Scores for television programs and movies are all too often an unappreciated musical genre. We take them for granted. Remove these musical pieces from the aforementioned mediums, however, and you’d notice their absence fast.
Such scores enhance the dramatic bent of programming and narrative alike and the best composers in that style tailor their music to the content they are writing for. Sean James Boyer is among the leading television scorers today and his stock rises with each new project. He has amassed an impressive CV scoring TV shows such as 60 Days in Narcoland for A&E, Newborn Moms for the CBC, and Daily Planet for the Discovery Channel. It’s a short sampling, however, of his work in recent years.
His recent work for Netflix’s 3D animated series My Little Pony: Make Your Mark rates among his best work yet. The series’ accompanying score brings out the adventure, playful wonder, and drama that’s defined the My Little Pony franchise since its creation. Boyer often melds orchestral compositions with a generous helping of synthesizer and the blend proves especially effective for “Sunny Saves the Day”. This piece from the series’ score highlights his compositional strengths without ever sounding overblown and exhibits strong storytelling characteristics of its own.
He’s eclectic as well. Boyer’s writing finds a hospitable home crafting the theme song for the Superchannel sitcom Amelia Parker. It is the rare non-instrumental track in Boyer’s growing catalog, short and to the point as all television theme songs are, and shines thanks to its outstanding vocal arrangement. Backing vocals play a limited role as well and further deepen the theme’s impact. It’s a compelling collision of styles. The theme has a sort of gospel feel mixed with clear pop sensibilities without ever leaning too far in either direction.
His production music album Codename Assassin includes the memorable instrumental “Dark Horse Dominion”. It’s a longer track than the other compositions and gives him a chance to explore one of his musical passions with its inclusion of guitar. The instrument, however, never dominates the recording. Boyer uses it to drop in an extra dollop of menacing color into a synthesizer and percussion driven arrangement. The percussive touches for the track are light though and illustrate his ability to upend the listener’s expectations.
Sean James Boyer will be around for a long time to come. He has an intuitive understanding of composing for television programming that seems inexhaustible, and his boundless imagination adapts to the demands of each assignment. His self-professed ambition to break into film scores is well within reach too. It isn’t difficult at all imagining any film, drama, horror, sci-fi, or action movies, benefitting immeasurably from what he brings to the table. He got to this place the right way, learning his craft, keeping an openness to new ideas, and a willingness to learn from his peers. It’s paid off handsomely and will continue to do so. These three pieces are great examples of where he’s at today, but he has an even brighter future ahead of him.