Emmys: <I>1883</I> composers Brian Tyler & Breton Vivian
August 1, 2022

Emmys: 1883 composers Brian Tyler & Breton Vivian

Paramount+ saw record success with the launch of 1883, which stands as the platform’s most watched original series premiere to date. Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, the show was created by Taylor Sheridan and serves as a prequel to the already popular series Yellowstone, following the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains and the last of untamed America. 

Composers Brian Tyler and Breton Vivian are Emmy-nominated for their original music. The show is recognized in the “Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Or Anthology Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)” category.

“The score for 1883 was inspired by the culture and musical language of immigrants traveling from Europe and making their way to the American West,” explains Vivian. “These cultures inspired our instrumentation, and we played and recorded folk instruments, such as hurdy gurdy, Greek bouzouki, mandolin, etc., and affected/prepared them in ways that reflected the hardship of the characters’ arduous journey. We combined these signature instruments with an orchestral backdrop to underline the grandness of the story’s scale, as well as the intimate moments of each character going through a nightmare to find a better life.”

"Scoring 1883 was one of the greatest experiences of my career,” adds Tyler. “Taylor Sheridan has directed an absolutely brilliant work of art and it is an honor to be a part of it. I wanted to compose music that could capture the emotionally powerful story and characters in 1883. The music needed to convey struggle, heartbreak, beauty, pain, love, stoicism, sorrow, and resilience. The journey of these characters is an echo of all of us and the music had to have a sense of timelessness. The score is symphonic with a layer of choir to give it an emotionally powerful feel along with solo fiddles, hurdy gurdy, various stringed instruments from early America as well as Native American percussion. The main themes feel ancient and mystical to convey the feeling of the characters continuously entering the unknown.”

Tyler says he wrote a 10-minute suite to start, which Taylor used to set the tone daily on the shoot on location. 

“He would play my theme before and during scenes on speakers to get actors in the mindset of the story. He even would play the music for costume designers and the camera crew to evoke the tone of 1883. It is truly incredible being part of a project that values music so highly. Also, collaborating with Breton Vivian has been an amazing continuation from our work on Yellowstone. I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with Taylor on our third and most ambitious project yet.”