King Kong music sampler sparks public interest ahead of opening

Last week, Global Creatures released an 8-track preview of the score of epic new theatrical event King Kong featuring music from some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists.

King Kong. Image by James Morgan
King Kong. Image by James Morgan

Sarah McLachlan, 3D from Massive Attack, Guy Garvey from Elbow and The Avalanches are just some of the international artists who have come on board to create this work for our Australian performers to premiere next month, and judging by the number of views on YouTube alone (over 10,000 views since last week), the music sampler seems to have piqued the interest of the public.

“When we started this journey, Daniel Kramer [Director], my brother Stephen [Pavlovic of Modular Music] and I would use ‘Massive Attack’ as shorthand to explain the sound we wanted for King Kong’s score,” said Producer Carmen Pavlovic.

“I would never have foreseen that five years later we would actually have a new song from 3D, let alone works from the rest of our incredible music team about to be unveiled at the Regent.”

The music for King Kong has been overseen by composer and arranger Marius de Vries, whose credits include the soundtracks for Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet. The musical language of the show is diverse and de Vries notes that with the two differing worlds explored in the story – New York City and Skull Island – comes two very distinct musical styles.

“There are two universes”, he said.

“What we’re looking to do is to explore the relationship between those two places – what the differences are, but how they are somehow connected. Each place has its own distinct musical language but there are elements of those languages that are shared, but transformed as they move from one to another. There’s geography to it, which is informing the structure of how we’re styling it. And then also an interplay between the music of the period, and the music of our period.”

Once the show begins previews at the end of the month, Australian Musical Director Daniel Edmonds is charged with the responsibility of conducting the show’s 10-piece live band, and he is most certainly looking forward to the challenge of bringing all the music together.

“The music and soundscape for KING KONG are just as epic as everything else about the piece, fusing together beautiful, haunting melodies as well as thrilling action sequences,” said Edmonds.

“It’s an absolute privilege to work with living legends like Marius de Vries, and I could not be more proud that Melbourne Australia will be where it all starts.”

The sampler available online represents approximately half of the King Kong score, which marries 1903s music with modern styles and techniques, but is not necessarily in show order. There will still be plenty of surprises when the curtain rises on May 28 for the first time!

SAMPLER CREDITS TRACK LIST (in sampler order, not show order)

1. The Greatest Show on Earth.
Music by Justice and Marius de Vries. Lyrics by Daniel Kramer, Craig Lucas & Marius de Vries. Vocal by Adam Lyon as Carl Denham.

2. In The Face of Forever.
Music and Lyrics by 3D from Massive Attack, Guy Garvey and Marius de Vries. Vocal by Chris Ryan as Jack Driscoll.

3. What’s It Gonna Take?
Music and Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan. Vocal by Esther Hannaford as Ann Darrow.

4. Special FX.
Music by Marius de Vries. Lyrics by Michael Mitnick and Marius de Vries.

5. Colossus.
Music by 3D from Massive Attack. Lyrics by Michael Mitnick. Vocal by Adam Lyon as Carl Denham.

6. The Avalanche’s Get Happy.
Music by Harold Arlen. Lyrics by Ted Koehler. Sample of Dies Irae (music by Giuseppe Verdi).

7. A Simple Prayer.
Music by Marius de Vries. Lyrics by Daniel Kramer, Michael Mitnick and Marius de Vries. Vocal by Esther Hannaford as Ann Darrow.

8. Rise.
Music by Marius de Vries. Lyrics by Michael Mitnick. Vocals by Queenie van de Zandt as Cassandra.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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