Looper’s experimental soundtrack was slapped then, and slaps stronger now

This week 10 years ago, Rian Johnson loper Storm the cinemas with the sheer air of a blunderbuss shot.

The sci-fi thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, which follows an assassin forced to battle a futuristic version of himself, was a far cry from the director’s previous films such as brick And the Bloom Brothers. loper It would be such a critical and commercial success that Johnson would have the opportunity to write and direct The second installment in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy.

There are many things to admire when looking back at the production lopersuch as the film’s sober portrayal of crumbling Kansas City retreating into the future, Gordon-Levitt and Willis’ stark, integrated portrayals of a penitent killer at opposite ends of his life, or a surprising performance by Pierce Gagnon as Syd, a strange boy with an even more grotesque secret and a keen sense of maturity and comedic timing. after his years.

Bruce Willis (left) sits opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt (right) in prosthetic makeup at a roadside restaurant.

Photo: TriStar Pictures

A decade after the debut of the film, what stands out the most is loperExplosive and somber pieces pieced together from field recordings and bizarre orchestral arrangements unite in an undeniably unique and enduring experience. For composer Nathan Johnson, finding the right sound for him loper Delving into the uncertainty of organized chaos and experimentation means.

“To me, it felt like I was stumbling in a darkened room looking for a thread that I could trace into the light,” Johnson told Polygon in an interview via Zoom. “I come much more from a melody-writing and objective perspective when it comes to music. loper It was like, hours and hours of recording crazy sounds. For the longest time, I didn’t even know if I had something to listen to as a result.”

This faltering process began early in the film’s production, when Johnson and his cousin Ryan got together to narrow down the approach to the film’s score. Nathan remembered a moment when they talked about how to make it loperDistinguished grades from their previous projects.

Behind-the-scenes photo of director Rian Johnson driving Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Dano in a red Mazda MX5.

Photo: Alan Markfield / Tristar Pictures

“I remember Ryan telling me, What if we go into a studio and like, push the TVs off the rooftop and record the sound of the TV smashing? Johnson says. “There was another moment where Ryan was like, What if we did the entire result as one chord? and I was like what are you talking about?

“Very early on, I realized he was thinking of this as a completely different approach to the film’s score.”

These early discussions, combined with Nathan’s affinity for what he calls “microscopic sounds,” eventually open up the palate for what loperThe result of the film will be: a collection of songs curated from “Existing Voice” samples recorded in the midst of the film’s production.

“The very interesting thing about building samples, which is really the crux of what I love about music anyway, is the idea of ​​imperfection,” Johnson says. “So when you try something with a field recording device, whether it’s a marxophone or a door slam or a treadmill, it’s all These small flaws are included in the sound.”

Among the 19 tracks on loper The soundtrack, Johnson cites two in particular as his favourites, the first being “A Day in the Life,” which accompanies a young montage of Joe as he goes through his daily routine as Looper. To create the track, Nathan worked with Noah Segan, the actor who portrays Joe’s rival, Kid Blue, to record the hammer, aiming, and opening mechanism of his character’s prop pistol, which is referred to as the “Jatt” in the film. “I like using high-end stuff in traps that aren’t traps, like a loud crack. This one stands out to me as really fun, rhythmic, rhythmic.”

The second song Johnson highlights as a favorite is the final song on the soundtrack, “Everything Comes Around,” which is played during the climax scene when Sarah (Emily Blunt) meets her son Syd. “In my opinion, this is the summary of the score as a whole, with the main theme going back there playing on Celeste,” Johnson says. As of this writing, the song has amassed over 1,200,000 listeners on Spotify, making it the composer’s second most popular song on the platform.

loper It was a huge success not only in the career of Rian Johnson, but also in that of Nathan. So much so that in fact, Austin-based print shop Mundo approached him with an offer to release the score as a Limited Edition Vinyl.

“Their concept was to make a gold embossed cap which was basically the gold bars that Loopers get for the money,” Johnson says. “Then make these burlap sacks full of holes blown out of the middle as if they had been slashed.”

Product photo of Looper's Gold Rod Patterned Pleated Vinyl Cover, enclosed in a burlap bag with an explosion-residue opening cut in the center.

Photo: Jay Chou/Mondo

Johnson is keen to notice a hidden advantage over vinyl loperThe result, and it relates to one of his favorite tracks. “There’s a closed groove in the middle of the log that keeps playing forever,” he says. “It’s just a ring that will play forever if the player is left on, and it’s a sample of the ‘drum’ gat pistol from ‘A Day in the Life.'”

Looking back on his scoring experience loperJohnson admits that much of what made his degree unique was letting go of “perfection” and following the flow of the process itself.

“It’s really easy 10 years later to look back and be like, This is it; This is how it was always meant to beJohnson says. “But that’s not the point. You’re in the midst of work, you just walk around and grab those gems that you spot every once in a while.”

And if Johnson is awarded a loper-Like a chance to visit himself in the past, who works on loper result? He was blunt: “Don’t mess with the time course.”

loper Available to stream on Hulu.

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