Writing the Music for “Serial”

I’ve been writing the music for the hit podcast “Serial” and have received so many questions I thought I’d share some of the pieces I’ve written (see below). To be clear, the amazing theme song is by the great Nick Thorburn – I write the score that plays during the episode (Nick also contributed additional scoring music as well).

I’ve been a long-time fan of Sarah Koenig’s work – her story for This American Life called “Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde” is one of my all-time favorite pieces of journalism. (If you haven’t heard it but are a fan of Serial, check it out now!! ). So I knew “Serial” was going to be fantastic but – along with the rest of the world – I’ve been blown away by just how addictive, fascinating and awesome it is.

They send me a rough cut of the episode each Tuesday and then it’s a mad dash to write, record and edit the music, fine-tune the pacing of the episode, restore all the archival audio and mix everything by Thursday morning at 6:00am. Sarah’s writing, the story itself, and all the interviews are so strong that it’s already basically perfect without any music, so my job is to stay out of the way as much as possible and just help with the pacing. Check out the music but know that it is really only meant to be listened with Sarah’s incredible story playing on top of it!

I’ll post some more pieces and maybe even do a post that gets into all the the audio restoration when I get the chance  – stay tuned!