Winter is coming to the northeast, as the Game of Thrones live concert experience rolls into to Worcester and other spots along the east coast this fall. The upcoming shows come as the hit HBO series enters its final season, which is set to air in 2019. We caught up with Berklee alum and composer Ramin Djawadi about working on Game of Thrones, what inspires him musically and if he has any spoilers for the final season (spoiler alert: he doesn’t).
Ramin Djawadi returns to Mass. with Game of Thrones live concert tour
What did you love the most about studying at Berklee?
Ramin Djawadi: It’s such a wonderful school. What I love about the school is that people from all over the world come to attend the school, so you immediately get mixed up with different music cultures and styles. And Berklee is really good about connecting you with musicians. They always say, “Go play, go record, go meet other musicians.” I just soaked up that experience. Of course, the school itself too, that was the reason why I chose the school. Berklee is very much on the cutting edge of technology and looking out for what’s life after school.
What were your inspirations while crafting the music for Game of Thrones?
Ramin Djawadi: The first inspiration, obviously, comes from George R.R. Martin’s story. He just really laid the groundwork of the mood and what the show is all about. A huge part are the showrunners, who, before they even start writing it, I just sat with them and we talked about characters and the story. I just asked them a lot of questions and I said, “How do you feel about the Starks and the Lannisters?” I wanted to get into their heads, about how the wanted to express the different houses and characters.
In terms of instrumentation, we discussed what they gravitated to and what don’t they like. We always laugh about, for example, they said they didn’t want any medieval flutes. We still laugh about this today because obviously this is kind of a fantasy [show] with medieval-inspired costumes. It was very important for them to say, musically, they didn’t want to go something in that direction that tried to represent music from that time period. They actually said, “Let’s do the opposite.” That’s really what inspired me to set up what is now the sound of Game of Thrones.
How do you hope to push the boudaries musically for the final season?
Ramin Djawadi: It’s hard for me to tell. I still haven’t started, I still haven’t seen anything, so it’s hard for me to determine what it will be. The one thing I definitely have on my mind is that, it’s been such a great run on the show and, musically, of how I was able to develop the existing themes every season and write new themes. I really hope to put a nice button this for the final season and really ramp it up. I’ve very excited, very curious what’s coming my way.
As the composer, you don’t get involved until late in the process. I’m guessing you don’t have any final season spoilers to share yet.
Ramin Djawadi: That’s just part of the nature of being a film composer. Usually, you’re work doesn’t start until post-production when they wrap shooting and everything. That’s just part of it. I’ve just been patiently waiting. Sometimes I do find out things early, but being the last season, I’m kind of holding off on purpose. I’m waiting to see what comes my way. Of course, a lot of people have asked me already, “Rami, do you know how it ends? Can you tell me anything?” Even if I knew, I couldn’t say anything. It’s easy for me now to smile and say, “I just know as little as you.” We’ll see what happens.
If you go:
Sept. 29, 8 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, $36.50+, gameofthronesconcert.com