“I’m Not a Good Man. I’m a Witcher.”
December 8, 2019
Composers Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli score new Netflix series THE WITCHER
– Randall D. Larson
The Netflix series THE WITCHER is adapted from a series of novels and short stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Henry Cavill is the witcher Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. The series also stars Freya Allan, Joey Batey, Anya Chalotra, MyAnna Buring, Tom Canta, and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson.
Initially turned into an unsuccessful Polish 2001 film succeeded by an equally unsuccessful 2002 TV series titled THE HEXER (Wiedźmin in Polish), the Netflix series promises high production values and an adventurous storyline when it begins streaming on December 20, and has already been renewed for a second season. Watch trailer—and sample a taste of the score—below.
The series’ thematic, textural scores have been composed by the Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli, known for their work on the TV series THE ROMANOFFS and SACRED LIES.
Listen to the main theme from THE WITCHER:
Russian-born, Los Angeles-based Sonya Belousova first gained a wide recognition for her award-winning project PLAYER PIANO in 2014; created with director Tom Grey, pianist Belousova put a classical twist on favorite songs and soundtrack themes of the day. Prior to that, she served as featured pianist on such projects as the hit-TV series DEXTER and many others.
The Swiss-Italian composer Giona Ostinelli previously composed and/or orchestrated episodes of TV’s COMMUNITY, ELEMENTARY, and HOMELAND, among others. One of the scores that brought him recognition was for the 2015 psychological thriller DARLING; he also scored the horror films RECOVERY and CARNAGE PARK in 2016.
The two composers have been collaborating together since the mid-2000s on productions including the horror film INDIGENOUS (2014; Ostinelli scored; Belousova contributed additional music), MILLENNIALS: THE MUSICAL (2015), the horror film M.F.A. (2017) (Belousova scored; Ostinelli served as executive score producer), the Spike TV series THE MIST, based on the Stephen King novelette (Ostinelli scored; Belousova served as score producer), and the crime thriller REPRISAL (2018).
Lakeshore Records has released digital soundtracks to M.F.A., CARNAGE PARK, THE MIST, SACRED LIES, and DARLING (the latter also appeared on CD from Phineas Atwood label and on vinyl from Death Waltz Recording Company).
The two composers most recently collaborated on the hostage thriller, INSIDE MAN: MOST WANTED (2019), directed by M.J. Bassett (SOLOMON KANE, ASH VS EVIL DEAD) and starring Aml Ameen, Rhea Seehorn, Roxanne McKee. Their score has been released digitally from Back Lot Music.
Of scoring THE WITCHER, Ostinelli—in an interview for the Turkish magazine Episode, translated into English and posted on the WITCHER website redanianintelligence.com—remarked that “Music is another important character in the story. Sometimes it comes to the fore, sometimes it’s invisible, but you always feel its presence. It has a lot to contribute to the story… THE WITCHER series’ soundtrack is very thematic. As the characters and story develop, thematic materials also develop.”
“When we start a new project, we don’t get inspired by other music or sources. Otherwise, we’ll be impersonators,” Belousova noted. “In THE WITCHER, inspiration came from the story and the endless creativity it offers… We had the opportunity to work with great artists and songwriters, record with historical instruments and use unique instruments. Developing a new sound palette, new motifs, and themes is always exciting. Every step you discover new things.”
Read the composers’ interview in English at redanintelligence
Watch the trailer for THE WITCHER: