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Ludwig Göransson's THE MANDALORIAN


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EDIT: Sorry to spam with so many Youtube links  .  Just wanted to get the discussion started on this score more in-depth!  Also, @Falstaft some potential new entries for your catalog     ---

Just watched the latest episode.  That March of the Resistance iteration at the end of the episode was >chef's kiss<.  Incredible!!!   And then I come into this thread to post that, an

Oof. More of an edit than a playlist, but here we go:     Overture: The Mandalorian(orchestral) Preparations: Face to Face (trimmed)+Back for Beskar (first half) + HammerTime

1 hour ago, Pieter Boelen said:

And a nice interview to go with it:

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/07/ludwig-goransson-mandalorian-music

 

Actually says more about the music than that Disney+ behind-the-scenes video did...

Do you mean the YouTube video? because there was a whole documentary episode on the Score on Disney+

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12 hours ago, The River (Fal) said:

Do you mean the YouTube video? because there was a whole documentary episode on the Score on Disney+

I meant that Disney+ episode.

I got the impression it didn't say a whole lot.

Still, wasn't too bad either.

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Most important items of note from that article are that Göransson has finished work on Christopher Nolan's Tenet (exciting!!!) and has begun working on the score for the second season of The Mandalorian. I wonder which one we'll get to hear first... Technically this is the first official confirmation of his return, even though it could easily be presumed given the success of his work on season one. Another tidbit is that he listened to some of Williams 70s scores before scoring season one, namely Earthquake, to draw inspiration from. Neat!

 

 

Also, I doubt I'll be able to do much more in the ways of a potential podcast analysis. I had started to write it, but having nothing to do has only given me more opportunities to be really busy with non-work related things. Rest assured I'll be giving the same breakdown treatment to season two come January though. Thanks for all the enlightening discussion and shared appreciation for this score over these past few months. Also, Nurse and Protect, hell yeah!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, this had been rumored for a while. Not unexpected, just baffling to me that vinyl has become the most likely option for physical releases nowadays.  And isn't 8 LPs a bit much? Criminy, you'd think they'd find a way to fit them onto four. Albeit, I'm not familiar with how much records hold nowadays, but do they not still do double-sided? Will certainly be upper case E Expensive any way you split it.

 

I must say, I'm curious to see the rest of the artwork for this Mando Mondo set, even though I kind of like the format that was released digitally because it a) integrated the concept art and b) it was uniform. Gosh, I'd love to see that spine on my shelf for a CD boxset though. Thankfully I'm still working on my personal edition, but even that's just not the same (I was able to fit it on four CDs so what gives, Mondo?). 

 

Also, instead of recording a podcast analysis for the score, which would be much too much considering how strapped for time I already am (and have no intention of having to listen to my own voice to edit myself), I've decided I'll just do brief write ups on each chapter's mini-OST every 9-10 days which should bring us right up to Season 2's release. And yes, I will very happily be continuing to update the catalogue for the upcoming season, and can hopefully arrange it nicely into .pdf form to place in my signature. Thanks!

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Thanks for that write-up of Episode 1's score, I enjoyed reading it!

 

I will offer one counterpoint though: I don't think he came up with a bunch of different themes, and then later wrote an end credits suite to combine them all together.

 

I think the end credits is actually what he wrote first, and then he when scoring the episodes took pieces from it and used in whatever situation sounded best.  IE, I don't think the Recorder Theme, Razor Crest theme, etc are considered different themes, just the part of his "main theme" that worked for those scenes.

 

I don't know if I'm explaining it well but that's how I came to view the score after listening a lot

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

I will offer one counterpoint though: I don't think he came up with a bunch of different themes, and then later wrote an end credits suite to comebine them all together.

 

I think the end credits is actually what he wrote first, and then he when scoring the episodes took pieces from it and used in whatever situation sounded best.  IE, I don't think the Recorder Theme, Razor Crest theme, etc are considered different themes, just the part of his "main theme" that worked for those scenes.

