Why ‘Welcome to Earth’ composer Daniel Pemberton wanted his score to sound like something totally new [Exclusive Video Interview]

The visual imagery on the NatGeo docu-series “Welcome to Earth” is so remarkable that some viewers might think it is enhanced by special effects. It’s not, of course, but that almost otherworldly quality about the show is something composer Daniel Pemberton wanted to focus on while writing his hypnotic score. 

“I always want to do something different. And a lot of this, for me, was like seeing the world in a way you’ve never seen it before. So I wanted the music to have that same sense of the unexpected, the unusual,” Pemberton says in an exclusive video interview with Gold Derby. “I wanted it to be a sound approach that made you go, ‘Hang on, what was going on here?’ And so you engage with the story and the environment in a different way.”

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Pemberton is one of the most prolific composers of the current era, an Oscar and Emmy nominee who has written music for all kinds of projects and genres. For “Welcome to Earth,” he tried to use sounds he had never played with previously – like the noise a metal sculpture in Oslo made when he banged on it during a snowy day years before. “This show allowed me to sort of plunder my own travels in sound around the world, and sort of putting all those ideas together,” he says. “I should probably get NatGeo to put in the budget me flying around the world just going to cool places, recording sounds.”

He adds, “Every job I do, I try to do very differently. Right now, at this moment, I’ve got ‘Slow Horses,’ which is a spy show. It’s got a totally different sound to ‘The Afterparty,’ which has a totally different sound to ‘Welcome to Earth,’ which is a very different sound to ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ or something. I always look at what I feel is right for the project. And then I try and do something where I’m starting fresh with like a whole new palette.”

All episodes of “Welcome to Earth” on streaming on Disney+.

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