Sculpting the score for ‘Alien: Covenant’

Pete Cobbin, Kirsty Whalley and Tony Lewis talk about teaming up with Ridley Scott once again for the new sci-fi horror film.

Pete Cobbin, Kirsty Whalley and Tony Lewis talk to Adam Savage about teaming up once again with Ridley Scott to piece together a pulsating score for the new sci-fi horror film Alien: Covenant.

For fans of the original and the 2012 prequel Prometheus, Alien: Covenant is surely one of their most eagerly anticipated films of 2017. Promising another dose of heart-thumping deep-space terror that made Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece a sci-fi classic, the latest entry in the series not only saw Scott hook up once more with some of his most trusted crew members in the music and audio department, but also bring some new faces on board too.

With the movie already out in UK cinemas and due to hit US screens on the day this issue is due to land, we reached out to music editor Tony Lewis and score mixing/production duo Peter Cobbin (former chief engineer at Abbey Road Studios) and Kirsty Whalley – all longtime affiliates of Scott’s who were tasked with sculpting a score that would offer both subtle nods to the legendary Jerry Goldsmith’s work from nearly 40 years ago, and something totally new for the modern cinemagoer, which also led to the appointment of experimental composer Jed Kurzel (Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed).

As is often the case in the early stages of these projects, coming up with a direction for the score became a bit of an experiment itself when sharing ideas early on with Scott and film editor Pietro Scalia. A temp score from Lewis was required, and although it was his job to come up with suggestions of what might suit the picture, there were a couple of interesting requests from the director that set the wheels in motion.

“We had a phone call from Pietro saying Ridley would really like to try some of the original 1979 score and I initially raised my…

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