Recently, Bear McCreary (Emmy award-winning composer) spoke about me and my work on the 4th season of Outlander. The exerpt from his blog is below. So exciting!
While these colors provided the backbone of the majority of scenes involving Native Americans, several sequences stood out to me as needing something special. I added a featured vocal to their already exciting instrumental palettes. Typically, the presence of vocals or choirs in Outlander was always used to represent Claire’s journey, or the Stones, or The Skye Boat Song. This is the first time such a distinctly new vocal presence has been introduced to the score, and I hope it had the same impact on audiences that it had on me!
The first such sequence occurred “Common Ground,” during Jamie’s confrontation with the “bear.” This passage of the score is based on the Cherokee Bear Dance, and the vocals were performed by a talented Native American singer named Jaraneh Nova. I was utterly stunned by her unique musical personality, and was thrilled with how she integrated her sound into the score and elevated the drama.
“I could feel the respect that Outlander extends to the First Nation peoples, how they really value and honor authenticity,” Jaraneh said recently, reflecting on her experience with the score. “The sessions were a beautiful coming together of my ceremonial experience and musicianship, while serving as narration to the unfolding story. Finding vocal lines inside Bear’s brilliant scoring was a true pleasure! I especially enjoyed mirroring the emotion in the scene with the vocal. High vibes and great fun!”
After our first session, I was on the lookout for another sequence in which to feature Jaraneh. That opportunity would arrive in the finale, during the scene in which Claire hears the tale of Otter Tooth. During this passage, Jaraneh’s voice returns, set above the haunting texture of ambient synths, symphonic strings, and Native American percussion. Here, Jaraneh sings words and phrases that are common to Mohawk or universal, making occasional, slight omissions to fit the words into the space afforded by the drama
Jaraneh Nova is an American born songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist based in Ojai, CA. She has been called the Voice from the Ancestral Well, drawing inspiration from her ancestral roots. She brings the essence of Traditional Native American Music and merges it with a modern freshness.
People are saying:
"I saw God last weekend.... in the form of Jaraneh Nova. Her expressive (delicate or powerfully wild) voice has a magnificent Josephine-Baker/Mildred Bailey vibrato. Her consummate musicianship, backing herself up in live loops that harken the Natives of this land, knocked me out and woke me up! An original. A superb talent. And she is full of love and HOPE. Wow."
"Deep powerful correct light laughter joy and expert rhythm and sounds that truly bless the soul and words building the new worlds."
"The experience I had was phenominal! The words in your songs bring tears of love, Jaraneh.Thank you for your wonder"