Black Panther has won Best Original Score at the 91st Academy Awards! Congrats to Ludwig Göransson, the film’s composer, on winning his first Oscar.
The Marvel score beat out BlacKkKlansman (Terence Blanchard), Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman), Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat), and If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell) to become the first superhero movie to win the award. In fact, Black Panther is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to even be nominated for Best Original Score.
Göransson is definitely having an awesome 2019. In addition to being an Oscar-winner, the composer recently won two Grammys. He won Best Score for Black Panther as well as Best Song for Childish Gambino’s “This is America”.
The composer recently interviewed with /Film to discuss the creative process behind making the music for Black Panther.
“The most important thing for me and [director] Ryan [Coogler] in making the music for this film was to have the score rooted in traditional African music,” Göransson explained. “That was the number one most important thing. I actually went to West Africa right after I read the script. I told Ryan, ‘The only way I can score this movie is to go to Africa and do my research and immerse myself in the culture.’”
Göransson went on to explain how much he loved the film, calling it the “Star Wars of our generation.”
“It was incredible. It was such an experience,” he shared. “I was so moved by it. But after I saw it, I immediately understood that in order for me to really make the music work, I need to use this traditional African music and all of these instruments, but I also need to put the elements of that cinematic sweep of the orchestra, and also modern hip-hop production. So the most difficult part was to figure out how to infuse that traditional African music with an orchestra, but still keep the music sounding African.”
The composer when on to explain how he made it all work together.
“So what I did was, instead of just focusing on melody and harmony, I kind of used each different section of the orchestra as a different rhythmical element, as a different drum. For example, in an African drum circle, there’s djembe, there’s the dunun, there’s the bara drums, and they all have their different parts. They all have their different rhythms that they play, and together they make one composition, one song. So I kind of used an orchestra as an African drum circle,” he added.
Göransson has 60 composer credits to his name. In addition to Black Panther, he helmed the music for Venom, Creed, Creed II, Central Intelligence, and many more. The composer’s next big project is Star Wars: The Mandalorian, making Göransson one of the few people other than John Williams to helm the music of Star Wars.
In addition to Best Original Score, Black Panther is also nominated tonight for Best Picture, Best Original Song, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.
Congrats to Göransson and Black Panther for the big Oscars 2019 win!