‘Black Panther 2’ Composer Explains How He Created Unique Namor Soundtrack
Ludwig Göransson has big shoes to fill – his own. The Swedish film composer won an Oscar for his work on the 2018 superhero film Black Panther. Four years later, Göransson returns for the sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This time around, part of his assignment was to write music to introduce an all-new character to the series, Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the ruler of an underwater Mayan kingdom known as Talokan.
This was a challenge for Göransson since the first idea he had for creating music for Namor was to base it on the character’s Maya culture. The problem was, however, that there was no way of knowing what Mayan music sounded like. “I soon realized the music was gone,” Göransson said. Fandom. “It was forcibly erased. We don’t know exactly how it sounded.
Instead, Göransson decided to travel to Mexico City, where Huerta is from. There, he worked with musical archaeologists, who are experts in the field of Mayan music and instruments. “They did a lot of research to try to reimagine what this Mayan music would have sounded like and recorded a bunch of different instruments,” he said.
Some of these instruments, Göransson said, included “shells, turtle shells that you hit with sticks… [and] different types of shakers that sound like snakes or flying birds. Göransson also described a type of clay flute that was called “Death Whistle” because of the “incredible scream” it produces.
“I’ve never heard [that sound] before,” he said. “It’s so powerful that you can’t really be in the same room as someone playing it, but it fits in immediately. It made me think of Namor going into battle and when he does some of his powerful action moves. So this whole world started to be kind of reinvented. It was such a unique sound for me, and I was so excited to have this very different and unique sound for Talokan and for Namor, unlike the sound we had for Wakanda.