The score of “The Sandman” helps set the scene

The tone of The Sandman is conveyed through composer David Buckleys score.


The tone of “The Sandman” is conveyed through composer David Buckley’s score.

Kieran Hines, Humor Editor

The world of TV and movie composing is large and varied, but in the end some giants emerge. Famous composers such as Hans Zimmer and John Williams are known for their memorable scores, and David Buckley, the composer for Netflix’s new show The Sandman, is no different.

 The Sandman is Netflix’s newest addition to Marvel media, based off of the comic book series of the same name by Neil Gaimon. The show is true to the source material and full of horror, action, and an otherworldly perspective on human existance. The blending of these elements with music is what Buckley was tasked with, and he uses various techniques to convey the tone of each set piece.

In the opening shot of the first scene, we follow a raven as it journeys into the dream world while the main character, Morpheus, narrates. The scene has a tone that is not quite of this world, and Buckley helps convey this with the score. The composition evolves throughout the scene as the raven flies further and further. At, first pitch-bent bells can be heard, which then transition to mallet and percussion instruments as the raven begins its descent into Morpeus’ kingdom.

As the raven flies further and further, the main melody is then transferred to stringed instruments, giving the score an almost liminal feel to it. The raven flies through the gates and brings horns and a deep strumming bass with it. The raven finally flies into the palace, and the whole orchestra comes to bear. It has a triumphant and surreal tone to the piece, helping convey the surreal nature of Morpheus’ kingdom.

This is just one example of many memorable moments in Buckley’s work for The Sandman, and there are other points throughout the show where the score and composition make a scene more impactful.