Interview with Christophe Beck, Michael Paraskevas (Hawkeye composers)

Despite being one of the six OG Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is usually forgotten at worst and neglected at best. It’s been the long run to joke in the MCU and IRL, so it’s no surprise that it never got its own theme until Disney+’s “Hawkeye” arrived. And the composers Christopher Beckan Emmy winner who was nominated last year for “WandaVision” and Michael Paraskevas jumped at the chance to finally give the archer some signature music.

“It’s an amazing feeling, especially with a franchise as rich and expansive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The opportunity to set the tone for a character is one I relish,” Beck told Gold Derby in an interview. with Paraskevas (watch the exclusive video interview above). “I loved doing it for Wanda and Vision in ‘WandaVision’ and especially here because as you mentioned it’s sort of an afterthought. It’s part of the running joke inside of the universe, so it’s great to finally give him his due.

Not only were Beck and Paraskevas able to give Clint his musical due, but they had the added fun challenge of working some Christmas magic into their lines as the show takes place over the Christmas period. The duo used synthesizers and special audio processing – “winter electronics”, as Beck calls them – to put their own spin on the bells and whistles, which can be heard in the percussive and heroic “Hawkeye’s Theme”. “Another thing we did too was in the first episode and in the last episode we rearranged a popular Christmas tune to fit the underscore, so we did ‘Carol of the Bells’ in the episode 1 and episode 6 has an arrangement of ‘Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy,” Paraskevas adds. “So it was very classic, familiar tunes, kind of re-appropriated in a new tension and really set that vibe with Christmas spirit.”

Among the new MCU characters they composed for was of course Kate (Hailee Steinfeld), Hawkeye’s #1 fan who desperately wants to partner with him (and blames his low visibility on a branding issue). While Clint is an exhausted dude who just wants to retire from superheroism, Kate is an eager upstart, and that eagerness is reflected in her motif, which ends up blending with the Hawkeye theme.

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“We talked about how she has this kind of rebellious, punk teenager attitude. We get a lot of that in its theme and how we use it throughout the series. She’s not afraid to break the rules and do anything,” Paraskevas says. “There are a few moments where we actually overlap his theme and the Hawkeye theme, like in the warehouse fight – it was a big fight – and at the very end when they fight on the ice rink. And you hear both themes playing at the same time. It was really cool to see how they were able to work together.

Hardcore fans will also note a different kind of thematic continuity in “Hawkeye.” Like Elena (Florence Poug) arrives in the second half of the series to avenge the death of his sister Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), which she thinks is in the hands of Clint, pieces of Alan Silvestri“Even for You” from “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) and Lorne BalfeYelena’s theme from last year’s “Black Widow” can be heard in compositions by Beck and Paraskevas.

“I can speak for myself. When I have the opportunity to reference an earlier film or an existing character theme, I think it only serves to make the whole tapestry, in terms of storytelling and music, more cohesive” , shares Beck. “It works on a subconscious level and for superfans it works on a conscious level. [They] are very, very, very attentive to all kinds of Easter eggs in all Marvel projects and are rewarded because there are many. And it’s great to be part of that culture as well – to lay those Easter eggs that are musical.

Another treat for fans who study the “Hawkeye” soundtrack closely? Amazing puns on track titles. They include “Carol of the Buy & Sells”, “Bows of Holly”, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Clint’s Mess”, “Barton Funk”, “Yuletide Fray”, “Bone & Marrow” and “A Christmas Peril” . Beck gives full credit to Paraskevas, who helped him with his scores for “WandaVision” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018). “Let me say I’ve been a pun lover all my life and now you’ve found the real reason why Michael is an invaluable member of my team because most of them are his” , he exclaims. “’It’s starting to look a lot like Clint’s Bazaar’? I mean come on! That’s all Michael.

“My favorite, we couldn’t use it. For the warehouse fight, I called it ‘Misfit Toys Alley.’ But it was too close to the property,” Paraskevas reveals. it was fun coming with them. I think for every project we’ve worked on together we try to come up with different titles. We have a whiteboard in Chris’s studio and throughout the project we’ll just add different ideas, and when the moment calls for it, you know it.

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