|Born||February 17, 1979|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
|Genres||Film score, contemporary classical, electronic, rock, ambient, chiptune, video game score|
|Instruments||Piano, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, accordion, hurdy gurdy, percussion|
|Labels||La La Land Records, Sparks and Shadows|
Bear McCreary (born February 17, 1979) is an American musician and composer of film, television, and video game scores based in Los Angeles, California. His work includes the scores of the television series Battlestar Galactica (2004), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, The Walking Dead, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Serpent Queen, the video games Call of Duty: Vanguard, God of War and God of War Ragnarök, and the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
McCreary has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for his work on season one of Outlander and won one Emmy for the main title of Da Vinci's Demons. He has also a two-time winner of the British Academy Games Award for Music for his work on God of War and Ragnarök.
Early life and education
McCreary spent most of his formative years in Bellingham, Washington. He is the son of author Laura Kalpakian and professor Jay McCreary of University of Hawaii at Manoa. His brother, Brendan McCreary, is also a musician. Bear has directed and produced several music videos for Brendan's band, "Young Beautiful in a Hurry". He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1997.
He is a classically trained pianist and self-taught accordionist. He studied under the renowned film score composer Elmer Bernstein during which time he reconstructed and reorchestrated Bernstein's 1963 score for Kings of the Sun. Their collaboration allowed for the complete score to be available as a soundtrack album for the first time in 40 years.
McCreary went to USC Thornton School of Music at the encouragement of Elmer Bernstein becoming his protégé and graduating in 2002 from Screen Scoring.
Battlestar Galactica and Caprica
In 2003, McCreary worked under primary composer Richard Gibbs on the three-hour miniseries which served as a pilot for the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica. When the show was picked up, Gibbs opted not to devote full-time to the regular series' production, and McCreary became the sole composer. He worked on the series until it reached its conclusion in 2009, scoring over 70 episodes. To date, six Battlestar Galactica soundtrack albums have been released, and have garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and commercial success. The soundtracks for seasons two and three ranked amongst Amazon.com's Top 30 Music Sales on their first days of release.
McCreary composed for the Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica and Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.
McCreary provided the score for the series Human Target (based on the comic book of the same name). The pilot episode and main theme score had been recorded with a full orchestra. The series has the distinction of having one of the largest orchestras on television.
The score to the finale of season one, "Christopher Chance", used the largest orchestra ever assembled for episodic television, and he took the opportunity to rerecord the main title theme with a new orchestration with this larger ensemble.
In July 2010, he received his first Emmy nomination for the Human Target main title.
In a post on his blog on July 25, 2010, McCreary announced the new creative leadership brought in for season two had not asked him to return for it, and he would be leaving the series.
The opening title sequence for Black Sails was composed by McCreary with a backing sea shanty inspired theme. It accurately features an instrument of the period in the form of the hurdy-gurdy.
McCreary composed the soundtrack for each of the first five seasons of Outlander. The main title was sung by his long time collaborator and partner, Raya Yarbrough.
In 2015, McCreary was nominated for an Emmy for the pilot Outlander episode "Sassenach" (S01E01; 2014-08-09).
During Comic-Con 2010, Bear McCreary attended panels for AMC's The Walking Dead and NBC's The Cape to announce he would be composing the score for both television series.
On July 15, 2013, McCreary announced that he would compose the score for ABC's series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On September 4, 2015, McCreary released the official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. soundtrack publicly.
McCreary served as orchestral producer for the rock opera Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem airing on Adult Swim on October 27, 2013. This is a continuation of the Metalocalypse universe following the band Dethklok. The music features a 50-piece orchestra. The soundtrack was released on October 29, 2013.
McCreary also composed the score for the television series Snowpiercer which premiered on TNT May 17, 2020. Snowpiercer was also distributed online via Netflix.
The score for the Masters of the Universe: Revelation series on Netflix was composed by McCreary
McCreary composed the theme and music for the television series Foundation, an Apple TV+ series adapted from Isaac Asimov’s novels. The Season 1 soundtrack was released on September 24, 2021.
The following year, he composed the score for the Amazon Prime Video fantasy television series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. McCreary, who wrote the score over a period of 9 months, has been a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien since reading The Hobbit aged 10. He called the job “a dream come true”.
