Harry Gregson-Williams: To Aslan’s Camp (from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)

Welcome all to this film music mini series on Classicalexburns. Today’s film score is by British composer, Harry Gregson-Williams, for Disney’s interpretation of C. S. Lewis’ ever-popular series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

 

Although with a short running time of around 3 minutes, ‘To Aslan’s Camp’ is bold, heroic and highly symbolic. The strong trumpet fanfare that opens this track coincides with the group travelling towards the true hero of this tale: Aslan. The use of brass here represents strength, leadership and hope. The work is in a major key, which makes the crashes and bursts of music colourful, powerful and representative of what the group are heading towards. The luscious strings support the winds throughout this work, with it starting in the brass, and then the woodwinds.

The work goes through a few different scenes, so the atmosphere often changes, with it covering Aslan’s heroic theme, a more mysterious and atmospheric section, and a sweet clarinet section that feels like a resolution to the previous, darker section. Gregson-Williams’ use of choir towards the end of the work is highly effective, especially as they are layered into the texture and not using words.

Aslan’s heroic theme returns at the end of the work in a slightly varied form, with the choir and trumpets in unison on the main melodic line. The work ends with the strings ending the motif and bringing it to a quiet close as the group emerge at the camp site.

The foreshadowing and symbolism in Gregson-Williams’ soundtrack adds to the ‘Narnia experience’ per se, and really gives you that feeling of heroism whenever Aslan is around. Although only a short track on this soundtrack, To Aslan’s Camp is full of melodic kernels that germinate throughout the soundtrack, where they come to a head in the battle scene. This whole soundtrack is such a treat and well worth a listen!

Happy Reading!

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