Here are two great score previews. One is a five-minute piece that previews the Nathan Johnson score for his cousin Rian Johnson‘s film Looper. The video features Nathan Johnson discussing some of the ideas behind the score for the film, and features many samples of the music along with an explanation of where the samples used in the score came from.

The other preview isn’t even a preview — it’s the full Hans Zimmer score for The Dark Knight Rises. We’ve heard previews of some tracks, but now you can stream the whole thing. Fortunately for those who have stayed away from the most spoiler-laden reports, the track titles shouldn’t give much away. Then again, those who don’t want to be spoiled probably won’t be listening to the entire score before the film comes out, anyway. Read More »

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Nathan Johnson first got into composing movie music when he was asked by his cousin Rian to create the score for Rian’s 2005 film Brick. The film was not a high-budget picture, but Nathan was still able to record the entire score using one microphone attached to his Powerbook inside his bedroom. Nathan also used creative instrumentation, once remarking that he did most of his shopping for instruments at the grocery store, rather than the music store. What resulted was a score that was extremely effective, surprisingly chilling, and (very much like the film) unquestionably unique. Here’s a clip:

[You can buy the entire score for Brick on Amazon and iTunes.]

For Rian’s new film, The Brothers Bloom, Nathan was given many more resources, but he has shown a continued desire to be inventive. He has created a score that is loaded with playfulness and pathos, with joy and melancholy. The best scores are those that not only have the capability to strongly evoke the film they were a part of, but also to stand on their own as independent works; Nathan’s Bloom score certainly falls into this category. Fans of the /Film movie podcast know that I buy a lot of movie scores. I was proud to add this one to my collection.

I had the chance to chat with Nathan yesterday, and we discussed the sound behind the sound of the film, identified the different themes for each of the major characters, and listened to some of the score’s most memorable clips. The Brothers Bloom soundtrack is available now at iTunes (with a sweet digital booklet) and at Amazon. The Brothers Bloom opens in many cities today (May 22nd).

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