As part of the SKPop GRAMMYs roundup of 2022, we take a look at the category of Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media.
A film's background score is like salt - sprinkled throughout, elevating the taste when used perfectly, and grating when used wrong. Perfect scores have immortalized visual media, and are often the most recognizable and retained element.
This year's GRAMMY nominees have the usual suspects - a fantasy sci-fi epic, a period drama and an animated classic. It is a hotly contested category, indeed.
Nominees for this year's GRAMMY Awards for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
A period drama about the competitive high society world of Regency era London is bound to have a lush, classic and opera-laden score. Kris Bowers delivers just that for Bridgerton.
The season featured nineteen songs, many of which were instrumental orchestral covers of pop tunes. There were also modern interpretations of iconic classical pieces such as Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach's Cello Suite No. 6.
Dune – Hans Zimmer
Every aspect of Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune was intricately constructed, and the score was no exception. Renowned composer Hans Zimmer wrote multiple soundtracks for the film, even writing an accompanying score for the companion book released alongside the film.
Analyzing all aspects of the haunting, otherworldly, textured score of Dune, featuring hybrid instruments and a spiritual timbre to it, would take an entire piece in itself. It is unorthodox and far-reaching, even by Zimmer's high standards, and is surely the leading choice for the Grammy.
The Mandalorian: Season 2 – Vol. 2 (Chapters 13–16) – Ludwig Göransson
Composer Ludwig Göransson struck a chord with the audience with his musical themes during the first season of the Star Wars spinoff. He could thus take advantage of the emotional attachment that had been forged.
In his own words, it gave him the ability to "immediately give the fans what they want, or play the themes with different harmonies or different instrumentation, and people will instantly recognize it.”
Göransson took inspiration from Grammy-winning idols like Williams and Ennio Morricone in the bid to give The Mandalorian its distinctive sound.
The Queen's Gambit – Carlos Rafael Rivera
The Queen's Gambit, a dark look into the rise and fall of a chess prodigy who suffers from an alcohol and drug dependency problem, was one of the breakout shows from the last year, even reviving the popularity of the game it features.
Rivera had been warned that "music would be doing a lot of heavy lifting" for the intense drama of the chess scenes. He decided to reflect Beth's growth–both as a person and as a chess player–by adding more and more instrumentation over time.
Since the show is set in the '50s and '60s, the score has an orchestral and grandiose edge to it.
Soul – Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross
The score and soundtrack of Soul plays an integral part in the film, as it revolves around a jazz-obsessed protagonist trying to make it big in New York City, before an accidental death leads him into a metaphysical realm of souls.
Nine-Inch Nails alums Reznor and Ross composed a new-age score for the metaphysical segments of Soul, while Jon Batiste composed an original jazz piece for the New York City-based segments of the film.
All the musicians came together to make six films' worth of music before sifting through and curating the final three soundtracks.
Who do you think will take the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media GRAMMY home?