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 the family matriarch, June, a reprieve from a debilitating illness. To her surprise, June re-enters the lives of her adult children and discovers that things have not gone according to plan,” reads the synopsis. “With limited time and a lot of courage, she tries to get everything, and everyone, back on track. When her meddling backfires, June embarks on a romantic journey of her own and discovers that 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 is currently available to watch on streaming platforms.
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Christopher Gordon has directed more than sixty movie and game soundtracks, including Mortal Kombat, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Star Wars: The Director and the Jedi, lego batman and Truthas well as a concert tour of ministry of sound. A new album of his chamber music will be released on March 24, 2022. In a parallel universe, Christopher was a councilor on Ryde City Council (in Greater Sydney), including a year as Deputy Mayor, from September 2017 to December 2021.
Jeff Ames: What led you to become a songwriter?
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 that time she sang in choirs and listened to classical music on the radio without a break. 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’s such a beautiful movie from the incredibly talented first-time writer/director, JJ Winlove. A woman with dementia suddenly becomes “clear” for a couple of days and sets about fixing the lives and relationships of her adult children. It’s gently warm and funny, and Noni Hazlehurst gives an impressive performance as June. It’s always wonderful when a film gives a composer the opportunity to explore what it is to be human; to follow the growth of a character.
What was the most challenging aspect of June Again and how did you overcome it?
Stay out of the way of performances while supporting the emotional narrative. Particularly the opening scene, as June is focused in and out of the real world and has no sense of time, where the music had to provide both a sense of satisfaction and disorientation. Did my head in just thinking about it!
Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes stories about the making of June Again?
As is often the case in the cinema, the schedule was tight, so there was a lot of brainstorming from day one to delivery. I dream of witnessing a funny story behind the scenes!
What were some of the things you learned from June Again that you are excited to apply to future projects?
I’m not sure about “learned,” but what June Again reinforced was the value of creative relationships, in this case with JJ and with film editor Mark Warner, who I previously worked with on Mao’s Last Dancer and Ladies in Black. The exchange of ideas and the sense of joint purpose is something to value, both on a creative and personal level.
What can you tell us about your Chamber Music album?
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 kinds of combinations. Have you ever heard eight harps together? It was recorded primarily while navigating the Covid restrictions of 2021 and features an all-star cast of Australian musicians who were very happy, after months of inactivity due to the pandemic, to get back to making music with other musicians.