Category: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Nebraska

“The Walking Dead” returns to close out an amazing sophomore season with tonight’s episode, Nebraska.  This week’s video blog discusses a new character theme heard in Nebraska, Herschel’s Theme:

This scene is one of the most powerful in the episode because it gives us a glimpse into Herschel’s conflicted past, and without using a single word of dialog.  The Herschel Theme is a melancholy tune in G minor, played at a very slow tempo by a solo viola: (more…)

The Walking Dead: Pretty Much Dead Already

I’m a bit late posting this week’s blog entry because I needed some time to absorb the episode’s impact, and to get fan reactions before I offered my own commentary.  Because the music I wrote for Pretty Much Dead Already is some of my most powerful yet for “The Walking Dead,” I didn’t want to trivialize it by cutting it up into excerpts, so there are no audio or video clips this week.

Before going any further, I must point out that the remaining blog entry will deal almost exclusively with the final scene.  The words “SPOILER ALERT” do not begin to describe how important it is that you watch the episode before reading any further.  So, if you haven’t watched the episode, please go to your DVRs, TVs, iPods, Computers, DVDs or whatever you have and watch it first. Ok?  Good.  Here, we go…


The Walking Dead: Secrets

Tonight’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” Secrets, allowed me to further explore the exotic folksy instrumentation of the score.  One of the instruments I featured was the hurdy gurdy, as detailed in this week’s in-depth video blog:

The hurdy gurdy was not the only unusual instrument I used for this score.  I also wrote for Paul Cartwright on the electric fiddle.  Paul’s a fantastic instrumentalist I have worked with on virtually every project I’ve ever scored.  He was featured prominently throughout “Battlestar Galactica,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Dark Void,” “SOCOM 4,” and “Caprica” just to name a few. (more…)

The Walking Dead: Chupacabra

SPOILERS BEYOND: This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” Chupacabra, is one of my favorites because it lets us really explore Daryl, one of my favorite characters.  He is ever determined to find Sophia out in the woods and continues to search for her on his own.  Unfortunately, he accidentally falls into a ravine where he is stabbed by one of his own arrows and must fight oncoming zombies and his own blood loss in order to survive.  During all this, he is motivated by visions of his brother Merle.  I underscored these visions with droning beds of hurdy gurdy and harmonium, as detailed in this week’s video blog:

These sequences with Daryl were a challenge because they needed to be both dream-like and yet also suspenseful.  So, I had to choose my instrumentation carefully.  In addition to the bed of ambient instrumentation, I also used low percussion to create a primal, tribal heartbeat: (more…)

The Walking Dead: Cherokee Rose

SPOILERS BEYOND: A significant subplot in Cherokee Rose involves our heroes discovering a zombie floating in a well and fishing it out.  This was my only chance for intense action scoring this episode, so I wrote a heart-pounding percussion piece featuring Jonathan Ortega on exotic stringed percussion instruments, as featured in this week’s video blog:

The autoharps, psaltery and hammered dulcimer have been a part of the fabric of “The Walking Dead” score from the very beginning.  My philosophy with this series was to find instruments used in traditional bluegrass, folk and country music and distort or manipulate them until they are unrecognizable and create a unique musical signature for this world.