Bear McCreary is an American musician and composer of film, television, and video games scores based in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his work on the reimaginedBattlestar Galactica television series and for the TV series Outlander and The Walking Dead. He has also scored for the PlayStation 4 video game God of War. McCreary won an Emmy for his main title of Da Vinci's Demons. His most recent Emmy nomination was in 2015 for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for season one of Outlander.
In 2003, McCreary worked under primary composer Richard Gibbs on the three-hour miniseries which served as a pilot for the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica. When the show was picked up, Gibbs opted not to devote full-time to the regular series' production, and McCreary became the sole composer. He worked on the series until it reached its conclusion in 2009, scoring over 70 episodes. To date, six Battlestar Galacticasoundtrack albums have been released, and have garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and commercial success. The soundtracks for seasons two and three ranked amongst Amazon.com's Top 30 Music Sales on their first days of release. McCreary composed for the Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica and .
McCreary provided the score for the series Human Target. The pilot episode and main theme score had been recorded with a full orchestra. The series has the distinction of having one of the largest orchestras on television. The score to the finale of season one, "Christopher Chance", used the largest orchestra ever assembled for episodic television, and he took the opportunity to rerecord the main title theme with a new orchestration with this larger ensemble. In July 2010, he received his first Emmy nomination for the Human Target main title. In a post on his blog on July 25, 2010, McCreary announced the new creative leadership brought in for season two had not asked him to return for it, and he would be leaving the series.
The opening title sequence for Black Sails was composed by McCreary with a backing sea shanty inspired theme. It accurately features an instrument of the period in the form of the hurdy-gurdy.
McCreary has composed the soundtrack for each of the first five seasons of Outlander, with the main title being sung by long time collaborator and partner, Raya Yarbrough. McCreary was nominated for an Emmy for the episode "Sassenach" in 2015.
During Comic-Con 2010, Bear McCreary attended panels for AMC's The Walking Dead and NBC's The Cape to announce he would be composing the score for both television series. On July 15, 2013, McCreary announced that he would compose the score for ABC's series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On September 4, 2015, McCreary released the official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. soundtrack publicly. McCreary served as orchestral producer for the rock opera airing on Adult Swim on October 27, 2013. This is a continuation of the Metalocalypse universe following the band Dethklok. The music features a 50-piece orchestra. The soundtrack was released on October 29, 2013. McCreary also composed the score for the television series Snowpiercer which premiered on TNT May 17, 2020. Snowpiercer was also distributed online via Netflix.
McCreary made his theatrical feature film scoring debut with Step Up 3D and has scored several direct-to-video features, including Rest Stop, ', and '. Bear has scored three films with director Joe Lynch, the latest being Everly which includes "Silent Night", a duet with his spouse, Raya Yarbrough. McCreary's latest feature film scores are for The Cloverfield Paradox, released February 4, 2018, Tau in 2018, and then 2019's and Child's Play.
McCreary made an eight-bit rendition of the Dark Void theme, which was, originally, an April fools joke. However, the theme was used for the prequel, Dark Void Zero. He composed all the songs in an eight-bit fashion by connecting the wires on an actual NES console and cartridge to create authenticity. He arranged James Rolfe's The Angry Video Game Nerd "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" parody "You're a Mean One, Mr. Nerd" for the 2010 Christmas special, with orchestra and eight-bit audio elements. McCreary also performed with his orchestra band live at Sony's E3 2016 press conference throughout the show and composed the score of the 2018 God of War game.
McCreary married singer/songwriter Raya Yarbrough in 2010. They have collaborated on the music of Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, Defiance, Da Vinci's Demons, among other projects. Their daughter Sonatine, named after the musical termsonatina, was born on June 2, 2014.