Interview: Composer Christopher Gordon Discusses His Score for June Again
ComingSoon’s Jeff Ames was able to sit down with composer Christopher Gordon to discuss his score for the comedy June Again.
“A twist of fate gives family matriarch June a reprieve from a debilitating illness. Much to their amazement, June re-enters the lives of her adult children and learns things haven’t gone according to plan,” reads the synopsis. “With limited time and plenty of pluckiness, she tries to put everything — and everyone — back on track. When her meddling backfires, June sets out on a romantic journey of her own and discovers she needs help from the very people she was trying to rescue.
The film stars Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan, Stephen Curry, and Nash Edgerton. It’s currently available to watch on streaming platforms.
Christopher Gordon has conducted over sixty film and game scores, including Mortal Kombat, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Star Wars: The Director and the Jedi, Lego Batman and Truth, as well as a concert tour of Ministry of Sound. A new album of his chamber music will be released on 24th March 2022. In a parallel universe Christopher was a Councillor on the City of Ryde Council (in metropolitan Sydney), including a year as Deputy Mayor, from September 2017 to December 2021.
Jeff Ames: What led you to become a composer?
Christopher Gordon: One day when I was 13 years old I suddenly knew that composing music was what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I sang in choirs and listened to classical music on the radio relentlessly. Although I have traveled many different musical paths since then, with all the ups and downs of artistic life, I have never regretted that decision.
What was it about June Again that made you want to work on it?
It is such a beautiful film by the amazingly talented first-time writer/director, JJ Winlove. A woman with dementia suddenly becomes “clear” for a couple of days and sets about fixing her adult children’s lives and relationships. It is gently warm and funny, and Noni Hazlehurst gives a stunning performance as June. It is always wonderful when a film provides a composer with the chance to explore what it is to be human; to follow a character’s growth.
What was the most challenging aspect of June Again and how did you overcome that?
Staying out of the way of the performances while giving support to the emotional narrative. Particularly the opening scene, as June focuses in and out of the real world and has no sense of time, where the music had to provide both a sense of contentment and of disorientation. Does my head in just thinking about it!
Do you have any fun, behind-the-scenes stories about the making of June Again?
As so often in film, the scheduling was tight so it was very much head down from day one to the delivery. I dream of witnessing a fun, behind-the-scenes story!
What were some of the things you learned from June Again that you’re excited to apply to future endeavors?
I am not sure about “learned” but what June Again did reinforce was the value of creative relationships, in this case with JJ and with film editor Mark Warner who I have worked with previously on Mao’s Last Dancer and Ladies in Black. The exchange of ideas and the joint sense of purpose is something to be valued, both creatively and personally.
What can you tell us about your album Chamber Music?
My latest album is very close to my heart. It contains over two hours of music that I have written for various instruments over the years. There are all sorts of combinations. Ever heard eight harps together? It was mostly recorded while navigating the Covid restrictions of 2021 and features a stellar cast of Australian musicians who were so glad, after months of pandemic downtime, to be making music again with other musicians.