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Ludwig Göransson's THE MANDALORIAN

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I love the track 'The Mandalorian' and it becomes a really great earworm, but at points I was wondering why the brass sounds a bit tinny and electronic and was left wanting more oomph! to those orchestral parts. 

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As long as they keep making Star Wars trailers, John Williams will always be...a Star Wars composer


Variety: “Even at 175 years old and dead, John Williams continues to write amazing Star Wars music, as evidenced by the trailer for Episode XXI.  Note how he mashed up Rey’s Theme with The Imperial March!  Those classic Star Wars synth BWOMPs!  Amazing!”

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Leaing up to this, I had basically no hype or major interest, knew I'd give it a try anyway but none of the trailers and stuff really tickled me.

After this episode, I was mildly curious to see how it continues, where they're taking it.

After listening to the mini-OST about 5 times: Hell yeah, bring it on! More of this, now!

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17 minutes ago, Modest Expectations said:

I am sure RCP will present the board with a more economically advantageous option. A smart film scoring app that will render composers obsolete. A transfered consciousness of Lorne Balfe.

 

Hollywood will build a Kamino-like factory of Lorne Balfe clones, that will score every movie from now on. Then, Zimmer will finally fulfill his dream of every film score sounding just like The Dark Knight Rises.

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As soon as I heard it, I knew the score would be divisive.  I don't think it's generic at all, in fact what I like so much about it is how Gorannsson voice is so clearly heard if you're familiar with his Creed scores and Black Panther.  Even if you don't actually like it, it is definitely not "generic standard RCP" or whatever made up stuff you wanna say.  You can definitely hear his background producing modern hip hop, like with the specific drum machine sound in "Bounty Droid."

 

So are there any other JWFans that like the score so far?  I know @Holko and @Nick Parker do, anyone else?

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3 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Even if you don't actually like it, it is definitely not "generic standard RCP" or whatever made up stuff you wanna say.  You can definitely hear his background producing modern hip hop, like with the specific drum machine sound in "Bounty Droid."

Is that good?

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Not much to the score in ep1. There were some soaring brass parts, but everything else was pretty electronic and takes a back seat. I guess grittiness in media is best portrayed by electronic elements in this day and age. The end credits track "The Mandalorian" reminded me of Bill Conti's Rocky score. I liked it. Overall, the score was just another back seat score for me. It wasn't fully orchestrated like we're used to, but I think it works.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

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Should we have one thread to discuss the score and one to discuss the show itself, or do ya'll prefer them being combined

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Agreed, especially since some of us might not be able to watch the show, and people could be more free to discuss spoilers and all that.

 

 

As for the score, I wrote my thoughts on it in the Last Score thread:

 

 

...How do you do that link thing to other posts?

 

3 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

Finally listened to The Mandalorian episode 1 score for the first time in full.

 

Lots of fun! When I imagine a space Western, I imagine a very eclectic menagerie of different cultures at play, and the music delivers that in spades. The bass recorder theme is surprisingly versatile, musically, receiving more naked renditions, as well as more groovy variations where its inherent rhythm is more pronounced and obvious. Overall the music definitely feels more isolated and cold, which I'm sure is perfect for the subject matter.

 

I really admire the spirit that pervades it: as a kid, one of my favorite things about Star Wars was the vast worlds you were transported to, while still maintaining a grounding in our own world. Williams wrote music that achieved that balance--the exotic and the familiar--and so far Goransson has done so as well. A great inheritance of musical philosophy, if you will.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

As soon as I heard it, I knew the score would be divisive.  I don't think it's generic at all, in fact what I like so much about it is how Gorannsson voice is so clearly heard if you're familiar with his Creed scores and Black Panther.  Even if you don't actually like it, it is definitely not "generic standard RCP" or whatever made up stuff you wanna say.  You can definitely hear his background producing modern hip hop, like with the specific drum machine sound in "Bounty Droid."

 

So are there any other JWFans that like the score so far?  I know @Holko and @Nick Parker do, anyone else?

 

I like the score. I don't think it's necessarily "brilliant," but it feels fresh and it fits the show like a glove so far. I particularly like the woodwinds for the title character.

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The track "HammerTime" is sooooo good.

 

46 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

The bass recorder theme is surprisingly versatile

Did you notice how those intense strings are playing the main motif in that track?   Versatile indeed!

 

At 0:46

 

 

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13 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

So are there any other JWFans that like the score so far?  I know @Holko and @Nick Parker do, anyone else?

 

Definitely a fan. Currently think I might respect it's direction and approach more than I might actually fully like it, but it's growing on me with each listen. I like how "weird" the music is, for lack of a better word. All these seemingly incongruous sounds working rather harmoniously together to somehow produce one clear vision is something to be admired. 

 

2 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

My other gripe would be a lack of any themes.

 

We've still got 7 episodes to go, my friend.

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13 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

So are there any other JWFans that like the score so far?  I know @Holko and @Nick Parker do, anyone else?

I like it, it's different and for a while now I think we've been missing that from Star Wars - Giacchino and Powell have their voices come through, with strong reverence to Williams, Haab is literally conducting a seance with Williams to make a convincing emulation, but we haven't had anything different like this.  

 

For me it's paradoxical in a sense to have Star Wars scores from anyone other than Williams, because each composer has had to work with a certain set of conventions, but it means we can't step outside of them without causing some sort of ruckus, and because we've only had, what, six other composers step in since Williams, all paying homage to that style, we haven't had the proper variety to know what else Star Wars could sound like. 

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3 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

I think if it weren't for the pop stuff I'd actually have actually enjoyed the score. After listening to the OST, that seems to be my main issue with the score. It's a little too modern for Star Wars.

 

My other gripe would be a lack of any themes.

There's a theme!

