearmur, and Hans Zimmer, Eshkeri more than lived up to the task of producing music for one of his first feature films.
In Ilan Eshkeri’s Stardust: A Film Score Guide, Ian Sapiro carefully examines both Eshkeri’s music for the film and the working habits of the composer himself. An introduction to Eshkeri establishes the context within which he developed as a film-score composer, followed by an analysis of his musical style and his scoring strategies, particularly for the film Stardust. Eshkeri’s collaborative partnerships with music producer Steve McLaughlin, contractor/conductor Andy Brown, orchestrator Robert Elhai, and copyist Vic Fraser are also discussed, in addition to Eshkeri’s relationship with Stardust director Matthew Vaughn. Eshkeri’s involvement in the musical identity of the film during the production phase is also evaluated, as are developments in the score in the context of a new conceptual model of film-score production in the UK.
With complete cooperation from Eshkeri, who provided the author privileged access to primary materials, Sapiro presents a unique look into the art of film scoring. The first detailed investigation of this composer and his music, Ilan Eshkeri’s Stardust: A Film Score Guide is sure to be of interest to film and music scholars and fans.