Sherlock: Series 3

Composed By: David Arnold & Michael Price

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The BBC television series Sherlock is a modern-day update of the Sherlock Holmes character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s.  The series stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson.  Now in its third series, the show has become quite popular, following the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, but modernizing them to fit in today's world.  Silva Screen Records released the musical score of Sherlock: Series 1 & 2 in 2012 and, in February 2014, they released the Sherlock: Series 3 Soundtrack.

            The music of the Sherlock series was created through the collaboration of David Arnold and Michael Price.  David Arnold is a British composer whose career began in his youth, performing clarinet, guitar and keyboards in school bands, orchestras, concert halls, nightclubs and pubs.  His enthusiasm for film led him to a partnership with Danny Cannon.  Together they created the film Strangers, for which he created, orchestrated and conducted the musical score.  From there, David Arnold went on to compose musical scores for The Young Americans, Stargate, Independence Day, Shaft, Enough, Changing Lanes, Tomorrow Never Dies and more.

            Michael Price is British composer, producer, arranger and editor whose musical career began at Surrey University where he won a PRS composition prize in 1990.  His first work in film began in 1996 when he was invited by Michael Kamen to work on electronic sounds for the movie Event Horizon.  Since then he has composed musical scores for television and film, including Brotherly Love, Hot Fuzz and The Inbetweeners Movie.

            The musical score created for Sherlock: Series 3 is quite different from the scores of Series 1 and 2.  There is more of a fast-paced action motif, combining strings with electronic sounds, electric guitars, heavy percussion and synths.  Just witness the first track of the album, How It Was Done.  The sound is much more grittier and action-based than in the past.  There are still some classical moments, like in the beginning of God Rest His Soul, but even that track eventually develops an ominous sense of danger in the deep, dark percussion, low-toned horns and fast-paced violins. 

            As most of the tracks on this new album follow this tone, one gets the feeling that things are about to get a tad bit more interesting for Holmes and Watson in this series of episodes.  Having never watched the series, I am able to get the impression from the musical score that things are darker and more dangerous this series than in series past.  While I admit to having enjoyed the original Sherlock: Series 1 & 2 Soundtrack, I have to say that I enjoyed Sherlock: Series 3 that much more.  It was an exciting, fun score that really got the adrenaline pumping and I couldn't help but play the album again and again.


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