Music Emmys A Mix of Predicted Wins and Upsets As ‘The White Lotus’ Dominates

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The music of “The White Lotus,” “Severance,” “Stranger Things” and “Schmigadoon!” won Creative Arts Emmys Sunday night in a mixture of predicted wins and upsets.

The big winner was Chilean-born, Montreal-based composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer who walked off with a pair of statues for his music for HBO’s “The White Lotus,” for main title theme music and for music composition for a limited or anthology series, movie or special.

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His primal drumbeats, wordless voices and wooden flutes set a tropical vibe for the Hawaiian resort and its offbeat visitors. And although it was entered in the “limited series” category, “The White Lotus” is slated to return for a second season.

Theodore Shapiro won his first Emmy for “Severance,” in the category of music composition for a series. This marks the first major industry award for the widely respected composer, who has never been nominated for the Oscar (despite hits like “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Tropic Thunder”) and was Emmy-nominated just once, a decade ago, before this year’s twin nominations for “Severance” (for composition and main title theme).

Music supervisor Nora Felder, on her fourth nomination for “Stranger Things,” finally won for the Netflix sci-fi series, specifically the fourth episode whose climax featured a Kate Bush song (“Running Up That Hill” from 1985) that rocketed back onto the charts.

“There are so many reasons I think this song has resonated,” Felder said backstage. “Kate Bush has said herself, that she always saw it as a way of switching places: if a man could switch places with a woman, we could come to a better understanding of each other. That alone resonates today for so many people. I call these kinds of placements ‘Kismet placements,’ where the song just seems to perfectly line up for all our needs.”

In what might be considered an upset, the song Emmy (officially “music and lyrics”) went to Cinco Paul for the Apple Plus series “Schmigadoon!” The musical comedy beat out two songs from “Euphoria” and one each from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “This Is Us.” Paul was not only the co-creator and co-writer but also the songwriter; his winning song was “Corn Puddin’,” a lively hoedown for the series’ Appalachian setting.

“‘Corn Puddin” somehow was the one thing that people responded to the most, that has the most listens on Spotify and all those places,” Paul said backstage. “Really, I think it’s probably the song that best represents what the show is, as corny as it is, so to speak.”

The Creative Arts Emmys were divided up into two groups this year, with some awarded Sunday night and others the night before.

On Saturday night, Adam Blackstone took home the Emmy for outstanding music direction for the “Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show,” one of three the show won including outstanding variety special.

Backstage, Blackstone noted that he chose the songs that were performed by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent.

For his third Super Bowl halftime extravaganza, he said he didn’t want to “leave the viewer wanting anything more, or missing their favorite moments from each of their favorite artists.”

Also Saturday night, veteran TV composer David Schwartz won in the documentary score category for the Amy Poehler doc “Lucy and Desi.” This was his fourth nomination in the past 20 years (including music for “Wolf Lake,” “Deadwood” and “Arrested Development”) but his first win.

Unlike last year, when such Lucasfilm and Marvel series as “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision” triumphed in the music categories, this year’s Marvel series “Loki” and “Moon Knight” were outpolled by less flashy series “Severance” and “The White Lotus.”

Jazz Tangcay contributed to this report.

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