The God of Mischief’s Music

June 10, 2021

Natalie Holt: Marvel’s LOKI Composer

– Randall D. Larson

With Marvel’s new limited episode LOKI series now streaming on Disney +, let’s take a look at the show with regard to its composer. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it takes place after the events of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, wherein an alternate version of Loki created a new timeline. The series was created by screenwriter and producer Michael Waldron (RICK AND MORTY,  HEELS, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS), who serves as head writer, with Kate Herron (known for IDRIS ELBA ON FIVE BY FIVE, four episodes of the Netflix series SEX EDUCATION, and one episode of Netflix’s DAYBREAK) directing LOKI’s first season.

The music for the six-episode LOKI series is by Natalie Holt, a multi-award winning British composer who trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the National Film & Television School. An accomplished violinist and violist, she has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. Holt was nominated for an Emmy back in 2017 for her work on the ITV series VICTORIA, working with Martin Phipps and Ruth Barrett on the score. She has also worked with Phipps on GREAT EXPECTATIONS and THE HONOURABLE WOMAN and composed additional music for Phipps and Hans Zimmer on the film WOMAN IN GOLD. Other film and television credits include WALLANDER, KNIGHTFALL, PADDINGTON, DEADWATER FELL, and the award-winning BBC drama THREE GIRLS. More recently, she was co-composer with JOKER’s Hildur Guðnadóttir on the WW1 British film JOURNEY’S END, based on the R.C. Sherriff play. She most recently scored Prime Video’s HERSELF and Netflix’s FEVER DREAM which are due out this year.

Kate Herron wanted Holt’s score to include a Theremin, a unique early electronic instrument noted for its role in classic science fiction scores like THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL in the LOKI score. Holt included the unique sound of the Theremin mixed in with Nordic instruments, to reflect ties to Nordic mythology. Interviewed by the NDTV Gadgets website, Herron said, “When I pitched to Marvel originally, I had this playlist and I had a song on that playlist which was ‘The Swan’ by Clara Rockmore. And it’s like this Theremin kind of cover, and I knew I kind of wanted Theremin to somehow play into our score because I was pulling from so many sci-fi references. But beyond that, like I remember when I met [Holt – left, image from twitter], it was amazing. She was like, ‘I want the score to be inspired by Loki’s personality,’ which instantly connected with me. It was like operatic and bold and really quite different… It definitely inspired me, because she came on board when we were like in the middle of being shut down for COVID. She was sending me tracks and it would give me ideas like, ‘Oh I could cover the scene this way and I could do this with the camera.’ I think it was a really amazing collaboration working with her.”

Sample Natalie Holt’s previous scores on her Spotify page

Part of Phase Four of the MCU, Marvel’s LOKI will stream Wednesdays through July 14th on Disney+. A second season is reported to be in development.

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