Soundtrack: <I>Ginny & Georgia</I>
Issue: May/June 2021

Soundtrack: Ginny & Georgia

Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia just aired its first season. The family drama centers on the free-spirited Georgia and her two kids, Ginny and Austin, who move north in search of a fresh start in New England. Ginny is an awkward 15-year-old who often feels more mature than her 30-year old mother Georgia. After years on the run, Georgia desperately wants to put down roots in picturesque Wellsbury and give her family something they've never had — a normal life. 

The first season, which spans 10 episodes, was released in February, and Netflix has announced plans for Season 2.

Lili Haydn and Ben Bromfield created the series’ original score.

"I think the biggest challenge in scoring Ginny & Georgia was nailing the right tone, as this show is truly a unique blend of a several genres and influences,” recalls Haydn. “Simply leaning on dramatic, adventurous, or comedic tones didn't hit the mark. We had to be incredibly subtle yet bold in our approach.”

Haydn says the musical themes and palate needed to be playful yet a bit foreboding, energetic but intimate, and fun and while dark. 

“It was helpful for me thinking of it as a cross between Gilmore Girls, Dexter and a touch of Terms of Endearment,” she explains. “This score required lots of live playing - violin, cello, piano, guitars, drums and voice - as well as cool synths, sound design, orchestral palate - I use Spitfire - Zebra, Ableton Live, Splice, Output/Portal, UAD plug-ins and Soundtoys.”

Bromfield adds that the show’s one-of-a-kind tone demanded an original blend of sounds that was best achieved with a mix of live and virtual instruments, as well as analog and digital synthesizers. 

“Oftentimes this show required me to go exploring through the wonderful world of all my creative toys, including my Prophet 6, Korg Minilogue XD and the Op-1 from Teenage Engineering,” he recalls. “I would mix those less controllable tones with the powerful sounds of soft synths that I've become so accustomed to using over the years. Many of those soft synths were from Spectrasonics (Omnisphere and Keyscape), along with Diva, Serum and Zebra. Then we arrived at Episode 5 and found ourselves immersed in a Halloween episode that paid homage to many classic horror films of different eras! This proved to be the most challenging but also the most gratifying and fun episode to score, as it brought the classic orchestral palate into our sound. For orchestral sounds, I use primarily Orchestral Tools, and I host my sounds in Vienna Ensemble Pro for maximum efficiency. I use Pro Tools as my main digital audio workstation, and that allows me to have the best flexibility working with audio and mixing plug-ins I love from companies such as Soundtoys, UAD, Valhalla DSP, and FabFilter.”