Buckbeak’s Flight — Best music ever written for a visual


Buckbeak's Flight is one of the most beautiful music ever written for a cinematic moment. I can talk for hours about how perfectly it fits with the visuals & story. John Williams is a legend! The track begins with percussions that match the rhythm of Double Trouble, the previous track in the album. Visually it aligns with Buckbeak running on its way to take off. These 10 seconds are full of anticipation since it's not clear whether Harry would be able to stay on top of Buckbeak or fall off. From 00:11, the timpani roll informs the audience that lift off has happened. It is followed by Hans Zimmer's The Dark Knight style ostinato which gets accompanied by strings and brass section legatos.

Harry Potter Buckbeak's Flight

00:21 is where the wind shows up. The rising melody in piccolos make it seem like few streams of air are passing by the characters as they float upwards. 00:27 brings in the prologue of the melody that would soon become audience's favorite and give them goosebumps. It continues to build the emotions giving a satisfactory, but-not-yet-complete, excitement of flying.

00:53 onwards there is more exploration, turning, searching, with hints of wind coming in now and then such as at 01:11 as piccolo that again initiates the rising pattern in the string section that sounds like one wing-flap at a time and by 01:15 the audience can already feel that a new height will be attained.

Within seconds Harry has his arms spread out, embracing the moment to the fullest. The grand melody makes a comeback at 01:20 and sets the catharsis moment, and the streams of wind continue to pass by at 01:28. One can hear Harry Potter screaming "Woohooo!" at 01:22 even when listening to the track without the visuals.

What makes this track even more beautiful is what happens next. A good flight has to be followed by a smooth landing. 01:33 takes Harry & Buckbeak to that phase, as if waves of wind have taken the responsibility for gliding them downwards. Quick patterns of rising string with immediate descend of piccolos, merging comfortably with string legatos at 01:44 slowly fading out.

The “flying” feel, the moments of “wonder” and “adventure”, the movements of winds passing by in gushes, the ups and downs and then the mighty glide. Each instrument representing each as aspect of a flight. Pure bliss.

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