Nathan Johnson Talks About Scoring The Brothers Bloom
by Alex Billington
May 23, 2009
Those of you who have seen Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom (which is playing in theaters now) probably know how awesome the score in it is. It was composed by Nathan Johnson, Rian's cousin, and is one of my very favorite scores of the last few years. The moment I stepped out of Brothers Bloom in Toronto last year, I was dying to listen to it again over and over. The soundtrack was only recently released on iTunes but is more than worth the $9.99 price tag. Not only is it worth featuring today, but this is primarily about the fantastic interview that Dave Chen of the /FilmCast conducted with Nathan recently about the score.
Nathan, who also composed the score for Rian Johnson's Brick, was given a studio and much more to work with this time around. He explains that he was able to "move beyond junkyard sounds and radiators to amazing clarinetists and string quartets," yet still keep the "slightly bent, off-center aesthetic." It's hard to even describe the sound that Nathan come up with for Brothers Bloom, but it's incredible (and I can't stop listening to it). Nathan was primarily inspired by Nino Rota and The Band for this score. "The elements of Nino Rota that we really loved were this kind of magical, boisterous, like Carnival-esque sound, which really works a lot for the pieces from Stephen's perspective, as the guy who is spinning the yarns."
If you love listening to great interviews, be sure to listen to this one. I'm not just supporting this for Rian Johnson's sake, but because I genuinely do love the score, and I hope that even just a few more people are able to discover his work. It would've showed up in my Best Movies Scores of 2008 list, except that it didn't hit theaters this year, so I didn't include it. Nathan doesn't have anything else on his slate at the moment (except for maybe Rian Johnson's next movie), but you can find his updates over on MySpace. I'll suggest again that anyone who wants to hear a great score go buy this soundtrack. It's available on iTunes now!