McCreary worked on several films providing additional music and conducting for My Baby's Daddy and Johnson Family Vacation before striking off on his own and scoring Rest Stop and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, both direct to video.
After working with Shawn Papazian on Rest Stop: Don't Look Back, the sequel to Rest Stop. McCreary made his theatrical film debut with Step Up 3D
Following Step Up 3D, he scored three films directed by Joe Lynch, Chillerama, Knights of Badassdom and Everly. Everly's soundtrack included a duet McCreary sang with his wife, Raya Yarbrough.
McCreary has only worked with a few directors multiple times: Christopher Landon on three films, Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U and Freaky; and director McG twice on Rim of the World and The Babysitter: Killer Queen.
Other notable film scores include Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Cloverfield Paradox, Child's Play (2019 film), and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
McCreary's latest feature scores include Ava, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Freaky and Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.
McCreary made an eight-bit rendition of the Dark Void theme, which was, originally, an April fools joke. However, the theme was used for the prequel, Dark Void Zero. He composed all the songs in an eight-bit fashion by connecting the wires on an actual NES console and cartridge to create authenticity.
He arranged James Rolfe's The Angry Video Game Nerd "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" parody "You're a Mean One, Mr. Nerd" for the 2010 Christmas special, with orchestra and eight-bit audio elements.
McCreary also performed with his orchestra live at Sony's E3 2016 press conference throughout the show and composed the score of the 2018 God of War game. He also composed the music for its 2022 sequel, God of War Ragnarök, for which he also plays a minor character in the game, a Dwarf named Ræb.
In 2021, McCreary composed the score for Call of Duty: Vanguard.
McCreary married singer and songwriter Raya Yarbrough in 2010. They have collaborated on the music of Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, Defiance, Da Vinci's Demons, among other projects. Their daughter Sonatine, named after the musical term sonatina, was born on June 2, 2014.
McCreary credits composers Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, and Shirley Walker as being key to his growing up adoring film music. They were his heroes while he was growing up. Contemporary composers including Hans Zimmer continue to inspire McCreary's growth.
|2004||My Baby's Daddy||Cheryl Dunye||Miramax Films||Film score conducted by Richard Gibbs.|
|Johnson Family Vacation||Christopher Erskin||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
|2004–2009||Battlestar Galactica||71 episodes|
|2008–2009||Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles||31 episodes|
Terminator themes by Brad Fiedel
|2010||Human Target||12 episodes|
|2010–2022||The Walking Dead||177 episodes|
Composed with Sam Ewing (season 10 and season 11)
|2011||The Cape||10 episodes|
|2012||Day Break||5 episodes|
|Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome||10 episodes|
|2013||Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem||Composed with Brendon Small|
|Da Vinci's Demons||28 episodes|
|2013–2020||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||136 episodes|
Composed with Jason Akers (Season 7)
|2014–2017||Black Sails||38 episodes|
The Omen themes by Jerry Goldsmith
|Black Mirror||Episode: "Playtest"|
|2017–2018||Electric Dreams||3 episodes|
|2018||Into the Dark||Episode: "Pooka"|
|2021||Masters of the Universe: Revelation||10 episodes|
|2022–present||The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power||See The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (soundtrack)|
|2022||The Witcher: Blood Origin||4 episodes|
|2010||Dark Void Zero|
|2011||SOCOM 4 U.S. Navy SEALs|
|2015||Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper|
|2018||God of War|
|League of Legends||Ryze: Call of Power|
|2020||Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy's Edge||With Joseph Trapanese & Danny Piccione|
|2021||Call of Duty: Vanguard|
|2022||God of War Ragnarök||Also plays the role of Ræb|
|2023||Forspoken||With Garry Schyman|
Awards and nominations
- ^ "67th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Television Academy. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- ^ Weisman, Jon. "LIVE From the Creative Arts Emmys". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- ^ a b "BAFTA Games Awards winners 2019". www.bafta.org. March 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- ^ McCreary, Bear (October 13, 2011). "'I Don't Want to Die a Virgin' Music Video!". BearMcCreary.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- ^ a b Relyea, Kie (January 12, 2005). "Score for the Stars: Bellingham High grad now composes for 'Battlestar Galatica'". The Bellingham Herald. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017 – via BearMcCreary.com.
