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June 17, 2022

Michael Giacchino’s LIGHTYEAR Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Out Now (edited with new comments from the composer)

LIGHTYEAR Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featuring score composed and produced by Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino is out now.

A sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, LIGHTYEAR follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.

Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino is behind the scores of eight Pixar films, but LIGHTYEAR stands out as a real labor of love. “What I’ve enjoyed so much about working on ‘Lightyear’ is that it’s not just a sci-fi movie—it’s a sci-fi movie that exists within Andy’s world,” says Giacchino. “I felt that the music needed to embody the love that Andy felt watching Buzz on screen for the first time. The more I thought about Andy in the theater seeing this movie, the more I realized that ‘Lightyear’ is exactly the kind of movie that I would have loved as a kid. So, I tried to inject the music with as much fun and childlike joy as I could, to honor the spirit of kids – like me and Andy – seeing their favorite movies on the big screen for the very first time.”

“Michael Giacchino has been a friend and colleague for many years now, but that’s not the only reason he was our first and only choice,” says producer Galyn Susman. “‘Lightyear’ is a sci-fi action-adventure movie, and it needs a bombastic sci-fi score. Between ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Rogue One,’ he has clearly proven his sci-fi chops.”

Michael_Giacchino – image via disney.fandom.com/wiki

The original score for LIGHTYEAR was recorded over 15 days with an 89-piece orchestra and a 39-member choir. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, sections were recorded separately in five different groups: strings, piano and harp; brass; winds; rhythm section and percussion; and choir. “‘Lightyear’ is my first Pixar film to have choir,” says Giacchino. “In order to firmly place this score and film within the world of big sci-fi flicks, I felt it was a really important element to have, during Zurg’s theme in particular.”

Adds the composer, “The main themes in ‘Lightyear’ are for Buzz, the Hawthornes and Zurg. Buzz’s theme is almost always played by the brass, and it’s all about the excitement of exploring space and the nobility of that pursuit. The Hawthornes, Izzy and Alisha, also have a theme, which is more about family and about everything that brings Buzz back down to Earth. As for Zurg, his theme is just big, scary and evil. He’s the ultimate villain.” But composing the score for LIGHTYEAR was not without its challenges. “One of my favorite sequences is called Mission Perpetual,” says Giacchino. “It’s early on in the film when Buzz is trying to accomplish a mission and keeps failing. It was an exciting challenge for me because there were so many things the music needed to convey: Buzz’s frustration with himself and the sadness of being alone in his pursuit, but also his undying ambition and drive to achieve his goal. I went through a similar ‘mission’ myself to get this cue right, but once I did, it was incredibly rewarding.” – via Disney

For an interview with Giacchino regarding LIGHTYEAR posted today, see Screen Rant.

The Disney and Pixar film LIGHTYEAR opens only in theaters today.

The soundtrack is now available at these links

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