Scoring the Mandalorian with Ludwig Goransson

Not many film composers get the rockstar treatment, but Ludwig Goransson does in this music video for Star Wars: The Mandalorian’s theme. Baby Yoda, eat your heart out.

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Distinctive Voices

This video is a fascinating look into the instrumentation of The Mandalorian theme. It’s also a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the awesome virtual sets used on the show. The score for this Star Wars spinoff series breaks with the orchestral tradition of John Williams’ iconic music. It introduces otherworldly sounds through synths, guitars, and a bass woodwind recorder – the real star of the show.

Woodwind recorder family
The two instruments on the left are Bass Recorders, used extensively in the score of The Mandalorian

Love it or hate it, this approach gives The Mandalorian a distinct style that enhances the setting and character, who himself is an outlaw loner. I’m definitely a proponent of making a score stand out by finding unique voices – like my vintage Wurlitzer organ or coconut kalimba.

He has done this to great effect in many of his film scores, working closely with the director to find the musical soul of the film. Then he collaborates with artists, experiments with new instruments and knits it all together. In this way he brings an emotional authenticity to a film score that’s unique.

Career

Goransson has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame as a film composer. He scored his first feature film in 2013, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2019 for Black Panther.

That same year he won three Grammy Awards – one again for Black Panther, and two others for producing “This is America” by Childish Gambino. He’s an accomplished record producer, having been nominated for four other Grammy’s as well.

His filmography includes other powerful films such as Creed, Creed II, and Venom. This year will see the release of Tenet by Christopher Nolan with Goransson’s music underneath. Notably, this is the first time since 2006 that Nolan has used a composer other than Hans Zimmer.

the mandalorian logo
Watch The Mandalorian to hear Goransson’s score

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