I agree with you there, yes. In fact, Göransson has said that he created five or so "songs" based on what he knew about the show, and I assume the credits piece is essentially a polished version of some if not most of his work from the early stages of his creative process. For example, the Mando Gallery episode clarified that the first two things he wrote were the recorder and the piano sections, and the rest followed soon after. It certainly works as one main theme (albeit with many parts) and I concur with that interpretation as I'm almost certain that's what he had in mind (and that's indeed how he wrote them, yes). 

 

Of course, for the sake of referencing specific parts I have notated them as individuals of course, but that is the only extent to which I really consider them to be separate. It's quite ingenious actually because each part of the suite can be used to convey many different things, so it's something of a toolbox upon which Ludwig can draw upon whenever he needs to. I refer to the suite as a "culmination" because as far as the listening experience goes that is its purpose (as is the case with almost all credits music), even though it's technically the building block for the whole series and essentially the first thing written. 

 

As for the write-up, thanks for the feedback and I hope to get to the rest soon!

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Gotcha!

 

This really is wonderful scoring I just enjoy more and more all the time

 

Do we know yet if the new restrictions on getting American musicians together to record in the same room will affect season 2's score?

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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

Do we know yet if the new restrictions on getting American musicians together to record in the same room will affect season 2's score?

The only update we've gotten on the score for season 2 was in his Vanity Fair interview from a weeks ago, where he simply stated that he had begun working after finishing with Christopher Nolan's Tenet (which I understand will be largely if not entirely electronic as it is). 

 

The good thing is that he can do quite a bit from his studio: he performs most of the solo parts (bass recorder, drums, guitar, piano) and does the synth and electronic work himself. I think Göransson's the most likely to come up with creative solutions to the current restrictions, but I expect season 2 to sound different all the same. I'd expect a more pared down approach, but it's impossible to tell. 

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image.png

 

Goransson's score for Chapter 2 of The Mandalorian is quick to provide ample development for both previously introduced and entirely new musical ideas. We begin with echoing drums in Walking on Mud, and are quickly reminded of what was set up in Chapter 1 with an apropos statement of the recorder theme. The "Western" beat kicks in as a more major key version of the piano (and...triangle?) downbeat summons the title card. 

 

There's a small, currently unidentified cue that plays as Mando mends a wound, likely comprised of track elements. It precedes Jawas Attack, but features the same busy flute opening before rising tension in the strings rounds out the cue. In the next track, the woodwinds take up the layered rhythm once more, and Mando & Child is played on solo horn, eventually accompanied with a synth blast to underscore the pair's trek at sunrise. Segments of the Jawa motif are spread all throughout this cue, with the rhythm, percussion, and main string idea each appearing separate or unified at different points. Between each phrase of the quirky rhythm rise muted trumpets, giving way to the strings, which take up a version of the rhythm that appears to have more form to it. At 1:54, a short but complimentary few notes for the trumpets provide a spacer for the strings before rejoining the constant underlying freneticism of the flutes. The whole cue sounds like a field day for woodwinds and percussion, even though it's safe to assume that there are some loops at work. 

 

Goransson's handling of the Jawas musical material can be likened to Williams' approach to creatures of this kind in some ways. In this case, the idea is anything but Prokofievan, yet one can still hear a very well-struck balance of off-kilter rambunctiousness with an air of unpredictability. It's a very energetic motif that plays into the presentation of the Jawas here as very capable troublemakers, which isn't necessarily the case in the Original Trilogy.

 

Trashed Crest gives us some of the lonelier iterations of the recorder theme and fanfare, adequately portraying the Mandalorian's poor fortune at the time. The "chimes" feel quite right for walking sequences for whatever reason, opening To the Jawas, where we hear reworkings for the jawas, the main riff, and the Western motif. In The Egg, the Jawa theme is out in full force and bursting with excitement, joined by synth outbursts and thumping percussion. At 1:37 the cue takes a turn, and Mando ventures out to find the egg. Electronics take the helm from here, rumbling in periods of static as an eerie snooping synth figure trickles in at 2:22 (a small patch that returns twice in later episodes). Dissonant strings shuffle around before sliding upwards and abruptly ending the cue, which quickly segues into The Mudhorn. 

