Category: Outlander

Outlander: Return to Scotland

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In the second half of Season Two, Outlander took a major geographical and tonal leap, returning Jamie and Claire to Scotland at the dawn of the Jacobite rising. These episodes focused on their efforts to prevent inevitable deaths at Culloden. My score needed to shift back to the haunting Scottish sounds of season one, with an added emphasis on military percussion and pipes.

This change is evident immediately with the new Main Title Theme in Episode 208, “The Fox’s Lair.” The track begins with Raya Yarbrough’s haunting vocal once more, but I removed the viola da gamba and chamber orchestra that implied Paris. Instead, the bodhrán frame drum returns. At first, it feels like we are simply reusing the season one theme, but the track quickly evolves from there. Iconic Scottish snare drums sneak in behind her voice, providing a distinctly militaristic feeling. For the final chorus, I replaced the moving bassline with a steady drone in the low strings and bagpipes. This gives the final chorus a distinctly Scottish feeling, evoking the pedal-tone drones of military bagpipe bands. The instrumentation is predominantly the same, but the emotional impact of this harmonic change is intense. This main title sequence prepares us for war.

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Outlander: In Paris

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With Jamie and Claire spending half of Outlander’s second season in Paris, I knew I would have to make dramatic changes to the score. The Scottish instrumentation that defined season one was pushed into the background, to make room for an entirely new palette of instruments, themes and performance techniques derived from French baroque music. Adapting my writing style to this approach proved to be one of the most daunting creative challenges I’ve faced. (more…)

Outlander: Season 2 Begins

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The first season of Outlander gave me the chance to fulfill a life-long dream of incorporating Scottish folk music and instrumentation into an original score. The second season, debuting this weekend on Starz, presented an immensely challenging shift in tone. Our protagonists move from the rolling hills of the Scottish highlands, to the gilded halls of Parisian courts during the opulent reign of King Louis XV. I enthusiastically embraced this dramatic journey by reinventing the sound of my score. (more…)

Outlander Soundtrack Volume II

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We now find ourselves in the middle of #Droughtlander, the epic nine-month stretch between Outlander‘s first season finale and the premiere of Season Two. To help fill the gap, I’m happy to announce that my second Outlander soundtrack is available today, from iTunes, Amazon and most other retailers.

Outlander Vol 1The Outlander Volume I soundtrack compiled some of my favorite cues from the first eight episodes of Outlander. The new record, Volume II, includes music from throughout the entire season, weighted heavily towards the last eight episodes. (more…)

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