As a composer, producer, art director, and songwriter, Nathan Johnson's innovative film scores and hybrid media performances have consistently blurred the lines between stage, screen, music, and narrative. Best known for his unconventional work in film and music, Nathan favors modified, organic instrumentation combined with unique approaches to recording and performing.
Nathan's creative partnership with writer/director (and cousin) Rian Johnson started when the two were children and has continued throughout their professional lives. Beginning with the critically acclaimed score for their first feature collaboration, Brick, Nathan and his team used and abused a variety of household implements including dinner settings, filing cabinets, cheese graters, and radiators. Any real instruments that were included in the soundtrack were horribly misused: pianos were bolted and tacked, double basses were beaten with mallets, and tuned wine glasses were re-purposed in place of a string section. After developing this "junkyard orchestra", Nathan went on to produce and compose the scores for The Brothers Bloom, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Morgan M. Morgansen series, and the forthcoming Melanie Laurent feature Et Soudain Tout Le Monde Me Manque, among others.
Looper is perhaps his most unique score to date, featuring a host of indecipherable instruments along with intertwining rhythms and textures. In preparation for the project, Nathan began gathering a wide range of field recordings and then he and his team created a sort of playable, hybrid found-sound orchestra using those original recordings. The results were combined with live strings and horns to produce deep textures featuring pitched industrial fans, tuned treadmills, and a wide range of intricate rhythmic elements all looping and cycling on themselves at various speeds.
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be inventedbut it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper"a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good... until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.
Composer and Executive Producer/Director teams will discuss the dynamics of music in film and television on July 12th at Comic Con. Joining Nathan Johnson and Rian Johnson on the panel will be Blake Neely & Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Chris Lennertz & Eric Kripke (Revolution, Supernatural), and Joseph Trapanese & Charlie Bean (TRON: Uprising) discussing their working relationships, how music plays a character in their stories and the intense process of scoring their projects. The panel will be moderated by Anne Cecere (BMI Director of Film & TV Relations) and Chandler Poling (White Bear PR). Attendees will get a sneak peek into their work and receive fun giveaways.