Up Here composer Christophe Beck said the Hulu musical series’ score was intended to stand out from the musical numbers. Beck is an old college friend of co-writer Robert Lopez and already collaborated with Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez on the Frozen films.
“We really wanted to set the score a little bit apart from the songs,” Beck said during a panel at Deadline’s Sound & Screen event. “The score takes a more contemporary acoustic rock approach but it’s also not afraid to go to different places as needed. Overall I think the electric guitar is a big part of the sound of the score.”
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Based on Lopez and Anderson-Lopez’s stage musical, Up Here follows Lindsay (Mae Whitman) and Miguel (Carlos Valdez), a couple falling in love in 1999. The voices in their heads, representing parents and friends, sing their thoughts.
“We struggled a little bit trying to figure out, with the score, how to play the head characters,” Beck said. “In the end, we decided to just let them be the characters, let them tell the story for the most part. There’s not a lot of score under those scenes where the head characters take center stage.”
Beck has been scoring since Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, on everything from Marvel movies to streaming series. The composer said finding a place for score in a musical was no different than adding score to non-musical movies.
“I think working on a musical is not unlike what we film composers do all the time,” Beck said. “We write music in service of something greater and outside the actual music we’re writing.”
Check back Friday for the panel video.
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