- ^ McCreary, Bear (June 7, 2006). "ScoreKeeper interviews Battlestar Galactica's Bear McCreary!!!". Interviewed by ScoreKeeper. AintItCool.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- ^ a b "Biography". BearMcCreary.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2009. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- ^ Sepinwall, Alan (June 22, 2008). "Sepinwall on TV: Michael Giacchino and Bear McCreary, score keepers". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- ^ Ryan, Maureen (June 16, 2008). "'Battlestar Galactica' provides some Earth-shattering 'Revelations'". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- ^ McCreary, Bear (July 25, 2009). "Human Target Screens Today". BearMcCreary.com. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
- ^ Burlingame, Jon (July 8, 2010). "Emmy Music Nominations Announced". FilmMusicSociety.org. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- ^ McCreary, Bear (July 25, 2010). "I Am Leaving 'Human Target'". BearMcCreary.com.
- ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (July 23, 2010). "Comic Con 2010: The Cape Casts a Mighty Shadow". Ugo.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010.
- ^ Nguyen, Hanh (July 23, 2010). "'Walking Dead' reveals trailer, taps Bear McCreary as composer". Zap2it.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- ^ Boucher, Geoff. "'Agents of SHIELD': Clark Gregg's 'commanding presence' calls the tune for composer Bear McCreary". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 18, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- ^ "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Original Soundtrack Album)". Amazon. September 4, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- ^ Hartmann, Graham (October 17, 2013). "Dethklok, 'Blazing Star' – Exclusive Song Premiere". Loudwire.com. Townsquare Media. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- ^ "Bear McCreary Scoring TNT's 'Snowpiercer' TV Series". filmmusicreporter. Film Music Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- ^ "Kevin Smith Reacts to Masters of the Universe: Revelations Score". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- ^ "Foundation: Season 1, Lakeshore Records". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
- ^ "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022) TV Series". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- ^ "In 'Rings of Power', Bear McCreary Scored the Show of His Childhood Dreams". Esquire. September 15, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
- ^ Yamato, Jen (July 2, 2010). "Exclusive: 'Step Up 3D' Billboard Art Premiere!". Cinematical.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- ^ Diener, Matt (April 2011). "Interview with Bear McCreary (April 2011)". Squareenixmusic.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- ^ Napolitano, Jayson (December 16, 2010). "Bear McCreary Vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd: A Christmas Special". Original Sound Version. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- ^ Davis, Justin (June 13, 2016). "E3 2016: New God of War Announced". IGN.com. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
- ^ Santa Monica Studio [@SonySantaMonica] (November 8, 2022). "#GodofWarRagnarok composer @bearmccreary adds a new credit to his name. Tomorrow, on November 9th, you'll not only be able to hear Bear's incredible score throughout your adventure – you'll also be able to meet him ⁱⁿ⁻ᵍᵃᵐᵉ! Introducing Ræb 🎵" (Tweet). Retrieved November 9, 2022 – via Twitter.
- ^ Tucker, Jake (August 19, 2021). "'Call Of Duty: Vanguard' composer Bear McCreary discusses "raw and exposed" soundtrack". NME. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- ^ McCreary, Bear (February 24, 2009). "I'm Getting Married!!". BearMcCreary.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- ^ "Malibu Wedding Photographer". Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- ^ McCreary, Bear. "Sonatine Yarbrough McCreary". BearMcCreary.com.
- ^ Barnett, Barbara (July 29, 2016). "A Conversation with Outlander Composer Bear McCreary". Original Sound Version. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- Bear McCreary at IMDb
- Official website
- MAFgest 2016 interview
- Audio Interview on GeeksOn!
- "Of Duduks and Dylan: Negotiating Music and the Aural Space in Battlestar Galactica'', by Eftychia Papanikolaou; chapter in Cylons in America: Critical Studies of Battlestar Galactica, edited by Tiffany Potter and C. W. Marshall, 224–236. New York and London: Continuum, 2007.
- 1979 births
- American accordionists
- American film score composers
- American people of Armenian descent
- American television composers
- Living people
- Male television composers
- Musicians from Washington (state)
- People from Bellingham, Washington
- USC Thornton School of Music alumni
- 21st-century accordionists
- American male film score composers
- 21st-century American male musicians
- La-La Land Records artists
- Video game composers