Yellowstone wouldn’t be complete without the sweeping orchestral sounds that open each episode. And naturally, it was all Taylor Sheridan’s idea to make the title sequences sound big and dramatic, said composer Brian Tyler, who joined his colleague Breton Vivian at Deadline’s Sound & Screen event that focused on the big of both the Paramount Network drama and the Paramount+ prequel 1923.
“He was writing Yellowstone and was thinking that he wanted to do very cinematic kind of approach. He wanted orchestral music and he wanted something very emotional that explored the dark side too, that which reflects dynamically against the beauty,” Tyler said. “It’s like where tragedy is beauty and you understand one because of the other. So I got together with him and, you know, he has his cowboy boots on and everything and … he’s amazing. We just started talking about music and … just understanding the story. And then all of a sudden I found myself writing that first piece from the screenplay. And the Yellowstone theme became that.”
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Vivian brought an eclectic background to his composition for 1923, the Yellowstone prequel. The English-Australian composer used to play in punk rock bands in the UK.
“I think that style of music sort of lends well to this ‘cuz … you’re sort of playing a cello like a guitar or just trying to destroy instruments in a way that might feel a bit more rugged and cowboy and Western,” Vivian said.
“It’s true,” added Tyler. “When I met Taylor, I was saying, ‘I don’t think we should do … what Hollywood thinks what a Western is musically.’ I got really interested in what the music of what we know as the West, which is immigrants coming over, people that are cast-offs looking for a better home. So instead of having a Stradivarius playing a beautiful violin, it would be a fiddle from Greece or Armenia, all these different things. It was kind of the like budget ones because they were coming across and they would, play a dobro or a fiddle around a campfire instead of being the musicians that were in the upper crust of society.”
Check out the panel video above.
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