Music for Pandora

June 25, 2019

Joe Kraemer & Penka Kouneva Score Mark Altman’s New Sci-Fi series for The CW, PANDORA

– Randall D. Larson

The CW’s new science fiction/action series, PANDORA, is being scored by Joe Kraemer and Penka Kouneva.

Set in the year 2199, PANDORA is about a resourceful young woman who has lost everything but finds a new life at Earth’s Space Training Academy where she and her friends learn to defend the galaxy from threats, both alien and human. When secrets about the nature of her own identity begin to surface, she must uncover the truth, and learn whether she will be humanity’s savior or the instrument of its destruction. The series stars Priscilla Quintana (as Jax, aka Pandora), Raechelle Banno, Martin Bobb-Semple, Noah Huntley, Tehmina Sunny, and Ben Radcliffe.

Joe Kraemer, best-known for scoring MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, THE WAY OF THE GUN, and THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT, is the show’s lead composer; and he scored the first and last episodes on his own, working closely with PANDORA’s creator and writer/show runner Mark Altman, his collaborator of 15 years on series like FEMME FATALES and numerous films. Penka Kouneva, a composer noted for scoring indie films, video games, and a NASA theme park, was brought in by Joe to help out as a co-composer. The score for Pandora is composed in an orchestral and hybrid-orchestral style that captures the science fiction/action/drama storyline with engaging themes and innovative modern and timeless textures.

“Mark Altman and I have collaborated on more projects together than anyone else I’ve worked with, and his loyalty to me as his composer is something I value greatly,” Kraemer told Musique Fantastique.  “This latest project realizes a longtime dream for both of us to work on something in the genre of science fiction. We took a few dips in sci-fi in FEMME FATALES but now we’ve gone in the deep end and it’s sink or swim.”

“I first met Penka years ago through Mark, and it’s been a wonderful process working with her on the music for PANDORA,” he continued.  “She brings a terrific balance of classical and modern techniques of composition and production to the score for the show, and I love that the diversity of the cast is reflected in the crew as well.  Our work on the show is a true collaboration.  We share themes, we exchange ideas, and she inspires me as much as I hope I inspire her.”

“I am endlessly grateful to Joe Kraemer for opening this door for me and bringing me in as his collaborative composer,” Kouneva said. “My life-long love for science fiction, fantasy, and horror storytelling has led me to many great projects (composer on ENCOUNTER, orchestrator on MATRIX, ENDER’S GAME). Composing orchestral music for this galactic adventure and working with Joe Kraemer is a dream come true.”  

PANDORA debuted on July 16 and continues Thursdays on The CW.

Watch the teaser trailer for PANDORA:


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