Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Audio Evidence: 5 Composers (You Haven't Thought Of) That Could Score Thor: The Dark World

Audio Evidence: 5 Composers (You Haven't Thought Of) That Could Score Thor: The Dark World

Audio Evidence: 5 Composers (You Haven't Thought Of) That Could Score Thor: The Dark World
by Christopher Coleman (@ccoleman)

With the untimely departure of composer Carter Burwell from THOR: THE DARK WORLD, the film music world has been left to speculate on who will be taking over the scoring-reigns.  While I've made it quite public that I think either ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL or HOWARD SHORE would be so-good-it-hurts-choices, neither are very likely...but not impossible.  Of course the most obvious choice would be to bring back PATRICK DOYLE.  This would bring some much needed musical continuity to the Marvel film universe, but, while delivering an adequate score for THOR, this choice doesn't seem to excite too many people for some reason.  So, let's see if we can present a few names that might excite some of you...

There are a great number of veteran Hollywood composers who could handle scoring duties for The Dark World, but let's, as we are prone to do around here, take a look at some names that you probably haven't thought about for this project.

Shall we begin?

Oscar Araujo 

One of 2010's most forceful video game scores came from Oscar Araujo.  CASTLEVANIA: LORD OF SHADOWS exploded onto the scene with it's brilliant brass and choir and with enough percussion to make the Thunder-god dance.  (Hint: you'll likely find these same ingredients in all of our five selections.)    In the second video, CASTLEVANIA LORD OF SHADOWS 2, you'll hear (and see actually) a style that is quite reminiscent of Patrick Doyle's score for the original Thor film.  Araujo leaves little doubt that he could bring in the full Asgardian funk the Thor sequel.

James Hannigan

Well known for his scores for the video-game-tie-ins for the HARRY POTTER franchise, James Hannigan, has oft-times outclassed the feature-film-counterpart-scores.  As evidenced here in "The Grave,"  we hear him make use of John William's thematic work initially, but soon takes things in his own dark and foreboding direction.   Perhaps a bit more than Oscar Araujo's work above, Hannigian's score here has a bit more of an air of royalty about it ...which, of course, suits extra-terrestrial heroes just fine.

Need more evidence?  This night suite of eight themes from Hannigan cement the fact that his talents could easily embrace Thor's diverse world of science and magice.  Besides more Harry Potter-ness, you'll hear his "Soviet March" from RED ALERT 3,  Somehow a Russian-flavored theme or two wouldn't see totally out of place in that world and his heroic "To Save The World."

Abel Korzeniowski

Fans have been pining for ABEL KORZENIOWSKI's score for BATTLE FOR TERRA for years.  While an official release seems unlikely any time soon, he has since gone on to dazzle us with his scores for ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW, W.E. and A SINGLE MAN.  While none of these might evoke thoughts of the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard...where the booming heavens roar, one listen to this piece from Terra and you'll see that Korzeniowski could easily bring his distinctive beauty to Thor's world and balance it with enough musical gravitas to satisfy even the most jaded Frost-giant.  It's only a matter of time before Korzeniowski breaks into the A-list of  the Hollywood composing ranks.  There's no reason why it couldn't be via Thor: The Dark World.

Arnau Bataller

Few composers out there can rival Elliot Goldenthal when it comes to sheer musical force; however,  Cue Award winner, ARNAU BATALLER is one of those few.  It will only take you a few seconds into the opening track from LA HERENCIA VALDEMAR to hear the evidence.  Brass and choir don't rise up much higher than this!   If Thor couldn't manage it on his own, Bataller's music could certainly be the musical-hammer upside his enemy's unsuspecting head!

Still not convinced?  Try this track from LA HERENCIA VALDEMAR 2: LA SOMBRA PROHIBIDA.

Bataller clearly shows he can balance his intensity with the melodically beautiful here.  With the love-trianglish tinge to the recent Thor trailers, the mastery of both styles of music evidenced in this single track would seem a very good fit.

Neal Acree

Ah.  Neal Acree.  He's been thrilling gamers with his immaculate and sublime creations for the World of Warcraft cutscenes for years.  Here in "Arthas, My Son" we get all the ingredients that a film like THOR: THE DARK WORLD deserves.  The innocent soprano vocal, the chanting choir, exploding percussions, war-crying-brass, and dissonant strings would easily flow through the streams, hills and corridors of Asgard. In the second track, "Westfall" from WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM we get the balancing, reflective, even tragic tone, that our next Thor experience is likely to contain.  Neal Acree has already seen and scored it all in universe of World of Warcraft.  Thor's world would be a cinch.

So there you have it.  Five samplings from five different composers that could do a fine job of crafting the musical personality of the next Thor film.  Just as Carter Burwell was not a name the immediately came to mind when considering who might score The Dark World, so these names above might also be overlooked.  But as you can plainly hear, they are names that should be considered.  Yes.  Most of these gentlemen are from the world of video games, but it is a comic-book film we are talking about here.  If there is any more natural cross-over point for a composer, I can't think of what that might be.

We'll see and hear what comes of Thor: The Dark World soon enough.  For now, let us know what you think of these selections or what other composers you feel could do Asgard justice in the comments below. 

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