Bluey Composer Joff Bush Talks Making Magical Music for Logie Award-Winning ABC Kids TV Show

Have you ever wondered how Bluey’s theme song was made?

Behind the two-time Logie-winning TV show is a close-knit production family, including a talented lead songwriter.

It was an opportunity that composer and musical genius Joff Bush almost turned down.

People from all over Australia have shown their love for the children’s television show.(Provided: Tongala Development Group)

But now his expertise, including the creation of the iconic 24-second Bluey song, is well known internationally among fans younger and older.

“What really unlocked it was talking to [show creator] He and Joe Brumm said they were going to make the title sequence a set of musical statues and that introduces the characters,” said the Wagga Wagga-born composer.

Bush, who studied piano and composition in college, and Brumm worked together on the theme song, choosing a version with a melodica for its fun and unique sound.

A man in a blue suit sits on a piano stool in front of a piano in an outdoor garden with a dog.
Joff Bush loves being a part of the Bluey team.(Supplied: Byron D’Arcy)

how the magic happens

Mr. Bush and Mr. Brumm work closely together on the show to create the tune that accompanies Bluey on his adventures.

“I’m at the piano trying things out. We try to come up with different concepts for each episode.”

Bush said that in many cases of television production, the director could talk to the composer who received instructions.

But for Bluey, it was collaborative because the whole team wanted to come up with the best idea to benefit the episode.

Lively dog ​​family.
Bluey first hit screens in October 2018.(Supplied: ABC Kids)

They discuss mythology, story structure, the development of story arcs, and even what perspective the episode is viewed from.

“For example, in Hotel, what would Bluey, a six-year-old boy, imagine a fancy hotel would sound like?” Mr. Bush said.

“Maybe we overcomplicated it, but I’m really drawn to doing something unique for each episode.

“I think it’s important for music to show the joy and wonder of the world through the eyes of a child.”

Two tall ginger-colored cartoon dogs are looking down at two small cartoon dogs, one blue, one ginger.
This recent episode of Bluey, in which the children wear rompers, is popular with the audience.(abc tv)

repurposed classical music

A man with glasses surrounded by keyboards and other instruments.
Bush works closely with the creator of the show to create the unique sound of the show.(Supplied: Byron D’Arcy)

While each Bluey episode has its own unique soundtrack, many incorporate works by classic composers.

Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers is used in a scene where Bluey and Bingo are going around in circles trying to lick an ice cream cone.

In Sleepytime, Jupiter from Gustav Holst’s The Planets is used to explore growth.

It is planted at all times to show that a father’s love is there to reassure.

In the new Stories episode, which features Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda as a guest voice, Old McDonald is performed in a style that harkens back to the days of silent movies.

“There’s something really fun about taking these well-known classical tunes, which are often put on a pedestal as something that could only happen in a concert hall, and then putting them in a home setting and having fun and playing around with them a little bit,” he said. Bush.

The most important thing for Mr. Bush is to make sure Bluey doesn’t turn into a “cookie cutter” show.

“As soon as it becomes something where we’re doing the one million sixtyth episode and it’s the same formula, I think that’s when we’ll pull the plug,” he said.

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