The Walking Dead: 18 Miles Out

In tonight’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” 18 Miles Out, the brewing conflict between Rick and Shane finally erupts.  There are zombies everywhere, but the real tension comes from these two friends battling one another in the midst of the mayhem.  I strove to keep the score out of the way, to allow the incredible performances from Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal to drive the story forward.  However, some of the quieter, more ambient passages allowed to me to explore using a surprisingly effective new instrument, as I detailed in this week’s video blog:


I definitely had fun with kazoos on some cues here.  However, my usual ensemble of stringed percussion, distorted banjo, strings and drum set still provided the bulk of the instrumentation for 18 Miles Out.

I wanted to keep the score underlining the tension and horror of Rick and Shane’s battle, and not allow it to become overly emotional.  Having watched these two characters for so long now, I know the audience is already feeling an incredible emotional connection to the two of them, so there was no reason for me to amp up the sentiment in the score.

Instead, I allowed the disonant bowed psaltry, orchestral string clusters and spidery hammered dulcimer phrases to create an underscore of dread as Shane realizes that Rick is leaving him to his fate:

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The final three episodes of Season 2 are probably my favorite of the entire series thus far.  Soon, you will all see (and hear) why.

-Bear