Earlier this year, Avatar.com sat down with Emmy-nominated conductor, composer and performer Pinar Toprak (Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Captain Marvel). She opened up about the opportunity to work in the Avatar universe, the impact the late James Horner had on her work for the game and composing music with Na’vi lyrics.
AVATAR.COM: Pinar, do you mind telling us about your background with Avatar?
PINAR TOPRAK: I’ve been a huge fan of Avatar since the first film came out and…of James Horner’s music. When he actually passed away, it was a huge loss for the film scoring community. Soon after [Avatar: The Way of Water], I actually got a call for the video game. I was elated because this was my chance to be a part of the franchise and to be able to explore the kind of music that James Horner — who did such a wonderful job on the first film — [composed] and to expand on it for the video game.
AVATAR.COM: Could you expand upon the musical motifs of the film and how you made it your own for Frontiers of Pandora?
TOPRAK: We’ve had different approaches for different regions of the game. For the Kinglor Forest, that’s more of a James Horner Avatar approach; for the Clouded Forest, it’s darker and grittier; and for the Upper Plains, it’s the sonorities that we have that are quite different — for the guitar harmonics and melodies. [The latter two regions] are more of the expansion or evolution of the original Avatar sound.
AVATAR.COM: Tell us more about composing “Song of the Sarentu”? I understand this is a major element throughout the game.
TOPRAK: Working on the “Sarentu” song as an Avatar fan and geek at heart was an incredible experience because I got to work with Paul Frommer — the creator of the Na’vi language. He wrote the lyrics for the song itself, but [it] appears all throughout the game. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say it goes from a hum to a very evolved – in terms of instrumentation and harmony — larger version. It’s very emotional to see it, to hear it come to life and to have it all throughout [Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora] and be such a big part of the story in that way.
AVATAR.COM: What are you most excited for players to experience when they play Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora?
TOPRAK: I’m excited about every aspect of this game. To be honest, I can’t just choose one because, from start to finish, the storytelling and the visuals and the audio approach — not only from music but the sound itself — it’s absolutely gorgeous and so beautiful. I’m just really excited that players will get to experience it and hear it. I can’t wait.
AVATAR.COM: Thank you, Pinar.
You can continue your Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora adventure on music platforms with the Original Game Soundtrack by Pinar Toprak right here.
Ubisoft will be releasing the vinyl edition of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora™-Original Game Soundtrack featuring music by Pinar Toprak.
The album is a soaring, orchestral score that thrillingly evokes the fantastic world of Pandora and the action that ensues. The double album on Translucent Blue & Pink vinyl in a gatefold sleeve and an insert of the game keyart to display, will be available April 2024. You can pre-order the vinyl here.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is now available worldwide on PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Luna! You can get your copy on the Ubisoft Store, or access the Ultimate Edition through Ubisoft+ on PC via Ubisoft Connect, Xbox Series X|S, or Amazon Luna.