‘The Sandman’: Netflix Series Lands David Buckley as Composer

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David Buckley is set to score the music for Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman.”

Based on the DC Comics character, the 10-part series premieres on Netflix Aug. 5 stars actor Tom Sturridge as Dream —aka Morpheus. He lurks in a realm called the Dreaming, and when he’s captured, his absence triggers events that change both the sleeping and waking worlds.

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Buckley had a vast tonal range from which to choose in his musical palette, from deep trauma to horror to otherworldly magic. But since the story was told with human feelings, he kept that in the back of his mind.

“I embraced the full orchestra and a choir,” Buckley says. “Early on, I also embraced the viola da gamba and baroque flutes.” The full orchestra was reserved for big, majestic moments — for instance, when Dream is seized.

When it came to the otherworldly elements, Buckley says, “I incorporated some esoteric sounds that are intentionally hard to define.”

He found that single instruments and solos would best emphasize the storytelling’s quieter moments, such as when Morpheus is in the dream realm.

Says Buckley: “The main goals of the score were partly to paint a world for the kingdom of dreams, but more importantly to find the emotional heart of each character.”

“The Sandman” is developed and executive produced by Gaiman. Allan Heinberg, and David S. Goyer serve as showrunners. Gaiman promises, “‘The Sandman is so big. It’s 75 issues plus a special, plus other stuff, and you immediately run
into the question of what to throw out. What do you throw away? What do you leave? And how do you
throw that stuff out and still keep it Sandman? Because if you lose “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” if you lose Shakespeare, if you lose the serial killers’ convention, if you lose the ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream’ sequence, suddenly it’s not Sandman anymore. What’s glorious is that Warner Brothers and Netflix absolutely stepped up.”

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