ICMP Selector Playlist: Viktor Hurskainen

Listen to our latest ICMP Selector Playlist, this time dedicated to the favourite scores of our alumnus Viktor Hurskainen... 


Our latest Selector playlist delves into the world of top scores, chosen by our BMus alumnus Viktor Hurskainen. 

Viktor came to ICMP to study guitar before having his creative talents turned to the world of sound design through attending module studying composing and arranging taught by Audrey Riley

You can learn more about Viktor's creative journey in our previous interview with him. To find out more about his influences and inspirations we caught up with Viktor and asked him to put together this brilliant playlist. Listen to his favourite scores below... 

Choosing my favourite scores was a very difficult task and choosing one favourite cue from each score is simply impossible.

I highly recommend listening to all the scores in full to get the most out of this list. Personally, I’m more inspired and interested in contemporary scores that try to bring something new, fresh and unique to film, rather than sticking to the old and familiar ways." 

With all the amazing technology available today I think it would be a shame not to utilise these tools just because they traditionally don’t belong in film scores. One interesting shift I’ve noticed is the focus on production techniques and electronic textures rather than melody, harmony and orchestration. And at the end of the day, if the music serves the picture then it’s doing all it is supposed to.

Film music is still in its infancy in terms of musical history and I’m super excited to see what it will develop into in the future. Anyways, here are some of the scores that give me goosebumps, move me to tears and in general blow my mind. Enjoy! 

Abel Korzeniowski: 'Charms'

Korzeniowski is the composer who got me into film scoring and orchestral music so will always hold a special place in my heart. His music is so elegant and beautiful and has a very romantic yet heartbreaking and fragile feel to it. This cue demonstrates his typical harmonic language and light orchestral textures with touching melodies.

Thomas Newman: 'The Starship Avalon'

The score for 'Passengers' blends orchestral and electronic textures in a super interesting way and uses modern production techniques to further bind them together into one coherent sounding sonic landscape. Also, a great example of how creating something interesting can be done without complex harmony and a simple and memorable melody.

Jacob Shea & Jasha Klebe: 'The Sloth'

'Planet Earth II' is perhaps the most inspiring and influential score for me. It perfectly blends orchestral and non-orchestral instruments along with unconventional percussive elements as well as electronic textures and effects in such a natural sounding way. An incredibly versatile score with mind-blowing production. 

John Powell: 'Break Out'

A jaw-dropping score from beginning to end. Powell’s take on what essentially is a 'Star Wars' score feels to me like the only direction the iconic 'Star Wars' sound can go. Incredibly complex in terms of harmonic language, orchestration and rhythmic ideas, but also extremely dynamic. I love the energy and playfulness of Powell’s scores. References to the classic themes are there but always with Powell’s own spin on them. Listen and learn.

Ramin Djawadi: 'Dr. Ford'

An intimate and beautiful cue. What really touches me in this one is how accurately Djawadi is able to represent Dr. Ford as a character through music. The two sections of the cue have different moods that capture all the nuances of the character - wonder, pride, beauty but also a certain sadness and regret. I can’t say much more without spoiling the story, so watch the first season of 'Westworld' to find out!

Gustavo Santaolalla: 'The Last of Us'

A score for a game but it could just as well be for a film. What impresses me in this score is the raw and organic sound of it. It is very honest and emotional and quite a small sounding score, which perfectly fits the story. The different textures of the blend of slightly unconventional instruments give it a unique identity.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'The Revenant Main Theme'

The use of silence in this one is absolutely stunning and quite a bold approach. It fits the vast and open landscapes of the film perfectly. Also noteworthy that Sakamoto only uses the low and midrange of the string section for this one.

Jed Palmer: 'Run Gray Run'

A very modern style of scoring. A fresh approach by focusing on creating energy, tension and release through repetitive electronic percussive elements and textures and atmospheric pads. Focuses more on production and sound textures than harmony and melody. Perfect match for a sci-fi action film!

Thomas Newman: 'Chez Olaf'

A very typical Newman cue - quirky, mysterious and playful. I love Newman’s unusual instrumentation and how he creates rhythmical interest by placing the accents on somewhat odd beats of the bar.

Bear McCreary: '10 Cloverfield Lane'

A suite from the whole score which demonstrates McCreary’s versatility and personal style. He has a great knowledge of the traditional orchestra but mixes in his own more contemporary style and unusual instruments. Listen to the whole score to hear how brilliantly McCreary develops and reinvents his ideas throughout!

Thomas Newman: 'Snow Plane'

A high-energy, fast-paced chase cue that still manages to convey of the spy/Bond feel. Again, very effective blend of orchestra and electronics. Also the references to the classic Bond themes are there yet not stated in the most obvious way. Impeccable production. The dissonant polychords at 4:58 are probably my favourite part of the whole cue.

Alexandre Desplat: 'Crosswords' 

Light, mysterious and small sounding but still quite energetic. I love how Desplat creates a web of textures by having arpeggios and scale runs zig-zag eachother in different instruments and across different ranges. Very interesting.

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by ICMP staff writer
November 28, 2019
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