2016 has been another year of fantastic TV, as we are still binging on boxsets and investing hours of our personal lives into the medium (thanks Netflix!). If anything, this has made TV production up their game and with that, the music. At ThinkSpace, when we are not teaching MA’s in orchestration for film, games television, we are definitely thinking about TV soundtracks! Here are our favourites of 2016 (so far)…
Since we’re writing on the Internet about TV, here’s you obligatory ‘Spoilers’ and graphic content warning. Are we good to get going then? Let’s begin!
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones proved this year more than ever not to be content with a traditional action pumping, bombastic ending. The finale for series six delivered one of the most memorable scenes of the year, not only through its narrative impact but also the dramatic contrast of Ramin Djawadi’s organ and choir boy infused piece, ‘Light of the Seven’. The temptation of playing the scene like a bomb plot in 24hr Prison Break was ignored in favour of the more operatic long-game pay off.
Diegetic or non-diegetic, that is the question. Well not for composer Jesse Novak who regularly throws the diegesis text book out the window with the animated series Bojack Horseman. With regular sing-along hits in the series like ‘Generic Songs’ and ‘Mr Peanut Butter’s house’, Novak has had a playground of musical opportunity to explore. Even featuring a silent episode with ‘Fish out of water,’ which is being tipped for an Emmy. This isn’t your typical soundtrack, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Outlander continued its soundtrack’s success with Bear McCreary in its second series. Bear is now arguably king of the castle when it comes to TV composition and in Outlander he was able to bring his thrilling action style into a blender with Celtic inspirations. If you fancy a jig to go along with your epic TV orchestral tracks, Outlander has you covered.
This year’s breakout success was Stranger Things. Composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein have created an awe-inspiring synth dripping thriller sound track.
Rather than re-enacting the composition of a time period like Twin Peaks, replicating synth patch and harmonic structure with pinpoint accuracy, Stranger Things hammers home the ideas and feeling of 80’s soundtracks, without the baggage of its cheesy and tacky past. It is a master’s lesson in how to write for a period piece without being a terribly old hat.
Do you fancy learning more about TV music composition? Check our website to see what courses could suit you and your composition career. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
Have we missed your favourite TV soundtrack of 2016? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this, why not check out Cinematic Orchestration?