Essie Davis in ‘Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears.’ (Photo credit: Ben King)

Greg J. Walker’s original motion picture soundtrack of Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears will be released on February 21, six days before the film opens in Australian cinemas.

Composer, recording artist, arranger and producer Walker wrote the score for the TV series produced by Every Cloud Productions.

For the movie which follows Essie Davis’ Miss Phyrne Fisher as she heads to Jerusalem to fight injustice and oppression, he composed an orchestral score with new, exotic instruments to match the escapades on screen.

Walker used Lawrence of Arabia and the Indiana Jones movies as key musical references as well as the cheeky spirit of the 1920s.

“I had to, in some ways, start from scratch and get out of my comfort zone; there was a long period of searching for the right musical keys to unlock this one,” he said.

“With my previous scores I tended to do most of the performing as well as scoring (I play a lot of instruments including strings, keyboards, percussion and clarinet). For the Crypt Of Tears I concentrated on the scoring role and brought in a lot more musicians, creating spaces where things like the Middle Eastern instruments could really shine.”

Melbourne’s Impossible Orchestra, conductor Brett Kelly and copyist/arranger Amelia Barden brought the formal compositions to life while instrumentalists Paddy Montgomery (Oud), Phil Carrol (Ney) and Dayna Roberts (violin) gave the score improvised flashes of Middle Eastern flair and mystery.

Greg J. Walker.

As well as a large orchestral recording session at Melbourne’s Recital Centre several smaller sessions were held in Walker’s local South Gippsland hall to capture the skills of local string players and the Ladychoir.

Said Walker: “There was a lot of to-and-fro’ing with director Tony Tilse and producer Fiona Eagger to find the best musical solutions for some complex scenes where the emotions might turn from action to tension to humour to romance in the space of 30 seconds – always a challenge for us composers – but ultimately I feel the score has a real personality to it while functioning as it needs to do.

“I’m always trying to find personality and a bit of quirkiness in the Miss Fisher music because I want it to add to that bit of fun and rawness and capture the spirit that was such a feature of the 1920s as a cultural era.”

Roadshow will launch the film scripted by Deb Cox, co-starring Nathan Page, Rupert Penry-Jones, Daniel Lapaine, Jacqueline McKenzie, Ashleigh Cummings, Miriam Margolyes and Hugo Johnstone-Burt on more than 240 screens. The soundtrack will be available on major digital platforms.

Walker’s screen credits include Hoges for FremantleMedia/Seven Network and Molly for Mushroom Pictures/Seven, three seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Newton’s Law, both for Every Cloud Productions/ABC.

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