I always said that if I ever worked in movies, I’d want to be in charge of the score. I don’t have any music degrees, but I have an extensive music library that’ll rival most DJs’ and very eclectic tastes, or should I say ears? My only background as far as music goes, is my piano lessons as a child and the fact that I used to sing in the choir. I naturally love to read the credits at the end of movies because I am always curious about who did such amazing work behind the scenes. My friends find it amusing that I want to stay after movies to read credits. It is the reason I never miss award shows, such as the Oscars and the golden globes. In recent times, my friends (who’re all nerds like me) and I, use post credits at the end of movies to judge, which cinema goers are true marvel fans or are just following a trend. We sift them by seeing those who rush out of the theatre immediately the movie ends and those who stay for bonus scenes, post credits.
By the end of watching captain marvel though, I wanted to see who did the score and what the composition was. My research found that the score was composed by Turkish born composer, Pinar Toprak. She’s the first woman to score an MCU film. The feminist in me, would like to sneak a theory, that this is to further the equality/equal opportunity agenda, in Hollywood, but it’s not. At least, not in the way I would like or hope. Toprak simply got the job because she was the best among the lot, which included men and women.
According to Wikipedia; for her audition, Toprak hired a 70-piece orchestra to perform seven minutes of music that she composed. I would hire her too after such an audition. She described the score as a fusion of electronic and orchestral sounds with the electronic parts representing the aliens and the orchestra representing the main character. She recorded the electronic sounds on an analog-synthesizer in her home studio and recorded a 90-piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London. She said that the main part of the score’s development was the title character’s theme, while later developing themes for the Kree and the Skrulls, whom she tried to connect in order to “find the universe” for the film’s scenes in space and Earth, while describing the scenes on Earth as “fun”. And yes, the earth scenes’ music, gave me major throwback vibes.
Toprak tried to develop the character’s theme as a theme “that is recognizable from the first two notes”, stating that “[the audience] don’t always have time, especially later in the movie, to fully go into it”. She began developing the film’s theme by “humming ideas”, eventually coming with “a minor-seven interval” during a walk, which she used as the film’s theme. Toprak said that Carol Danvers’ theme is “strong and powerful”, but also emotional, in order to focus on the character’s vulnerability. She also tried to showcase the character’s “super fun and really witty” nature. Toprak was inspired by 90’s films for the score, stating that “back then, action movie scores were a lot more note-y. Very dynamic with a lot of things going on”, and that the score pays homage to the score to the action films from 1990. Toprak references Alan Silvestri’s theme from The Avengers near the end of the film.
She sounds like a woman who pours a lot into her work. It shows that scoring a movie isn’t just about choosing songs you like. A lot more goes into it, like mood, time, theme, scene etc.
Take a look at the score playlist here:
1. “Captain Marvel” 2:15
2. “Waking Up” 1:28
3. “Boarding the Train” 1:30
4. “Why Do You Fight?” 1:14
5. “Let’s Bring Him Home” 1:39
6. “Entering Enemy Territory” 3:33
7. “Breaking Free” 5:24
8. “Hot Pursuit” 4:34
9. “Lost the Target” 2:10
10. “Lifting Fingerprints” 1:31
11. “Finding the Records” 5:20
12. “Escaping the Basement” 4:23
13. “Photos of Us” 1:56
14. “Learning the Truth” 3:16
15. “New Clothes” 1:04
16. “Space Turbulence” 2:58
17. “High Score” 2:35
18. “Interrupting Something?” 1:30
19. “Trapped” 3:19
20. “I’m All Fired Up” 3:20
21. “More Problems” 8:15
22. “You Could Use a Jump” 1:45
23. “This Isn’t Goodbye” 2:29
Total length: 1:7:28
Additional music featured in the film includes:
“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
“Connection” by Elastica
“Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage
“Crazy on You” by Heart
“Celebrity Skin” by Hole
“Kiss Me Deadly” by Lita Ford
“Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (sung by Samuel L. Jackson)
“Come as You Are” by Nirvana
“Just a Girl” by No Doubt
“Crush with Eyeliner” by R.E.M.
“Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.
“Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa
“Waterfalls” by TLC
An official playlist containing these songs is available on Apple Music.
REF: Wikipedia page.