- Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018
BMG presents the GODLESS – Original Netflix Limited Series Soundtrack to be released digitally on July 6, 2018. The album features original music by composer Carlos Rafael Rivera (A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES). Grammy award- winner T Bone Burnett served as the executive music producer.
GODLESS is the second collaboration between composer Rivera and Executive Producer/Writer/Director Scott Frank. “We’ve found an unusual approach in which he’ll send me the screenplay, early on during pre-production, and I will begin scoring the written word, not picture,” explained Rivera. “We call these ‘script movies,’ because I make a QuickTime of the screenplay, and start scoring it. What’s really cool about this is that it helps us realize what doesn’t work, while helping set the tone of the storytelling.”
In GODLESS, notorious criminal Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) and his gang of outlaws are on a mission of revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé who betrayed the brotherhood. While on the run, Roy seeks refuge with hardened widower Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), an outcast herself, in a worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, NM -- governed mainly by women. When word reaches La Belle that Griffin is headed their way, the town bands together to defend against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier. Steven Soderbergh and Casey Silver executive produced the series alongside Frank.
To prepare to score GODLESS, Rivera first turned to classic western scores, but quickly realized though that some elements of the traditional western would not work for this series. “Instruments like the harmonica had too much baggage and quickly became cliché,” he said. The main essence of the score became classical guitar (performed by Rivera) with cello (performed by Joy Adams). “I also used an organ and harmonium to set tone. This intimate setting was the core for most of the writing, and served as contrast when orchestral forces were required.”
The two core pieces in essence bookend the story - the main titles and the final scene where the story is resolved. “When it came time to writing a main theme for GODLESS, we tried to find a singable melody, something that we could carry with us and would help encapsulate the story. Having the legendary T Bone Burnett as Executive Music Producer, as well as mix the Main Theme, influenced and inspired my approach to scoring the story,” said Rivera. “Getting to write a theme for Michelle Dockery’s Alice Fletcher was awesome. We wanted the heart of this theme to complement her character’s enduring strength. I am most grateful that showrunner Scott Frank put so much trust in the score, having allowed it to carry the final scene for GODLESS, and help finish telling his story.”
GODLESS is available currently on Netflix streaming devices. BMG presents the GODLESS – Original Netflix Limited Series Soundtrack to be digitally released on July 6, 2018.
About CARLOS RAFAEL RIVERA
Carlos Rafael Rivera is a commissioned and award winning composer whose career has spanned several genres of the music industry. His work for film and television includes scores for Netflix’ GODLESS, directed by Scott Frank and produced by Steven Soderbergh, starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Dockery, as well as Universal Pictures’ A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, starring Liam Neeson.
A protégé of Randy Newman, he earned a DMA in Composition at USC’s Thornton School, where he studied with Donald Crockett and Stephen Hartke. As a guitarist, he has performed onstage as opening act for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl; recorded studio sessions for Island/Def Jam, and Universal Records; and had songs on feature soundtracks (Crash, Dragonfly), as well as ABC’s Scrubs, MTV, and VH-1.
His work for the performing arts has been featured by Arturo Sandoval, Chanticleer, Cavatina Duo, and the Chicago Sinfonietta; commissioned by the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; recorded by Varêse-Sarabande, Warner, and Cedille labels; and awarded by the Herb Alpert Foundation, BMI, and twice by ASCAP.
He is a voting member of the Television Academy (EMMY’s), the Recording Academy (GRAMMY’s), the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), and is a sought out guest composer and lecturer throughout the Americas.
Carlos is Assistant Professor and Director of the Musicianship, Artistry Development, & Entrepreneurship (MADE) as well as the Media Writing and Production Programs at the acclaimed Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.