Bear McCreary | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: February 17, 1979
Place of Birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Genres: Film score, orchestral
Occupation(s): Composer, conductor
Labels: La La Land Records, Sparks and Shadows
Spouse: Raya Yarbrough (m. 2010)
Bear McCreary (born February 17, 1979) is an American musician and composer of film, television, and video games scores based in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series, as well as Outlander and The Walking Dead. He has also scored for the PlayStation 4 video game God of War.
McCreary won an Emmy for his main title of Da Vinci's Demons. His most recent Emmy nomination was in 2015 for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for season one of Outlander.
Early life and education
McCreary was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spent most of his formative years in Bellingham, Washington. He is the son of author Laura Kalpakian and professor Jay McCreary of University of Hawaii. His brother, Brendan McCreary, is also a musician. Bear has directed and produced several music videos for Brendan's band, Young Beautiful in a Hurry. He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1997.
He is a classically trained pianist and self-taught accordionist. He studied under the renowned film score composer Elmer Bernstein during which time he reconstructed and reorchestrated Bernstein's 1963 score for Kings of the Sun. Their collaboration allowed for the complete score to be available as a soundtrack album for the first time in 40 years.
Battlestar Galactica and Caprica
In 2003, McCreary worked under primary composer Richard Gibbs on the three-hour miniseries which served as a pilot for the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica. When the show was picked up, Gibbs opted not to devote full-time to the regular series' production, and McCreary became the sole composer. He worked on the series until it reached its conclusion in 2009, scoring over 70 episodes. To date, six Battlestar Galactica soundtrack albums have been released, and have garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and commercial success. The soundtracks for seasons two and three ranked amongst Amazon.com's Top 30 Music Sales on their first days of release.
McCreary composed for the Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica and Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.
McCreary provided the score for the series Human Target (based on the comic book of the same name). The pilot episode and main theme score had been recorded with a full orchestra. The series has the distinction of having one of the largest orchestras on television.
The score to the finale of season one, "Christopher Chance", used the largest orchestra ever assembled for episodic television, and he took the opportunity to rerecord the main title theme with a new orchestration with this larger ensemble.
In July 2010, he received his first Emmy nomination for the Human Target main title.
In a post on his blog on July 25, 2010, McCreary announced the new creative leadership brought in for season two had not asked him to return for it, and he would be leaving the series.
The opening title sequence for Black Sails was composed by McCreary with a backing sea shanty inspired theme. It accurately features an instrument of the period in the form of the hurdy-gurdy.
McCreary has composed the soundtrack for each of the first five seasons of Outlander, with the main title being sung by long time collaborator and partner, Raya Yarbrough. McCreary was nominated for an Emmy for the episode "Sassenach" in 2015.
During Comic-Con 2010, Bear McCreary attended panels for AMC's The Walking Dead and NBC's The Cape to announce he would be composing the score for both television series.
On July 15, 2013, McCreary announced that he would compose the score for ABC's series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On September 4, 2015, McCreary released the official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. soundtrack publicly.
McCreary served as orchestral producer for the rock opera Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem airing on Adult Swim on October 27, 2013. This is a continuation of the Metalocalypse universe following the band Dethklok. The music features a 50-piece orchestra. The soundtrack was released on October 29, 2013.
McCreary also composed the score for the television series Snowpiercer which premiered on TNT May 17, 2020. Snowpiercer was also distributed online via Netflix.
McCreary made his theatrical feature film scoring debut with Step Up 3D and has scored several direct-to-video features, including Rest Stop, Rest Stop: Don't Look Back, and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.
Bear has scored three films with director Joe Lynch (of Wrong Turn 2), the latest being Everly which includes "Silent Night", a duet with his spouse, Raya Yarbrough. McCreary's latest feature film scores are for The Cloverfield Paradox, released February 4, 2018, Tau in 2018, and then 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Child's Play.
McCreary made an eight-bit rendition of the Dark Void theme, which was, originally, an April fools joke. However, the theme was used for the prequel, Dark Void Zero. He composed all the songs in an eight-bit fashion by connecting the wires on an actual NES console and cartridge to create authenticity.
He arranged James Rolfe's The Angry Video Game Nerd "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" parody "You're a Mean One, Mr. Nerd" for the 2010 Christmas special, with orchestra and eight-bit audio elements.
McCreary also performed with his orchestra band live at Sony's E3 2016 press conference throughout the show and composed the score of the 2018 God of War game.
McCreary married singer/songwriter Raya Yarbrough in 2010. They have collaborated on the music of Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, Defiance, Da Vinci's Demons, among other projects. Their daughter Sonatine, named after the musical term sonatina, was born on June 2, 2014.
McCreary credits composers Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, and Shirley Walker as being key to his growing up adoring film music. They were his heroes while he was growing up. Contemporary composers including Hans Zimmer continue to inspire McCreary's growth.