Interview with Composer Bill Brown of SyFy’s DOMINION
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with composer Bill Brown, whom has scored everything from television, movies and video games. Some of his past credits include “CSI: NY”, “The Devil’s Tomb”, “Captain America: Super Soldier” and “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction” to name a few. Brown is now leading his musical expertise to the highly anticipated new season of “Dominion” premiering on SyFy, July 9 at 10/9C. Read Brown’s full interview here:
How is the score going to sound for “Dominion” season 2?
I’m really excited about the direction it’s going in.. All I can say is it’s epic, really epic. There’s a lot of new sounds that I think the fans are going to love!
Is each character going to have a theme?
I’ve been working on themes for many of the characters and it’s going to be great to be able to share how they came to be during the creative process at some point down the line. I’m creating a book of my themes in manuscript form to use throughout the season now and it’s very exciting.
“Dominion” is loosely based off the 2010 film “Legion”. Did you watch that film to get inspiration for this show?
I saw Legion a while back and really enjoyed it, very cool film! I get inspiration from everywhere, and I guess that was the beginning, the essence of the show so it’s an important reference point for us.
What should fans of the show expect from the new season of “Dominion”?
It’s EPIC! Next level stuff. I think they’re going to love it.
I know that the show is filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. Does the setting have a big effect on your creativity?
Cape Town has so many inspiring locations, I haven’t seen the whole season yet, but what I’ve seen is really incredible.
You haven’t scored too many science fiction projects, how do you approach scoring a new genre?
My score from The Devil’s Tomb is one of our points of reference actually for this score.. I used a lot of modern textures, live orchestra, rock guitars – everything. What is newer for me is the biblical, ancient aspect which I am having a blast with! I’ve used instrumentation similar to this on some of my game projects, but not exactly all of these elements together at once. It’s a composer’s dream palette.
You scored “CSI: NY” for 9 years. What was the most challenging part of scoring that show?
Sometimes it was the schedule only allowing me a couple days to write all of the new material, that kept me on my feet! Most often, the writers would create such amazing work that I really worked hard to keep the bar high with the score as well. I pushed myself creatively throughout the 9 seasons and it was very gratifying.
Do you have a favorite episode of “CSI: NY”?
There are like 197 of them! I thought ep 3.24 “Snow Day” was a really special one, along with ep 6.14 “Sanguine Love”, 7.18 “Identity Crisis”, 9.06 “Lady in the Lake” and SO many others.. Season 6 was really special with Cukoo’s Nest, Manhattanhenge, Point of View.. I was really stretching with every episode. So many cool threads.. I loved all of them. Not a fair question! 😉
You have scored many video games including “Captain America: Super Soldier” and “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction”. Is scoring video games a lot different than scoring television?
The important thing to remember with scoring games is that players are steering it, like a director, and they might live with the score for longer periods of time as compared to film or television, so you have to create a score that will work for each different scenario. Film and TV are the same each time you watch them back.. So as a composer I have the opportunity to get specific to picture. I’ve always believed the music has to have a soul regardless. It needs to be connected thematically and texturally so it connects with the audience, and then it needs to support the action emotionally and physically.
What is your go to instrument? Your favorite instrument right now?
My imagination, then piano, then all of the cool technology I use to create new sounds. I’m kind of obsessed with modular synths at the moment. My studio is currently transforming – it’s like the Matrix.. Modular synths are taking over !!
You can learn more about Bill Brown at www.billbrownmusic.com.