 

There's no question that this might be one of the most "out there" sounds featured in the score, but it's not exactly inappropriate for the scene at hand. The ferocious chomping sound of this synth effect actually does quite well to underscore the lumbering charges of the space rhinoceros. Interestingly enough, this was one of the only occasions where a member of my viewing party (it's just three of us, a regular bash in these parts) mentioned the score, and it was something of a shocked reaction. It's certainly a jarring cue by Star Wars standards (it even stands without comparison to the rest of the music in the show, I'd say), although it interests me that Goransson often turns to the electronics for many of the fight scenes in the series. Perhaps it's the best way for him to compete with any sound effects or maybe it's the most comfortable medium for him in those cases, but it's an intriguing observation nonetheless. The cue ends with a copy paste of the latter half of Chapter 1's The Asset. 

 

The synth instance from The Egg plays again as Mando collects the egg. The cue, Found the Egg, is unreleased, but features little that cannot be heard elsewhere.

 

Celebration interestingly begins with one of the utility motifs from Chapter 1, the segment previously heard on strings now taken up by brass. That isn't the only difference though, as Goransson adds some dissonance to the third note on the first pass before taking a triumphant elevation the second time around. We hear the return of the Jawas and the lento fanfare for strings, and at 2:07 the celebration really begins. The back and forth between the solo recorder and flute, all the while followed by a variant of the Jawa beat, plays out like a touched-up revisitation of Return of the Jedi's victory music (that is, the special edition version). We have reached the point in the story where the fanfare can return to major key and conform itself to the current tempo swimmingly, the Mandalorian and company having finished business with the little cloaked figures. 

 

The Next Journey slides through most sections of the main theme with great ease, lending to the first performance of the Razor Crest segment in the show proper. Harp and soft winds sweetly end the track as hints of the fluttering synth rise beneath. 

 

Glad to have been able to write this up so soon, and yes, I do believe I'm coming closer to earning my brevity claim. There's no doubt I'll still have plenty to say for most episodes hereafter, but having covered the main theme(s) in great detail now, a large portion of the "analyzing" has already been done. Thanks for allowing me to put my thoughts down in a meaningful way! Cheers and all things well!

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Yea that biting synth music for the beast threw me for a loop at first, but I came to love it!  It's unexpected and atypical, but works really well I think

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In a recent Score podcast, Goransson stated he wanted to know 'Where Williams was when writing Star Wars' so he looked into earlier Williams scores and bought a vinyl copy of Earthquake! Listening to Earthquake again, there is a similarity in the main title and the main theme for this show, the sort of pop stylings, guitars and drums etc. 

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Yeah, I would say I was taken with the main theme and its many variations, but most of the scores for each episode are kind of a blur of synth noodling. I would love to hear what he could accomplish if he had to write something that was largely orchestral for an entire episode.

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  • 2 weeks later...
8 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

Would that such interest be lavished, I don't know, on Williams's 9th and final Star Wars score...

NO! NO! NONONONONONONO keep that Mondo trash away from him! Do proper and actually accessible releases not this antiquated shit format dickishly targeted at brainess collectors only wanting stuff because they're extremely limited!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/25/2020 at 4:02 AM, Jay said:

I have no interest in ever buying any vinyl records, but damn the artwork on this set is aces

https://mondoshop.com/blogs/news/music-weekly-the-mandalorian-season-one-boxset

 

Wait, so Disney will license out Star Wars music to Mondo for limited edition vinyls but won't licence out JW's music from the films proper?

 

Granted that artwork looks fantastic, but why on earth wouldn't they do that in-house (seeing as they clearly have no intention of licensing out JW's music)?

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I'd presume no one who works for Disney Records was interested in making a Mandalorian vinyl release happen, but Mondo approached them with a sack of money so they said sure, you can do it

 

They did their on vinyl editions of JW's scores because they wanted to, and likely did some analysis and indicated it would be a profitable venture.  They likely did a profit analysis of Mandalorian vinyl and decided against that, before Mondo showed up with their offer

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

I'd presume no one who works for Disney Records was interested in making a Mandalorian vinyl release happen, but Mondo approached them with a sack of money so they said sure, you can do it

 

So we just need to convince Disney that nobody wants to buy Star Wars expansions, then they'll hand over a licence to Intrada! ;)

