FX’s ‘Tyrant’ Extends Its Global Roots to Its Score

Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit.

Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. The net result is a rich, cohesive cinematic sound that clearly benefits from having two musical minds at work on it.

“Television production schedules are a quickly moving conveyor belt,” Jeff Danna says, “and if you want to do something with high production values, a real orchestra, and interesting instruments, it’s enormously helpful to have two of us able to turn these shows around quickly and still trying to maintain a high level of musical integrity.”

In addition to a full orchestra, “Tyrant’s” musical palette makes plenty of room for pan-Mediterranean percussion and Arabic instruments such as the ney, kamaan, oud and santoor. Both Dannas are old pros at gracefully incorporating non-Western instrumentation into classical harmonic contexts, yet Mychael Danna admits that securing the resources for such a complex ensemble on a TV budget required some doing.

“It’s not just the money that scares the producers, it’s the schedule,” Danna says. “But we’ve convinced them that for a very small percentage of the overall budget, you can bring the production value up significantly. It’s extremely difficult, maybe even crazy, to do it every week, but we’re both difficult and crazy enough to ask for it.”

More Artisans

  • American Animals

    North Carolina Encourages Production by Raising Project Cap

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • (l to r.) Director Boots Riley

    Colors, Sounds Change With Lead Character in 'Sorry to Bother You'

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • THE HANDMAID'S TALE Composer Adam TaylorPhoto

    'The Handmaid’s Tale’ Composer Adam Taylor Takes Cue From Elisabeth Moss

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • Summer Bay engineer, Tim Boles sorts

    'Amazing Race,' 'Deadliest Catch' Audio Teams Detail Challenges in Capturing Sound

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Artificial Intelligence Could One Day Determine Which Films Get Made

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • Movie Production Professionals Share Insights at

    Movie Artisans Share Insights at Variety Event in Karlovy Vary

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

  • First still from the set of

    Czech Producers Urge Politicians to Raise Incentives as Rivalry Heats Up

    Shot across Israel, Turkey and Morocco, FX’s “Tyrant” is international to its core, so it’s fitting that the score, from brothers Jeff Danna (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) and Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”), follows suit. Written collaboratively between California and Canada, it’s recorded by an orchestra in Prague, with four Arabic soloists Skyping in. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content