Varèse Sarabande will release a limited-edition box set of music from Jim Henson's The Storyteller on April 27, 2018. The 3-CD set, which is available for pre-orders beginning April 13, features original music composed by Academy Award winning composer Rachel Portman (Emma Chocolat), available for the first time ever.
The release contains music from Jim Henson's The Storyteller and its spinoff series, Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths, a 32-page booklet of exclusive interviews with the producers of the series and Portman herself, and a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs.
Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Emmy and BAFTA TV Craft award-winning Jim Henson's The Storyteller anthology series features both human actors and creations from Jim Henson's Creature Shop in this retelling of classic folk tales, fables, and legends. The series starred John Hurt in the title role. Aided by his cynical dog (performed by Brian Henson), Hurt narrates fascinating tales that combine humor, intrigue, and magic.
The series was the brainchild of Jim Henson's eldest daughter, Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. Lisa, who majored in folklore and mythology at Harvard, suggested they create an anthology series based on these stories.
Composer Rachel Portman had been writing music professionally for only a few years when brought on by director Steve Barron to work on the pilot. "Steve and I talked about each film having a special sound and a special voice, and some special instrument that would be part of it. I chose very carefully a different coloration for each story, what the main instrument was going to bebecause I wasn't able to have very many instruments, and I wanted it to be orchestral," Portman described.
Brian Henson, who was also the series head puppeteer and is currently chairman of The Jim Henson Company) had nothing but praise for the music. "Rachel Portman gives it a timelessness. She makes the show important," he said. "She makes the stories important. There's a gravitas that comes with her music, but then also the light, lyrical melody. I think it's just beautiful scoring of fantasy."
"I felt I had real freedom to go as dark as I wanted, musically," explained Portman. "I didn't shy away from being really sad, or really dark, or really happy. I think that really matched the way the whole series was done, and the scripts. It always kind of ends in minor. I don't know why. They all come back to a sad chord at the end."
Jim Henson's The Storyteller is currently streaming via the STARZ app. As a special treat, Fathom Events is hosting screenings of Jim Henson's Labyrinth in select theaters April 29, May 1&2. The event will include a special theatrical screening excerpt from The Storyteller.