Varèse Sarabande Records will release the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Original Television Soundtrack digitally and on CD September 30, 2014. The soundtrack features original score composed by BMI TV Award-winners Michael Kramer and Jay Vincent.
"Jay and I really love mining diverse musical genres and experimenting with new combinations of styles and instruments," described Kramer. "I think it satisfies the little mad scientist that lives in each of us! Whether it's retro analog synths fused with mystical ney flute, or a funk band meets classical Indian music, we always look forward to conjuring up fresh sounds."
"From the very outset we set up a musical dichotomy between the heroes and villains, so when the kids watched it they could actually hear good and evil, rather than just seeing it," explained Vincent. "So we established a simple rule: Winds for the good guys, strings for the bad guys. Wind instruments are played with breath, which suggests life, whereas the bad guys' instruments use harsh plucking, bowing and scraping. It's a more intense, slightly more violent and physical way of playing."
Michael Kramer and Jay Vincent met while attending the University of Southern California's film scoring program. Their imaginative and playful score for Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu made them two of the youngest composers to receive a BMI Film & TV Award.
"What makes Jay and I work well as a team is our opposite, yet complementary approaches to scoring," said Kramer of Jay Vincent. "Jay is a master at looking at the big picture. Having Jay by my side is like having an expert navigator with a clear sense of trajectory. He has an uncanny ability to connect story points with musical themes and material. I think we've taught each other a lot over the years."
"The fun thing is that since the parameters are so simple, there is a wealth of instruments we can choose from depending on which new hero or villain comes along," said Vincent.
They've gone all over the world to find the sounds for the series. Much like the Looney Tunes cartoons introduced a generation to classical music and even opera, Vincent and Kramer hope that Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu introduces this generation to live instruments from around the world, including China (Zonghu, Dizi and Xiao), Japan (Shakuhachi, Shamisen, Taiko Drums), South America (Quena) and India (Sitar, Tabla, Dhol), in addition to traditional western orchestral instruments.
Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is currently airing on The Cartoon Network.