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New Pandoran Musical Instruments Were Designed And Created For Avatar: The Way Of Water

2009's "Avatar" was a game-changer when it hit the big screen, dazzling audiences with innovative filmmaking technology and a story about community, love, and the importance of preserving nature. Director James Cameron's science fiction flick was a critical and financial homerun as well, hence why we haven't seen the last of the Na'vi at the movies. After years in development limbo, "Avatar: The Way of Water" is finally on its way to cinemas across the globe to entertain moviegoers once again while building on the legacy of its massively successful predecessor.

To bring "The Way of Water" to life, it should come as no surprise that many of the folks who made the first "Avatar" movie such a hit are back. James Cameron is in the director's chair, with the likes of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and more in front of the camera to reprise their respective roles. However, one person who won't have a hand in the long-awaited sequel is composer James Horner, who scored the 2009 film in addition to several other noteworthy Cameron projects and tragically died in a 2015 aviation accident at the age of 61.

Bearing in mind Horner's influence on "Avatar," the composer for "The Way of Water," Simon Franglen, went above and beyond to make the sequel's score something special. He even oversaw the creation of new instruments that stem from the fictional yet fantastical world of Pandora.

Franglen loved getting to help create new Pandoran instruments

Ahead of the arrival of "Avatar: The Way of Water" on the big screen, Simon Franglen spoke with Variety about his work composing for it. He notes that when he signed on to score the sequel in 2017, he went on to keep much of the late James Horner's team together. Franglen also got to have some fun designing new instruments that come from Pandora: the lush homeworld of the Na'vi that's central to the "Avatar" franchise. "One of the unexpected delights was being able to design unique Pandoran musical instruments for the film, then having the prop department bring them into reality," he said.

Continuing, Franglen notes that he's made it a priority to innovate the "Way of Water" score in numerous ways — especially when it comes to his musical depiction of water itself. "The scintillation of light, the ebb and flow of waves, and the connection of the Na'vi with the water were all inspirations," he explains, mentioning that this project has allowed him to work with a range of performers from around the world to craft a diverse musical tapestry. Franglen names the London, England-based Tenebrae Choir and a chorus from the Pacific Islands as contributors to this endeavor.

We know that the visuals of "Avatar: The Way of Water" will be breathtaking, and as evidenced by Simon Franglen's comments, it seems that the score will be just as incredible. The film opens on December 16, 2022.