Andor’s Nicholas Britell Is The New King Of Star Wars Composers
Andor has many interesting aspects, but composer Nicholas Britell’s music makes the Disney+ series stand out beyond the Star Wars universe.
Many elements contribute to create the unique feeling of a star wars project. Everything from the props to the sound design helps create that familiar essence that has fascinated fans since the summer of 1977. But one aspect of the franchise that seems irreplaceable is the iconic music created by John Williams. The massive shadow the 25-time Grammy winner casts on the franchise has swallowed every songwriter who has worked on a star wars project since. But Andor composer Nicholas Britell might be the first to step into the metaphorical light.
Britell is on the rise in film and TV with projects like the critically acclaimed HBO drama Succession and his Oscar-nominated work for the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk. His scores brilliantly capture and reinforce the vast scale of emotion in the stories he works on. While viewers have only seen three episodes of Andor, it’s already clear that Britell’s sound will be an integral part of the series and will be highly regarded. If there’s anyone who could have the impact Williams had on the franchise, Britell is that composer.
Britell’s film career began when he appeared in Natalie Portman’s directorial debut in 2008 Standby performing his original piece “Forgotten Waltz No. 2”. He and future Mighty Thor also collaborated on new york i love you. Britell spent the next few years acquiring sea legs, culminating in his work on the 2013 12 years of slavery. Britell wrote all of the camera music for the film, which helped the Oscar-winning feature feel authentic.
Although he received no physical award for his work on Steve McQueen’s photo,12 years of slavery gave Britell more opportunities to share their musical voice. Over the next few years he worked on a wide range of awards projects like The big court to historical action movies like Jones Free State. In 2017, Britell earned his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score after collaborating with Barry Jenkins on the Best Picture winner. Moonlight. He would earn two more Oscar nominations in the same category for If Beale Street Could Talk and 2021 Don’t look up.
But his subsequent nominations and critical acclaim do not make Britell one of the greatest songwriters in the industry today. He is on a similar level with another star wars composer Ludwig Göransson, who worked franchise after franchise while collaborating with future spin-off star Donald Glover and the band Haim. But while there’s no denying Göransson’s talent and success, Britell transcends it through the difference in how the two artists tune their voices to the projects they’re working on.
Göransson is the composer of The Mandalorianwho returns for season 3. This series and Andor have signature sounds that capture the epic feeling of the action – but there’s a deeper emotional exploration to Britell’s music. Göransson played it relatively safe by not straying too far from the predetermined boundaries set by John Williams. Britell, on the other hand, exceeded those expectations. Most wouldn’t think that using a full drum kit or a heavy synthesizer could work in a star wars project. Still, Britell pushed the boundaries of the franchise while being true to both his own voice and Andorthe story. It redefines the sound of a galaxy far, far away.
New episodes of Andor air Thursdays on Disney+.