I Am Leaving “Human Target”
July 25th, 2010
Dear loyal blog readers & Human Target fans,
For the past few months, I’ve received numerous tweets, posts, emails, handshakes and hugs from fans, family and friends congratulating me on completing my score for Human Target‘s first season and on my Emmy nomination for Outstanding Main Title Theme. The enthusiasm from all of you suggests my music resonated as I hoped it would, perhaps having stirred up memories of scores of the past from which I drew influence. Tipping my proverbial hat to Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Alan Silvestri, the composers I grew up listening to, I actually felt like a kid again writing this music. And yet, while I explored this musical territory with a child-like sense of awe and wonder, my work resulted in the most consistently sophisticated, ambitious and enjoyable music I’ve ever written. To record these scores once a week, with a full orchestra of the best musicians in the world, elevated the experience even further.
I had looked forward to expanding the musical universe of Human Target, further developing the character themes, and introducing new ones. However, the series is now under new creative leadership, and as a result I have not been asked to return. I am as disappointed as you that we will never hear any further variations of my Christopher Chance Theme or my Winston Theme, and I won’t have the opportunity to finally write that Guerrero Theme I’d promised you.
We are likely to hear a very different musical approach to Human Target season 2, but I hope and trust the series will remain a fun adventure. I’m tuning in as a fan with the rest of you, because I want to continue watching these delightful characters for years to come. They are portrayed by some of the best actors working in any medium and the series has remarkable potential for a long run.
I’d like to thank everyone at the WBTV music department, as well as the entire Human Target Season 1 cast and crew for an enjoyable, creative experience. Thanks are also due to the many fine musicians who contributed their talents to my score. Recording my music with all of you weekly has been one of the high points of my professional life, and getting to know you each personally has been an honor. I look forward to working with all of you in the future.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank, again, series creator Jonathan Steinberg for his tireless support of quality music in television. May you inspire many others to share your passion, insight and trust in your composer.
While this announcement is likely to disappoint fans of epic orchestral scoring, this week’s news is not all bad. We recently confirmed a spectacular soundtrack release of my score for Human Target Season 1, available as a 2-disc digital release from Water Tower music and a limited edition 3-disc physical CD from La-La Land Records. If you love orchestral film scores, this 3-disc set is the one to pick up.
The CD includes an entire bonus disc of additional tracks as well as an expanded booklet. The forthcoming Human Target Season 1 album will be the most symphonic and genuinely orchestral record I’ve produced yet. I hope it will live on as a testament to the work that Steinberg, the musicians, the music team and I devoted to this unique series.
While I wish I could continue to contribute operatic music to this adventure, I’m happy to move on to new musical frontiers. This fall, I begin scoring duties for AMC’s highly-anticipated series THE WALKING DEAD, written, directed and produced by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, The Mist) and produced by Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator, Aliens, Incredible Hulk). After that series wraps, I pick up the baton once again for NBC’s quirky superhero drama THE CAPE.
Lastly, I want to give a big shout out to you guys, the fans. Seeing you at Comic Con and hearing from you online really warms my heart, knowing that music I’ve written can generate such passionate reactions in so many people. Keep coming back to the blog here for up-to-the-minute updates, soundtrack details and future concert listings. Thank you for inspiring me.
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I’d like to look back on my work on this series and pick my six favorite musical moments, because it was impossible to narrow it down to only five:
From: Baptiste. On the surface, this is the most modest cue on the list. The dynamics never really get aggressive, and the mood stays murky and slightly ominous. However, this opening 2 minute scene is a fantastic way to meet this complex character, and the orchestration is appropriately nuanced. I frequently experimented with brass mutes, woodwind clusters and isolated string writing, but it never sounded better than here.
From: Embassy Row. This piece requires no explanation. Tango. Check. Fight Scene. Check. Bear gets to play accordion. Check.
#4.ENTER OLD CHANCE
From: Christopher Chance. Jon Steinberg described this scene and cue better than I ever could: “It’s so simple, just the horns in unison stating the same hero theme that we’ve used a hundred times during the season. But it’s the first time it’s just been stated so purely and forcefully in the horns like that, and to have it happen over an actor that isn’t Mark Valley makes such a strong statement. In one moment, every instance and every variation of the hero theme throughout the whole season now has a bit of nuance to it that wasn’t there before; it’s almost like each statement of that theme has been a slightly imperfect replication of this original statement of it. That Chance isn’t just a hero, he’s a guy who’s desperately trying to live up to the legacy of a better man who came before him. A great example of how score adds dimension and context to a scene that dialogue and picture can’t.”
#3. MONASTERY IN THE MOUNTAINS
From: Sanctuary. An ethereal boys choir sings a gentle chorale, that slowly reveals itself to be a variation of Chance’s Theme as we simultaneously reveal the monk walking through the abbey us Chance. This piece will always stand out as one of the most original of the season, and the experience of creating it with the young singers was unforgettable.
#2. SALVAGE AND RECLAMATION FINALE
From: Salvage and Reclamation. Swashbucking, classic cinema at its grandest, Salvage and Reclamation required a huge score. The kiss at the end gave me the opportunity to bring out a lyrical and sweeping arrangement of Maria’s Theme, which was one of the most beautiful melodies I wrote all season. And of course, the big finish as we fly into the sunset reset the bar for how big the series’ score could get. That bar was only raised one more time…
#1. THE FINALE
From: Christopher Chance. This is the biggest cue I’ve ever written. The closing moments of Christopher Chance allowed me to tie up all the major themes and send us out on a bittersweet, tragic yet hopeful arrangement of Katherine’s Theme. Though it turned out to be my last statement in the Human Target universe, I couldn’t be more proud of a musical accomplishment.