Cristobal Tapia de Veer's 9 Most Memorable Soundtracks, from … – Collider

The composer has made some interesting and memorable music in his career
It's rare that people who enjoy cinema and television pay attention to a composer. Besides some iconic names, such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Enio Morricone, there are modern composers that bring a new dimension to cinematic music. Cristobal Tapia de Veer is one of them.
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Cristobal Tapia de Veer is a Chilean-born composer, whose classical music training and ingenious sense of composition brought him iconic status. Many publications have dubbed him a musical genius, and folks who watched The White Lotus most recently, continue to talk about his eerie theme composition. But Tapia de Veer has a long and fruitful career, long before The White Lotus.
Providing a musical background for a TV series can't be easy. The show has to completely come together and provide a unique experience, and the music is like the necessary cherry on top. Utopia may be an underrated show in many ways, but for fans, it was likely the first introduction to Tapia de Veer's work.
Utopia is, besides a fantastic story, a visually stunning masterpiece of television. Vivid colors and unique framing contrast the show's unsettling character. The music Tapia de Veer provides is eerie yet catchy, with signature humming sounds that evoke a more sinister feeling behind the scene. For anyone interested in Tapia de Veer's music and fantastic British TV, Utopia is a perfect example and a mandatory viewing material.
Another masterclass of British science fiction, Humans was a popular and beloved TV show for a few years. It stars Gemma Chan in one of her best performances, as a synthetic AI made to serve a human family as a housekeeper and babysitter. Suddenly, the AI population of Britain starts becoming more sentient and seeking independence.
This Westworld-esque story evokes different emotions – from compassion (since the AIs look no different from humans) to discomfort and often pure disgust. Tapia de Veer understood the assignment and combined his signature catchy quirkiness with a futuristic sound. Some of the music sounds like a program or an electronic device going haywire, but a lot of it is also slow-burning and emotional.
One of the few movies Tapia de Veer created a soundtrack for is The Girl With All the Gifts. This underrated dystopian zombie adventure movie talks about a distant future where humanity is attacked by a fungal virus, and only a select few of people have survived. The potential cure for the infection are children who get infected but still possess the ability to think and use free will.
This movie may have been overlooked, but it was highly praised for its originality and emotion when it came out. Audiences will never have enough of zombie apocalypse movies, and this one has Glenn Close and Paddy Considine to boot. Cristobal Tapia de Veer created a soundtrack befitting of an apocalypse, although the atmosphere of some tracks often borders with a Silent Hill-like feeling – subdued but tense.
Straight out of Douglas Adams's novel series of the same name, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency ran for two seasons before getting canceled. As Adams's fans may know, he wrote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and his work is usually riddled with quirky characters, fascinating dialogue and interesting life lessons along the way.
Dirk Gently is a supernatural PI who teams up with a man named Todd (Elijah Wood) in search of answers. A sci-fi theme, Douglas Adams, and Cristobal Tapia de Veer in one? It's a promising combination that succeeded in making a memorable, albeit short adventure. For fans of Good Omens, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Doctor Who, this show (and soundtrack) is an excellent choice.
Connecting Tapia de Veer to Black Mirror was a natural progression. His soundtracks possess the same feeling most Black Mirror episodes evoke – uneasiness, tension, and darkness. In "Black Museum," this connection is especially obvious, and this episode remains one of the best-rated on the show.
"Black Museum" stars Letitia Wright as a visitor to a museum in the middle of nowhere, run by a mysterious and creepy man named Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge). The storyline is, in many details, an amalgamation of all the stories that came before it, but it also revolves around artifacts that may or may not contain human consciousness. The reveal is disturbing, and the ending is one Black Mirror's darkest moments. The performances and the ambiance are further supported by a disorienting and catchy soundtrack.
The long-awaited sequel season for Hunters is finally out on Amazon Prime, but it's unlikely that fans of the show or Tapia de Veer knew that he created part of the soundtrack for that show. Hunters stars Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, among a fantastic ensemble cast, and it's about a group of hunters going after surviving Nazis during the late 1970s.
The opening theme of Hunters wasn't composed by Tapia de Veer – it feels too classical and structured. However, the ending theme reveals his signature and shows that this is a more sinister and dark story than just an action and adventure spectacle. Hunters is a unique piece of viewing; the overall composition makes it a revenge story, but the plot delves deeper into conspiracy theories and international secrets.
The Third Day is a six-part limited series that aired on HBO in 2020, but it wasn't either well noticed or rated. Granted, the show is very offbeat and makes people feel as if they're on some sort of acid trip, but there's a big story behind it. For those that were able to get past the oddness, this show was unique – and probably even more due to Tapia de Veer's spooky soundtrack.
It follows Sam (Jude Law), a man mourning his child's death who ends up in a rural English village called Osea. Osea is interesting because it can be only accessed on some days – the path that leads to it is overflowed by the tide and no vehicle can pass during that time. Sam gets stuck in Osea with the locals, discovering that he may actually be there for a reason. Tapia de Veer honed his skill here and gave a brilliant musical background that's a bit more subdued and emotional than his previous work.
One of the best horror features of 2022, Smile was highly praised for its originality and story. However, there's no doubt that Cristobal Tapia de Veer's unsettling score elevated the movie, making it a lot more disturbing and insidious. The story follows Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) who, after witnessing a traumatic event, starts being haunted by unusual and horrifying events.
The scariest part of all are the smiles; they're not genuine nor spontaneous. The people displaying the smiles seem possessed and overtaken by something beyond this world. Horror movies are often defined by their musical background, and Tapia de Veer was the perfect choice for adding a memorable note to Smile.
The show that got Mike White and Jennifer Coolidge their incredible comebacks to Hollywood, also introduced Cristobal Tapia de Veer to wider audiences. Now, his style is recognizable and highly popular, especially the theme tune for season two of The White Lotus. This anthology series made serious waves in 2021, and although it was meant to be limited, it got renewed very quickly.
The music of The White Lotus is often the centerpiece of certain scenes – it tells viewers that something's happening beneath the surface, and drives the point further with often uncomfortable and offbeat pacing. The tones and vocal arrangements also reflect the surroundings – Hawaii in the first season and Sicily in the second. Overall, this composer will likely gain further recognition with this soundtrack, and many longtime fans are surely happy to see what's next for him.
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Anja is from Belgrade, and she’s a cinephile. She loves everything about movies and TV, but her other hobbies and interests include video games, yoga, and cooking. She has a black cat called Luna and a Bachelor’s in Japanese language and culture.


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