Having scored the 3D version of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth in 2008, Andrew Lockington returned for the sequel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, but the project turned out to be much more than writing another dynamic orchestral score.

This time there was research, and Lockington made a rare research expedition to Papua, New Guinea, where he immersed himself in ancient sacred music comprised of drums before returning back to his home base to write the score.

Working again in 3D with a large orchestral palette, Lockington discusses what may be his most memorable project, travelling to the past to create a musical bridge for the characters of the fantastical sequel.


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Mark R. Hasan: When you were scoring Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, were you looking at 3D footage or were you looking at the footage ‘flat’?


Andrew Lockington: I was looking at it flat in my studio, but I would go to screenings with it in 3D when they were doing editorial or test screenings. It’s a great reference to see the 3D, particularly when it’s shot in 3D. I find the 2D to 3D conversions don’t have quite the same effect.



MRH: What was is like revisiting the main theme from Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)? Was this the first time you had a chance to adapt a theme for a new musical adventure?


AL: The director, producers and studios insisted I keep the franchise theme as part of the score, which was great.  It was fun to have it as an element but not to lean on it too heavily.  I worked hard to develop three new themes that were specific to the characters and the peril they face in this particular adventure.  Yes, this was the first time I've ever had the opportunity to adapt a theme.  It was helpful though to have this film be an entirely new adventure for Josh Hutcherson's character.   Because of the venue and the maturing of Josh's character it gave me artistic license to look at the theme in a different way and incorporate new musical elements that wouldn't have been relevant to the first movie.  I was happy with how the "Journey" Theme worked in the first film.  I wouldn't have wanted to use this theme again if I couldn't have taken it to a new place.


MRH: I take it the music research came from your end rather than the filmmakers?


AL: It was both, actually. When I met with the director, Brad Peyton, for the first time, he said ‘I really want to feel in the music the sound of the South Pacific,’ and we started talking about what that was. So many of my go-to places were people I knew who were involved in Polynesian music and Melanesian music, but so much of it had the scars and the influence of Western culture or colonialism or missionaries; it wasn’t ‘pure.’

It’s a little bit like if you go to Columbia and study some of the music. There’s a lot of African influence there from the slave trade; even the stuff that you think would be pure has been infiltrated by techniques that actually came from Africa.

I was trying to find the purest form I could, and that’s what led me to Papua, New Guinea, because culturally, so much of that country hasn’t yet been connected to the global communication web, and they kind of do their own thing and don’t have any influence from…well….us!   It’s like going back in time to find out what the music would’ve been like in the rest of Polynesia, 500-1,000 years go.

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