For this season’s Emmy contenders issue, the editors at Variety posed an interesting question: When TV series run two, three, four or more seasons, how do the composers treat their characters and story arcs? Is it best to ground them in familiar musical territory, or should the scores reflect the changing, often expanding, storylines? I interviewed a wide range of composers to find out how they handled the challenge: Bear McCreary (Outlander), Blake Neely (The Flash), Joey Newman (The Middle), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones), John Lunn (Downton Abbey) and Sean Callery (Homeland).
Madeleine Brand, the host of KCRW’s daily talk show “Press Play,” invited me on today to talk about music in television. As always with Madeleine — one of L.A.’s best radio hosts, endlessly curious and super-well-informed — it was lots of fun, discussing music in Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Outlander, Empire and more. Here is a link to the show, where you can listen online.