November 3, 2019

First (of two) Soundtracks Issued for HIS DARK MATERIALS – Music by Lorne Balfe

The first installment of music from the highly anticipated series HIS DARK MATERIALS has been digitally released today, November 3rd, from Silva Screen Records. The music comes from Grammy Award-winning composer Lorne Balfe (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, GEOSTORM, GHOST IN THE SHELL). This first digital soundtrack album – one of two soundtrack releases for the series – will be followed by CD and vinyl releases later.

HIS DARK MATERIALS is set in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestation of the human soul. The series follows the life of young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the scholars at Jordan College, Oxford. As in Pullman’s novel, Lyra discovers a dangerous secret that involves Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson). In her search for her missing friend, Lyra also uncovers a series of kidnappings and its link to the mysterious substance called Dust.

The leading cast for His Dark Materials includes Dafne Keen as Lyra, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College, James Cosmo as Farder Coram and Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa, with Will Keen as Father McPhail and Ariyon Bakare as Lord Boreal.

This eight episode British fantasy adventure television series is based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman. In this first introduction to the music from the series, Balfe delves into the story and character themes. Performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the soundtrack album has attracted a stellar cast of additional contributing recording artists. The series premieres globally tonight (Sunday, November 3rd) on BBC One and on Monday, November 4th on HBO.

For HIS DARK MATERIALS, Lorne Balfe has assembled a superb, diverse, and devoted cast of performing artists to present the exquisitely crafted new musical themes. Already fans of the book and wanting to contribute to the show, the album connects singer KT Tunstall, drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), cellist Tina Guo (Hans Zimmer Live and The World of Hans Zimmer), post-modern composer-cellist Peter Gregson, steam punk influenced violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling, classical horn player Sarah Willis, BAFTA award winning composer, multi-instrumentalist Richard Harvey and Vanya Moneva’s Ethnic Bulgarian Choir.

“Since the beginning, myself and the rest of the music team knew we wanted a mixture and a hybrid,” says Lorne. “What I wanted people to feel when listening to the music is they don’t necessarily know if it’s real or not or whether it’s in the present or in the past. There are no rules and musically, it’s constantly evolving. Another crucial element we strived to accomplish was to always have a clear journey of each character’s theme. I wrote their themes separately as a journey, so that we knew musically what would happen throughout the series.”

Presented on this first soundtrack album are the opening title theme together with key character themes for the young protagonists Lyra, Roger and Will and the adults Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel and Lee Scoresby. Other themes present the majestic locations of Oxford and Svalbard, the people that Lyra encounters on her epic journey, the Gyptians, the Witches of Lake Enara, the machinations of The Magisterium, and The Alethiometer, the device that helps set all the events in motion.

Before the series premiered, His DARK MATERIALS has already been renewed for a second series of eight episodes.

His Dark Materials is produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO.

Watch the trailer below.


1. His Dark Materials
2. The Alethiometer
3. Lyra: The Child of Prophecy
4. The Settling of a Daemon
5. Scholastic Sanctuary
6. The General Oblation Board
7. The Life of Roger Parslow
8. The Machinations of Lord Boreal
9. A Gilded Cage
10. The Strength of Gyptians
11. A Plea to Fate
12. The Legacy of Svalbard
13. Mrs. M. Coulter
14. The Magisterium
15. The Path Foretold
16. Release the Spy-Fly
17. The Tales of Lee Scoresby
18. The Compass Points North
19. The Witches of Lake Enara

Watch the trailer for HIS DARK MATERIALS:

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