Jared DePasquale's Score for The Victory of Joan of Arc Has Been Released

The soundtrack for Augustine Institute Radio Theatre's latest release,  The Victory of Joan of Arc , has been released on all major stre...

The soundtrack for Augustine Institute Radio Theatre's latest release, The Victory of Joan of Arc, has been released on all major streaming platforms and digital music outlets. The score, which was composed by Jared DePasquale, is intricate and beautiful, weaving in and out of the story tapestry masterfully. As with all great scores, it is understated and subtle where the scene calls for it and grand and soaring when the story necessitates that approach. The cohesion of the music with the other elements of the audio drama is superb and should make it obvious to even the untrained ear that this score was composed with much care and attention to detail.

Throughout the nearly hour-long soundtrack, DePasquale incorporated the flute into the score as one element of the character theme for our protagonist, Joan, or Jeanne, as she is referred to in the story. He shared a little about why he chose that instrument in particular. "What made this score so different is that before I was delivered voice tracks, I had written some music to establish a sort of mood and texture, but I didn't have a theme. That's not a great place to be. The moment I heard Joan's voice (Heather Forster) I wrote a theme. It hit me how young Joan was. So innocent. Naive in a way. I wrote a theme that resembled a 'bird song'. Light, airy, wispy. I chose the flute because the range on a flute is incredible. It can play a very broad melody. I also knew that this 'Peasant Theme / Bird Song' could be arranged in a way to make her a warrior. When you listen to the score, consider that theme, and how it develops."

He continued, "I couldn’t get past the voices [of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret] she claimed she heard, and I decided that would be the musical driver of the score. The flute became the musical identifier for Joan, and while the flute plays her 'Peasant Theme' in the opening track, it really represents the voices she heard and in a way, the 'essence' of who Joan is."

DePasquale collaborated with award-winning flutist, Kim Fleuchaus, for this project. "Her brilliant playing is heard throughout the score," DePasquale said, "and I'm so grateful to her for listening to all my crazy ideas over many FaceTime recording sessions and turning my ideas into powerful emotional statements." Fleuchaus, who has worked with DePasquale on scores for other projects such as Adventures in Odyssey and Jonathan Park, also commented on the remote recording sessions, "I loved collaborating in this way. Jared knew exactly what sound he was looking for, and so we could try different ideas out until we hit on what he needed." She added, "He always brings out the very best in my playing. He is an outstanding composer with an incredible ability to find the perfect voice for each character or moment in a drama, and I was honored to be able to use my instrument to help him find Joan's voice."

The collaboration between the composer and the rest of the team is vital to the success of a high-quality audio drama production. There was a lot of communication between DePasquale and writer/director Paul McCusker during the process of composing this score. "I was able to work closely with Jared on the cues for The Victory of Joan of Arc – in the sense that we talked about the script and brainstormed about the kind of music the drama needed," McCusker said. DePasquale agreed, "This was the closest I have ever worked with a director in crafting a score. It was a team effort where we bounced ideas off each other constantly, always trying to find the most effective way to tell her [Joan's] short life’s story." The effort paid off in the end and McCusker adds, "As always, Jared poured his heart and soul into every cue and created a powerfully evocative and emotional score."

Producer and sound designer, Todd Busteed, also praised Jared DePasquale's painstaking work on this score. "A dramatic score is so much more than a collection of musical cues," he said. "I consider the score in the same light as the lead actors, essential to powerfully telling the story. What Jared has done with the Joan score has taken the integration of music within the storytelling to another level. It was evident early on that he was writing from the same place of emotional attachment to the lead character that the rest of the production team was experiencing."

Busteed continues, "Heather, with her amazing portrayal of Joan, accelerated the process of us caring about the title character. Jared was clearly not immune. The theme he created for Joan, and then deftly wove into the score, is hauntingly beautiful. In post, I saw the lines between sound design and score blurred on numerous occasions. This is the sign of a passionately composed score. A great story deserves a great score. Jared delivered."

Composer, Jared DePasquale
Though obviously a skilled multi-instrumentalist himself, Jared DePasquale is always quick to heap praise upon the other musicians he works with on his projects. And rightfully so; he often finds musicians who are internationally known for their talent with a particular instrument that he needs for a specific music cue. But he is also sure to acknowledge the work of those who birth the stories to begin with, the scriptwriters. Acknowledging that his assignment for this powerful story of Joan of Arc was to "bring a musical voice to her and her life’s mission," he says that he also needs "to thank the show's writer and director, Paul McCusker, for trusting me to write this seemingly impossible score." He concluded, "I hope you enjoy it."

Oh, we did, Jared. We did.

Speaking of the impact of Jared's music on the story as a whole, and specifically of Joan's theme in the score, Kim Fleuchaus said, "I'm currently listening to the finished series with my young daughter every night - (who loves it!), and what strikes me is how that motif serves as a reminder that God was the one in control of each of these battles. Despite how hopeless the odds seemed at times, Joan of Arc always insisted that her hope lay in Him, rather than the strength of her army, and her courage directly reflected her unwavering trust in God."

This gorgeous soundtrack is well worth a listen even if you have yet to hear the audio drama. It is simply beautiful music that stands on its own. (Though we do encourage you to listen to the full production, of course!) All fans of film and audio drama soundtracks should add this to their library. You can check it out via the links below. See more projects Jared has worked on at his website.

J.D. Sutter is the host and producer of the Audio Theatre Central podcast and editor of the blog. A lifelong fan of audio drama, he is an industry critic who has guest lectured and spoken at conferences on the subject. J.D. is also a voiceover artist, podcast consultant, and chair of the ATC Seneca Awards, the annual awards for the family-friendly audio drama industry.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ATC receives a small percentage of your purchase when you buy these products via our links. Thank you!


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