Alumnus Carlos Rafael Rivera scores Netflix series ‘Godless’

Composition alumnus Carlos Rafael Rivera ’96 is a commissioned and award-winning composer whose career has spanned several genres in the music industry. Known for his original score of the feature film A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), he is delighting Western fans once again with his work on the Netflix mini-series Godlesswhich debuted on Nov. 22.

The series, produced by Steven Soderbergh and written and directed by Scott Frank, takes place in 1880s-era New Mexico town governed by women who must navigate the ‘godless’ nature of the Old West.

Rivera curated the soundtrack score to include as much of the three and a half hours of music. This is Rivera’s first score for TV, and already a contender for an Emmy nomination.

“What’s cool about music is that is an intangible aid to the director’s vision. If there is a complete trust between director and composer, I feel bolder choices can be made and it’ll actually help complete the immersion of the audience in the story. This being my second collaboration with Scott Frank, we found an unusual approach in which he’ll send me the screenplay early on in pre-production and I will start scoring the written word, not picture. We call these ‘Script Movies’ because I make a quick-Time of the screenplay and actually starting scoring it,” Rivera said.

Audiences can get a further look into the scoring process with Rivera’s recently released YouTube videos that explain the compositional approach and process used in order to enhance both the characters and the storyline of Godless.

The soundtrack will be released digitally on July 6, courtesy of Netflix and BMG.

– By Michelle Vires