TSSZ’s Noah Copeland was able to have a few words this evening with Tom Holkenborg, known professionally as Junkie XL, who is behind the score for the upcoming Sonic movie.
Look who TSSZ’s @NoahNCopeland caught up with this afternoon in California—it’s Sonic movie composer @Junkie_XL! Stand by for a couple new tidbits he told us about the film. pic.twitter.com/WMH8T2yXSQ
— TSSZ (@tssznews) January 17, 2020
Holkenborg is at the 2020 National Association of Music Merchants trade expo in California, promoting a new brass library toolkit to aid composers in delivering professional quality orchestral works.
Holkenborg told TSSZ that he originally pitched the use of the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip, the core synthesizer behind the Genesis sound system, to drive the movie’s soundtrack. Studio heads pushed instead for an orchestral score, but Holkenborg tells TSSZ he still used a similar Yamaha synthesizer chip on some instruments, like drums and keys. The YM2612 chip’s unique sounds have proven very difficult to emulate even today, so both Sonic and Sega fans should have their ears at the ready for any audio cues during the film.
And with Green Hill a driving scenic theme throughout the movie–in Sonic’s and the real world–Holkenborg tells TSSZ he wanted to use the iconic Green Hill Zone music throughout the soundtrack as a central theme. Legal reasons prevented that, and that should come as little surprise. With the rights to the theme held by its original composer, Dreams Come True frontman Masato Nakamura, not even Tee Lopes’s rendition made it onto official releases of Sonic Mania‘s soundtrack, for example. Nakamura will get a writing credit for Green Hill when the soundtrack is officially released.
Some form of a soundtrack is expected to be released once the movie is out next month–whether that will be Holkenborg’s score, the seemingly default music inspired by the motion picture that trends toward mainsteam tunes, or both, is yet to be solidly confirmed.
If you’d like to check out the toolkit Holkenborg was promoting at NAMM 2020–and have the big bucks to back up a purchase–you can do so here.