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Bear McCreary: Television's Best Composer Talks the Music of the Small Screen

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
January 2nd, 2013 3:31pm EST

With all of the work he's done - which includes not only television but film and video games as well - it's difficult for Bear to pick a favorite credit. "It is a lot like choosing between children," he said. "Like children, you go through complex relationships with a show when you're working on it for so many years."

He can, however, suggest where you ought to start if you've somehow made it this far without listening to his music. "The work that I did on Battlestar is, it's just so unusual, what I got to do on that show. It doesn't mean it's my favorite music that I've written but there are some things I got to do on that show that were really extraordinary," he added. "If someone wanted to listen to my music, the BSG records, especially season two and season four, those records are interesting, diverse and odd and unusual and they've got some great scenes. I would definitely start there.

"If there's people that like the scores that I grew up liking, really exciting orchestral scores, then check out my score for Human Target," he added. "Even though I didn't get to do as much as I wanted on that show, what I got to do, it's pretty awesome. Working with Jon Steinberg on season one of that show, we did something pretty extraordinary."

Thankfully for us, Bear isn't planning on slowing down any time soon, either. "I think you're going to hear a lot of new music from me in 2013," he said. "There's the second half of the season of Walking Dead. I've got a couple of films coming out next year. I've scored an independent movie called The Europa Report. It's a really well done, great little sci-fi movie. It's really hardcore science fiction, which is great. I'm doing a movie called Knights of Badassdom, which has been in the works for a number of years. A trailer for that's been out for about a year and it's got a great cast.

"Then I've got two other shows - a show coming out in April called Defiance, and it's the first time in history where there's an online game where you can play and if you watch the show, the game and the show actually mirror [each other]. Then I'm doing a show called Da Vinci's Demons on Starz. They are letting me write a big, orchestral, lyrical score. It kind of reminds me of Human Target a little bit. Anyone that thought Human Target was cool is going to love it. It's a show that i am just really excited about."

Perhaps one of the best things about Bear McCreary and his work is that there's not necessarily one thing that defines 'a Bear McCreary composition.' He's so skilled and his projects so varied that he's not defined by a genre or a theme - but he's always great. And that might just be the point.

"I've done my best to make it impossible for anyone to describe my style," he said. "My goal is that I don't have a describable style but you can always identify a piece of music that I wrote. I think that there's something similar about my approach - my approach is always to maximize emotional impact - but musically and stylistically I think BSG is very different than Walking Dead or Human Target or Eureka.

"My style is the way I approach things, the way I think about things, the way I get into them, but the end result is always different. I don't think about the big picture of what my style is," he added. "It's kind of up for other people to look to the big picture."

And when we get to look at big pictures like the sprawling universe of Battlestar or the wonderment of Eureka, thanks to Bear, we have some really fantastic music to listen to.

You can keep up with Bear at his official website (bearmccreary.com) and on Twitter (@bearmccreary). Be on the lookout for Da Vinci's Demons on Starz this spring.

For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my official website and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Photo Credits: PR Photos