There’s been much speculation over the last two years about possible composers, from Bear McCreary (Black Sails) to Percival and Marcin Przybyłowicz (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt). Follows and social media activity surrounding Netflix and upcoming projects fed that speculation, spurring fans on as they wondered what sound The Witcher would have; a more slavic sound a la CD Projekt Red’s distinctly Polish original score or something else entirely. With this news, we finally have a hint at what that sound will be.
The first of the composers we’ll be looking at is Sonya Belousova, a recipient of the Russian Ministry of Culture Award and a recent collaborator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (noted figure of obsession for showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich) alongside her composing partner, Giona Ostinelli.
In addition to scoring film and television with Ostinelli — which we’ll dig into later — Belousova composes classical arrangements of popular songs and themes for her YouTube channel, PlayerPianoVideos. Below are a few examples of her talent and what fans can expect to see from the talented pianist come season one of The Witcher.
According to her official Instagram, Sonya has been busy recording in London’s NorthSevenStudios, the same studio where Joey Batey (Jaskier) recently shared that he was recording music for season one of The Witcher. While she doesn’t name the series in question, she does mention the instruments she’s been recording with, which include “lutes, mandolins, renaissance guitars, theorbos and producing vocals.”
Her Instagram post also received a succinct reply from The Witcher writer Declan de Barra, “Fuck yeah!!!” NorthSevenStudios further confirmed that recording for The Witcher was taking place through their Twitter, saying “The Witcher is at North Seven today – @SonyaBelousova in control! #netflix #TheWitcherNetflix Lute, theorbo and guitars.”
The other half of this composing duo is Giona Ostinelli, who has a long list of composer credits according to IMDb: The Mist, Reprisal, and with Belousova, The Romanoffs and Sacred Lies. Below are examples of his solo work for The Mist and Darling. His compositions evoke a sound that serves as a nice contrast to Belousova’s more classic, upbeat compositions.
Their work together
As a composing team, Belousova and Ostinelli have worked together on Sacred Lies, The Romanoffs, Lying and Stealing, and Millennials: The Musical. Below is a piece from the original soundtrack for Sacred Lies, showing a bit of what they each bring in style (Belousova’s classical background and Ostinelli’s more brooding sound), and below that is an interview digging into their process in approaching their work on Amazon’s The Romanoffs.
We can’t wait to see their work on The Witcher, and hopefully find out more about their approach to this complex property, which has influences ranging from Arthurian legend to Slavic history and lore.
Composer Holly Amber Church (The Devil’s Dolls) seems to have been in contention for the job Sonya Belousova and Gionna Ostinelli landed, as the agents here at Redanian Intelligence have uncovered a Witchery selection of demo music on a page hosted by the Bohemian Group Composers.
Tracks like “In The Moonlight” and “Dangerous Surroundings” immediately bring to mind the sound favored by CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher video game series. Still, this leaves us with yet more questions. Were these demo tracks just for an audition of sorts or has Holly Amber Church been hired to compose music for Netflix’s The Witcher? We’ll try to find that out. Stay tuned.