In a film with as much silence in it as A Quiet Place: Part II, music plays a starring role. The story of the sequel film follows the Abbott family as they continue to face the post-apocalyptic world in which blind monsters chase and hunt anyone they can hear. The family must continue to navigate the world around them in complete silence. As a result, dialogue is limited and the score is hugely prevalent.
Who wrote the soundtrack to A Quiet Place Part 2?
American composer Marco Beltrami returns to A Quiet Place Part II having also scored the original film. He is prolific in the horror film music world, having previously scored films such as The Woman in Black, but has also written for action, science-fiction, western and superhero films. He has scored all four films in the Scream franchise and, as a result, has become one of the go-to composers in the horror genre.
His music is recognisable for its percussive textures and blend of strings, traditional percussion and electronics.
Beltrami was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score for his work on the original A Quiet Place film. He was most recently included in the shortlist for the 2020 Academy Awards for his score to Ford v Ferrari, but didn’t make it to the nomination rounds. He was previously nominated in the Oscars for his scores to The Hurt Locker in 2010 and 3:10 to Yuma in 2008.
He’s also worked with rock bands, collaborating with Guns and Roses on their 2018 Chinese Democracy album.
How did Marco Beltrami write the score to A Quiet Place Part 2?
Beltrami told Below the Line that he waited until filming had been completed before writing the score, rather than basing the music on the script, because ‘there are so many ways to interpret words on a page.’
Music from the first film was used as ‘temp music’, which is placeholder music used while the composer is writing the final score for a film, to help the director envisage the soundworld. As a result, Beltrami admits ‘some pieces are almost completely based on pieces that I wrote for the first movie’, because the temp music worked so well with the action.
Beltrami started writing the score with a ‘family theme’, which was established in the first film, based on an original concept. ‘More than it being a horror movie, I saw it as a family movie,’ says Bellami. It’s a story about the strength of family and what you do for your kids.’
Director John Krasinski wanted the music to sound a ‘little bit faded’ because they had been living in silence for so long. To achieve this in the first film, Beltrami ‘detuned all the black keys on the piano by a quarter step, so it sounds a little bit off, almost like it’s not quite right.’ For the second film, he took it one step further, deciding to detune an entire piano down a ‘quarter step’, while leaving a second piano at regular pitch. ‘The fact that they’re not quite a semitone apart makes it sound a little bit disconcerting,’ says Beltrami.
Which instruments are used in the score to A Quiet Place Part 2?
As well as traditional strings, wind, percussion and two pianos (one of which was marginally detuned), Marco Beltrami used unconventional percussion, such as metal sheets and ‘wind wand devices that would emit a guttural-type frequency’. He later incorporated synthesized elements alongside the acoustic instruments.
Where can you stream the soundtrack to A Quiet Place Part 2?
Can you buy the soundtrack to A Quiet Place Part 2?
A Quiet Place Part 2: release date
A Quiet Place: Part 2 was released in cinemas on Friday 28 May, following a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where can you watch A Quiet Place Part 2 online?
It’s not likely A Quiet Place Part II will be available on streaming platforms any time soon, because it has been able to receive a theatrical release thanks to the reopening of cinemas following the coronavirus pandemic.
A Quiet Place Part II is expected to be released via Paramount Plus and HBO Max in July, but this has not been confirmed.