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The credits piece has 3 separate quickly identifiable melodies which show up in other tracks! Except for the big bombastic one, not sure about that showing up right now. More if you count things like the rythm with the 2 piano notes.

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3 hours ago, Holko said:

Except for the big bombastic one, not sure about that showing up right now.


What do you mean? The bombastic brass theme has a major presentation in the track "You Are a Mandalorian"; that's where it shows up in the actual episode's score.

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I was thinking of the part when it suddenly gets huge and joyous with guitar and stuff, 2:09 of "The Mandalorian". That part somehow makes me think of Slave Children and Olympic Fanfare and Theme mashed together and thrown into the Mexican frontier.

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I took a nap today, and I had a dream on which the score for this series was made of disco music, and the main theme was the classic Bee Gees tune "More Than a Woman" (which played on the radio today):

 

 

For the actual music on the show though, I listened to the Ep 1 OST, and to be honest... I didn't like it. Sure, from a pure intelectual point of view, it's intelligent and well composed, with the music reflecting this dark, seedy criminal underworld of the Star Wars galaxy that the show apparently is about.

 

But it's not easy listening, neither Star Wars music (well, maybe parts of the Jedha music Giacchino wrote for Rogue One). Much like on these modern scores critics rave about, the orchestra sounds tiny, even though on an interview with Burligame, Goransson said he used a 70 musicians orchestra, but processed it electronically along with the unusual instruments. 
 

The main theme is good, but nothing much different from his Black Panther and Creed themes, posessing the same obvious Bill Conti influence, but sounding nothing like JW.

 

Anyway, I'll hear the other minialbuns, let's see how his music will evolve during the season.

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Been able to gather my thoughts after a few listens:

 

This one's definetly a grower, as in, I enjoy it more and more with each listen. Göransson's themes are on-point and unique, albeit familiar in style and sound to Creed and Black Panther, especially the former (I'll link to some examples when I track them down). I'm still digging the recorder at the beginning of Hey Mando! and the lower piano theme in the latter half of the same track likewise (reminds me of some of the Lex Luthor stuff from BvS). Hammer Time is probably my favourite track aside from the credits music obviously (which is awesome!!!). I love the Morricone influences for some of the guitar moments, and some other instruments that I can't quite identify. All in all it's a splendid nugget of music, and I'm immensely pleased with how they're going about releasing it after each episode, which is the ideal scenario for people like us on JW Fan, who want as much as we can get. 

 

I normally dislike electronic scores and I can't stand modern hip-hop, but Göransson's expertise across the musical spectrum here provides what ought to be an example of how different film score tastes can be compromised upon in ways that are inventive, progressive and cooperative with the orchestra at the same time. I've been cheering for this fellow since I heard Creed, and he's one of a small group of composers that look to be leading the future generation onwards.

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Love the new main theme setting in Trashed Crest and Celebration!

Interesting off-kilter rythmic motif for the Jawas.

Not a fan of either the heavy synth sound design or the ctrl+c ctrl+v lift of The Asset's end in The Mudhorn.

Love The Next Journey!

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I listened to both releases on Spotify today.  I liked it!  Nice little tv score.

 

I haven't seen the show.

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I've listened to these mini-albums repeatedly since their release and I must say that Goransson exceeds himself. One of the biggest takeaways for me is that he is not at all confined by the 40+ years of Star Wars music that came before him, and while I expected his style to shine through his work to some degree I'm really quite pleased that he's completely doing his own thing here. It's very refreshing. To really exemplify what I'm getting at, look no further than the Jawa motif from Chapter 2. Had I been scoring this, regardless of my track record and musical tendencies, I would've definitely tied in a musical Easter egg from The Little People.  Who wouldn't right? But Goransson refrains from that. In fact, he actually writes a completely new motif. 

 

I've marked my favourite tracks from the first two chapters so I can make a highlights playlist at the end of the season, but I've been listening through the albums constantly. My favourite tracks are HammerTime, You Are A Mandalorian, The Mandalorian, Jawas Attack, Trashed Crest, and Celebration, but there are very few moments overall that I do not enjoy.

 

Case in point, hats off to Ludwig!

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So far as I can tell, this is the first Star Wars tie-in that doesn't feature ANY John Williams motifs/themes in it, correct? 

 

At least so far. There will probably be a Force Theme statement at some point, I imagine. Although the fact they've gotten through the first two episodes without any recognizable Williams is still pretty remarkable. 

 

People keep mentioning Morricone across the internet but this really does seem more like if he's channeling anyone, it's Conti again. 

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I like it. Just watched the two episodes that are out and I'm hooked, might even consider listening to the score separately when the season's over. I enjoy the BP score and Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" but haven't listened to much else by Göransson. Interesting varied palette, sometimes gimmicky instrumental moments (he's no Jedi Morricone) in opposition to somewhat conventional orchestral writing for 2019. But considering the positioning and expectations for the show and Disney+ they've struck a nice balance.

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The track "Jawas Attack" in the chapter as a The Lost World mood.

 

The Score not really sounding like Star Wars, but's I like it. Very much.

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I’m indifferent to the music. I don’t have Disney+ but judging by the previews, this show seems a bit more quirkier than your standard Star Wars fare. I’d say it was more essential for Solo and Rogue One to have a more traditional musical sound, especially the latter since it segues directly into Star Wars.


 

I really enjoyed his Black Panther score though. That could have really gone the generic, modern route but thankfully they had sense not to do so.

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Less taken with this batch, though Signet Forging, Mando Rescue and I Need One of Those are great.

The woodwind motif on orchestra sounds like Goldsmith's Klingon motif!

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I love the new brass setting of the Pedro Motif (what else could I call him?) in addition to the previous exotic woodwind and intense strings versions.

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