ABOUT THE FILM
Directed by Christian Dyekjær, All I Want for Christmas tells the story of 12-year-old Lucia, who lives in Greenland with her mother Claudia and her father Julius, who is working as a self-employed Santa. Lucia would also like to study the secrets of being Santa Claus, however, but only boys have access to the International Santa Claus School. Still, she is promised a place if she can find the cure for a mysterious disease. It’s up to Lucia to solve the mystery and face the greatest enemy of yuletide cheer, the Krampus…
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Nicklas Schmidt has written the score for a number of feature films, documentaries and TV series, including the Astrid Lindgren biopic Becoming Astrid (2018) released on Sony Classical, and children’s animation ranging from the 3-D adventure The Great Bear (2011) through the genre parody Ronal the Barbarian (2011) to the haunting Beyond Beyond (2014). His score for A Conspiracy of Faith (2016) is also available from MovieScore Media.
Kristian Eidnes Andersen is an award-winning composer with more than 30 years of experience in film music and sound. He has designed sound and written scores on more than 100 films including a long list of Lars von Trier’s productions e.g. Manderley (2005), Antichrist (2009), Melancholia (2011), Nymphomaniac (2014). He has collaborated numerous times with Norwegian director Per Olav Sørensen on the TV series The Half Brother (2013), The Heavy Water War (2015), Nobel (2016) and the upcoming Netflix series Quicksand.
ABOUT THE SCORE
Although the music wouldn’t make it obvious, the score for All I Want for Christmas is the joint venture of two composers working for a common goal. Kristian Eidnes Andersen had worked with director Christian Dyekjær on three movies, while Nicklas Schmidt had experience working with editor Morten Egholm – and were brought together on the project to collaborate on a score for the first time. “We split the workload 50/50 and worked mostly on separate cues. However, we were always very keen on keeping the overall result coherent. On the released score album, (as is often the case), some of the cues have been edited together to make for a more flowing musical listening experience, thus blending the work of both composers.”
The musical decisions were made in close cooperation between the two composers, director and editor and since Kristian also did the sound design of the film, the mixing process was smoother than usual. As co-composer Nicklas Schmidt explains: “There was a clear ambition that we should underline the family-adventure genre with a captivating orchestral score. It was also agreed that well-known Christmas themes were not to be an integrated part of the score despite the Christmas plot of the film. One exception from this rule is the brief use of ‘Silent Night’ in the outdoor market scene. Our idea was to make a lush, exciting and compelling orchestral soundtrack to go with the story. One that could both underline the adventurous drama and would lift the more human side of the plot, where the pre-teen daughter of Santa Claus tries to find her spot in a Christmas-realm heavy with traditions.”
The main theme of the film is ‘Lucia’s Theme’ which appears a number of times in the film, but on the CD, its most notable appearance is the opening track – though a triumphant reprise can also be found at the end of ‘The Tuktuk Chase’. Another key theme is heard in the beginning of ‘International Santa School’ – this one is characterized by an optimistic and heroic feel and can be heard in many variations throughout the score. On tracks like ‘A Wish Even Santa Can’t Fulfill’ and ‘Many Broken Illusions’, the theme plays along the moodier and more difficult parts of the main characters journey – with a mix of minor and major key, these moments underline ambiguous feelings. Finally, the main antagonist of the film, Krampus has her own theme, an adventurous, but ominous motive with a more poly-tonal approach is heard in tracks like ‘Finding the Hidden Star’ and ‘The Krampus Cave.’ This cue, alongside ‘The Tuktuk Chase’ represented challenge of mixing action-heavy portions with suspense scoring, and was thus singled out by the composers as the toughest section of the score to write.
The score was recorded in Prague with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra on a very hot weekend in August. “Christmas film scores are seemingly always made in the summer,” explains Nicklas “when the last thing on your mind is snow, reindeer and those sorts of things. However, we managed to focus on the job and are very happy with the final results.” And apparently others were taken by the score as well – All I Want for Christmas has been nominated for a Robert – the Danish Film Academy Awards in the category of Best score. And with a hint of Christmas magic, let’s hope it will win it.