Composer Bear McCreary announces the launch of Sparks & Shadows, a new boutique record label that will release soundtracks primarily composed by the Emmy-nominated composer. The first four releases from the label will include two albums for Defiance (the Trion Worlds videogame and the SyFy television series), Da Vinci's Demons (STARZ, BBC) and the upcoming feature The Europa Report (Magnet). McCreary, listed by Io9 as one of the ten most influential science fiction composers in history, was recently named a "Secret Weapon" by WIRED Magazine.
"I value the soundtrack album experience, because score records are what first led me down the path to becoming a composer," explained McCreary. "I was a fan and collector long before I became a professional musician. I have always looked for ways to deliver my original scores to fans so they can have the same experiences."
Sparks & Shadows will release two soundtracks of McCreary's music for the groundbreaking multimedia science fiction epic Defiance, the first attempt to launch a new franchise in both the television and videogame mediums. The game combines the intense action of a third-person shooter, with the persistence and scale of a massive online game, while its television counterpart exudes the sweeping scope and heroic characters of classic science fiction dramas. The videogame album was released digitally on April 2, 2013.
The Defiance TV series soundtrack album will be available for pre-order late May, and will include both original score and songs. For the collectors, a limited edition combined multi-CD set will be released in late summer, featuring exclusive liner notes and bonus tracks.
McCreary recently collaborated with writer / director David S. Goyer, scoring his historical adventure series Da Vinci's Demons, which premieres on STARZ on April 12th. The secret history of Leonardo Da Vinci's tantalizing life reveals a portrait of a young man tortured by a gift of superhuman genius. He finds himself in a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future. His aspirations are used against him by the opposing forces of the timeluring him into a game of seduction where those who despise his intellect need him most.
McCreary's sweeping orchestral score was meticulously researched to accurately represent the time period, without being bound to it. His score combines full orchestra, Renaissance instrumentation, choir and ethnic soloists with the renowned Calder Quartet and surging contemporary synthesis. Sparks & Shadows will release McCreary's main title theme for Da Vinci's Demons as a digital single on April 12, 2013 and the full album will be available digitally to coincide with the season one finale. A limited edition CD, with exclusive bonus content, is planned for the summer.
This August, the label will also release the soundtrack for the upcoming feature The Europa Report. The film is a science fiction thriller starring Sharlto Copley (District 9) that explores the first manned mission to Jupiter's mysterious moon, Europa. McCreary's evocative score will feature string orchestra, solo piano and heavy synthesis.
"Bear's relationship with fans is incredibly unique," said Joe Augustine, the label's General Manager. "This direct communication gives us a keen knowledge of what his fans really want, and our variable distribution model gives us the freedom and flexibility to deliver it."
"I am fortunate to have collaborated with La-La Land Records and other labels to release over fifteen albums," McCreary said. "While many of these important relationships will continue, Sparks & Shadows has been formed to push boundaries further."
Releases by Sparks & Shadows will be available worldwide, through select retail outlets, and digitally on all platforms.