Nathan Barr scores The House With a Clock in Its Walls

Posted on September 21, 2018 by Dan Goldwasser



This past summer, composer Nathan Barr recorded his score to The House With a Clock in Its Walls, the new Amblin family fantasy movie, based on the book of the same name by John Bellairs and directed by Eli Roth, marking their fifth film project together. Scoring took place at the Barr’s new Bandrika Studios scoring stage, housing the newly restored 20th Century Fox scoring stage organ, and ScoringSessions.com is thrilled to bring our readers exclusive photos from the sessions!


The orchestra records a cue for The House with a Clock in Its Walls with conductor Lucas Richman

Barr’s thematic and fantastical score to The House With a Clock in Its Walls was conducted by Lucas Richman, who led a 34-string ensemble, and an 11-piece brass ensemble, recorded separately.


Lucas Richman conducts the orchestra on a cue for The House with a Clock in Its Walls

The viola and cello sections

The strings record a cue

Conductor Lucas Richman rehearses the orchestra

The brass section records a cue

The brass section performs on The House with a Clock in Its Walls

One of the most exciting aspects of Barr’s score is the use of the newly restored Wurlitzer pipe organ, which was previously housed at the 20th Century Fox scoring stage from the 1920s until the mid-1990s.


Mark Herman performs on organ

Composer Nathan Barr restored the 20th Century Fox scoring stage Wurlitzer organ, featured in his score

The sound of the Wurlitzer filled the recording stage

Inside the booth, Barr was at the console to give notes to Richman out on the stage. He was joined by recording mixer Adam Michalak, orchestrators Penka Kouneva, Larry Rench and Jeremy Borum, music editor Robin Whittaker, lead scoring technicians and composer assistants Kyle Rodriguez and Dimitri Smith, ProTools recordist Keith Ukrisna, and scoring interns Harry Risoleo and Ian Ellison.


Composer Nathan Barr talks to the music team

The music team works on The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Composer Nathan Barr and lead orchestrator Penka Kouneva discuss a cue

Composer Nathan Barr and recording mixer Adam Michalak

A few weeks before the main scoring sessions took place, Barr had scoring mixer Peter Cobbin – who would be mixing the score in London – come to the studio to do a test to figure out how to lay out the microphones for optimal recording. It was the first time recording in the new space, and so it was vital to have a game-plan for Michalak to follow a few weeks later. Peter Cobbin states that for its size, this is currently the best sounding scoring stage in the world.


Music mixer Kirsty Whalley, composer Nathan Barr, and scoring mixer Peter Cobbin

Scoring mixer Peter Cobbin, ProTools recordist Keith Ukrisna, and recording mixer Adam Michalak

The House With a Clock in Its Walls is in theaters today, and the score album is now available digitally from Back Lot Music, with a vinyl release coming soon.