production journal

Entry 03 - Karl Preusser, Composer

18-Jun-2007 -- Hello Dragonlance fans!

I am very pleased to introduce myself to all of you! I'm Karl Preusser and I have the absolute privilege of composing the musical score for the film. I'd like to take this opportunity to answer a couple of the questions I have received from all of you and hopefully give you a glimpse into the process of bringing music to the world of Krynn!

First off...

Yes. I am in fact a huge Dragonlance fan. Yes. I have read all of the books.

That being said, you can imagine what a thrill it is for me to be part of the team working on this film. Collaborating with everyone involved in this production has been a pleasure and I can assure you that we are all pouring our hearts and souls into this project.

Now, a couple of your questions...

Q: Live music or synth?

A: The score will be 95% live instruments. An organic live sound is absolutely essential. Sonically, this film is a unique opportunity, because we are essentially creating a score for a period piece; however, because the film is set in a fictional world, we can draw from a wide palette of instruments from all different time periods, cultures, and even instruments and sounds that have never existed. We will be recording a live orchestra, a wonderful female vocal ensemble, solo vocalists, and an ensemble that specializes in very rare medieval instruments. In addition, several of the best players in Los Angeles will be rounding it out with solo instruments and percussion.

Q: What is the overall approach to the score?

A: Characters. Characters. Characters. As a Dragonlance fan myself, I knew how important the character relationships were to this particular story, as compared to other tales in the genre. Each character has his / her own theme and even specific instrumentation that represents their story and personality (for example, the score will feature two amazingly talented female solo vocalists… one for each of Tanis' love interests). The various musical themes will interact and develop over the course of the story, in a similar arch to the characters / relationships they represent.

Also, I am definitely approaching the score with the entire trilogy in mind. For example, when I originally composed Sturm's theme, I was actually envisioning his pivotal moment in Winter Night. Once his thematic material was complete, I worked my way backwards musically to the first appearance of his theme in DoAT. This way I can develop his theme over time, so by the time we get to the High Clerist's Tower, it will reach its heart-wrenching climax!

Having said all of that, don't worry… the score will still encompass all of the epic action, comedic quirkiness, and ethereal beauty we would expect from the world of Dragonlance.

Also, I am pleased to announce that Tracy Hickman has been kind enough collaborate with me on lyrics for the choir. As a fan myself, it has been an amazing experience! All of the languages the choir sings will be based on the various dialects of Krynn. In particular, the score will feature a Solamnic 'Latin' and a Qualinesti elven language.

Q: Will there be a soundtrack CD?

A: Yes, hopefully. There is a plan in the works to release a soundtrack CD, coinciding with the release of the film.

Q: Don't suck! (Yes, this was an actual email.)

A: I'm not planning on it.

I hope this has given you all an idea of where we are headed with the score. Working on this film has been a great experience for me both artistically and professionally. In a couple months, I look forward to doing another update that will include pictures of recording sessions, possibly video, and maybe even some music samples! Thank you for your support!


Karl Preusser