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Expansions are a whole different thing.  Mondo licensed the existing OST masters Disney Records already made, not created new albums of music

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I'm not saying it's impossible for Mondo to do the specialty label thing and hire a producer that creates a new album based on music licensed from two properties (Mondo did this with both Batman from WB / WMG and Mission: Impossible 2 from Paramount / Hollywood Records); I'm saying Disney might have said no if Mondo asked to do that for The Mandalorian, but said yes when they asked to press Göransso's approved album masters to vinyl

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On 1/6/2020 at 10:15 PM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3EKI60HcZaV7Vu0oWBIgkb

Loosely based on a fan-made album with the exception of a few tracks and obviously edits. Should do the trick in terms of covering the highlights and spreading out material effectively, as if it were an actual album.

 

On 1/7/2020 at 1:18 PM, Holko said:

Oof. More of an edit than a playlist, but here we go:

 

image.png

 

Overture: The Mandalorian(orchestral)

Preparations: Face to Face (trimmed)+Back for Beskar (first half) + HammerTime

The Job: You Are A Mandalorian (until it dies down) + The Asset

The Old Gang: Hyperspace (first half) + The Gang

Little Mousey: Little Mousey

Training the Villagers: Ponds of Sorgan, until it would start up, then Training the Plebs

Kuiil and IG: Trashed Crest + Reprogram + Kuiil

Signet Forging: Mandalore Way (trimmed) + Signet Forging

Sandcrawler: Jawas Attack

The Next Journey: The Next Journey

Standoff: Ewebb (sic)

Sacrifice: Mando Flies + Sacrifice

The Baby: Bright Eyes (trimmed?) + Can I Feed Him?

A Warrior: A Warrior's Death + Clan of Two

Speederbikes: Speederbikes + Night Riders + Farewell

Memories: A Throusand Tears

Finale: The Baby

The Mandalorian: The Mandalorian

 

Bit too heavy on ep8 but what I tried to do with it (like showing developments of the more main motifs more in the beginning, middle and end, filling the inbetweens with more diverse material), I kinda succeeded, I liked it on its 3 trial runs and Jerry seemed to pretend to like it when we listened together, too!

 

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Jerry, I love that you are doing these, keep it up!

 

Entire board, I am confused why nobody besides me wants to say anything about that video?

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This quote which I've heard him say similar things elsewhere, like the Disney+ documentary:

 

Quote

You need to have 70 humans in a room to create the waves, the air to make it come alive

 

Except we won't have that with season 2 given the pandemic and remote recording :( 

 

I also love that he confirmed what I and others said way way back that the "fanfare" theme represents the Razor Crest.

 

On 11/22/2019 at 10:03 AM, Disco Stu said:

Also it's now been two episodes in a row that the major key fanfare from the Chapter One end credits has been used for shots of the Razor Crest (his ship) lifting off at the ends of episodes.  Maybe call it the Razor Crest Fanfare?

 

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Well, the "essence" of the score at least was created that way in the lead up to season 1 and all the cues needed for season 1.


I'm sure the Season 2 music will be great

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On 9/18/2020 at 12:58 PM, Jay said:

Entire board, I am confused why nobody besides me wants to say anything about that video?

 

I just watched it and was amazed by how many different and unusual instruments were used for the main title, the man is definitely talented with his ability to play so many different instruments, I can't even begin to play one! LOL

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8 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Had another great time revisiting this album! I believe Stu did an isolated score for a large part of this episode, and while I cannot find the video presently I highly recommend it as an opportunity to see how it lines up to the picture, particularly the training and battle scenes.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xGEWpjxEL19yaXi4GyhN9xugecn7mve0/view?usp=drivesdk

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Those write-ups are really great and are giving me some insight in details I hadn't previously noticed, especially in terms of thematic associations.

 

I am watching The Clone Wars, Rebels and The Mandalorian in preparation for season 2 of Mando and I really hope that, if rumours are true and characters from those shows return, Goransson will use some of the established themes, like Ahsoka's or Sabine's theme. And of course, some Bobba Fett material by Williams would be perfection.

 

And I cannot wait to hear what new themes and variations of old ones he has created for this season. So hyped!

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