Marvel Composers on Crafting Music For Mutants, Gods and Heroes

Laura Karpman brought choral sounds into Season 2 of “What If…?” while Natalie Holt re-established the “Loki” theme for the series’ second season. The Newton Brothers entered the Marvel universe by scoring “X-Men ’97,” and Kris Bowers dives into “Secret Invasion.” These are among the composers of Marvel
TV shows vying for Emmy consideration.

Despite telling different stories, each composer worked to bring a score that felt big, epic and exciting — exactly what fans and audiences expect from a Marvel TV show.

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Holt knew Season 2 of “Loki” would be darker and that the titular character (Tom Hiddleston) ascending to the throne and becoming a brand-new god. “I knew where it was heading at the end of Episode 6, so I had this idea of an old Norse choir calling him to his faith,” she says. Holt ended up doing a recording session with chanting that was raw and guttural and expanded into a choir as the character approached the throne. But to keep with Loki’s theme and familiarity that she had established in Season 1, she wove in elements of that into Season 2, expanding on what she had already built.

Similarly, Karpman collaborated with wife Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum to bring unexpected twists to “What If…?” She, too, turned to choirs for Season 2.

Andy Grush and Taylor Stewart, better known as the Newton Brothers, had the mighty task of scoring Disney’s “X-Men ’97.” With the synth-heavy theme song from the original 1992 animated series already established, they had to nod to the familiar melody while finding a way to put their own creative stamp on their rendition. They ended up featuring a theme that blended orchestral music, modern synths and a choir.

For “Secret Invasion,” Bowers created a suite of music that included the theme of character Nick Fury, which ended up becoming the main title theme. That piece of music would also lay the groundwork for how Bowers approached the rest of the score.

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