Eerder vroeg ik mij af of het verblijf en werk van Harry Gregson-Williams in Egypte en Kenia hem had geholpen bij het scoren van verscheidene films die zich in die regionen afspelen. Ik ben niet de enige, want in een interview over zijn werk voor Spy Game wordt de vraag ook gesteld. Het antwoord is verrassend:
You mentioned that you taught in Alexandria, and Africa – did your experience there help on Spy Game, with the Middle Eastern flavor?
It would be neat and romantic of me to say “yes”. I did learn Arabic, because the children I was teaching didn’t speak English, and I became very accustomed to the calls to prayer and the sound of the streets of a place like Alexandria. The thing that made a huge difference to the music that I composed for the Beirut sequences was finding, quite by chance, a vocalist who has become a good friend, and had a complete abandon about the way he sang. He had never done films or studio recordings, and because of that he had no fright or fear of being completely on the wrong planet. I gave him some guidelines, and I had some recordings which were made on location when the film was being shot of some phrases and sounds that I was interested in recreating. I had written a very straightforward and classical western strings accompaniment, and it was absolutely amazing when he came in and sang.