Looper Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 180gram Vinyl
I’m so excited to finally announce the double-vinyl release of the Looper score in conjunction with Mondo records. I worked closely with everyone at Mondo and the awesome designer Jay Shaw to make something that goes way beyond a limited edition. This is truly a deluxe collector’s item, and I’m so proud of all the work everyone put into it. 
Here are the details:
•180g vinyl, 45 RPM
•2XLP album: embossed, gold foil gatefold jacket
• Custom, hand-embellished Canvas bag by Austin-based effects shop Hawgfly Productions.
• Special “lock groove” breaks that play on continuous loop in the center of the record; featuring the found-sound rhythm section programmed and performed by Nathan Johnson and Chris Mears
• Limited edition 7” featuring Kid Koala's track “Slinky Dance” as featured in the Belle Aurora club scene, along with a B-side featuring a solo piano version of the Looper theme performed by Ryan Lott (Son Lux). (NOTE: it appears the extra 7” version of the album is sold out, but there are still a few available over at Mondo. Move quickly - these are on the verge of selling out for good :)
If you haven’t seen the making-of videos of the score, you can find them here, along with a feature on All Things Considered.
And finally, I got to meet Jay Shaw last night. He’s a great designer, and a great guy! Below is an essay that Jay wrote about the project over on the Mondo blog.


“When Rob Jones asked if I had any ideas for the cover of the “Looper” soundtrack I was honestly stumped. Mondo had recently released Martin Ansin’s wonderful poster for the film so I couldn’t get that image out of my head. Rob and I went back and forth with a half dozen duality gimmicks but none of them quite fit the tone of the film. As we sent ideas to Nathan Johnson (the film’s composer) it became increasingly clear that he had a real affection for his creation wanted this release to be special. I knew we were getting nowhere with our current approach so I took a step back from the project and worked on other things. When I’m stuck conceptually that tends to help redirect my process a bit. After a few brainstorming sessions with my wife and other smarter people than me the idea of recreating something directly from the film was born. Once I tossed out some stinkers (a working clock running in reverse for example) the gold currency bars seemed perfect. We could create a custom fabric sleeve and have a blunderbuss hole blown through it to reveal the gold bars underneath. Great idea but how is this going to work? How expensive would something like that cost to make? What if we pitched this to Nathan only to have it fall apart during production? As I put together a rough mock-up of the concept my concerns started to subside. This is the same company that took a bunch of “Monsters” metal posters out to a shooting range and blasted them with shotguns. The same company that spent countless hours turning some of Drew Struzan’s best poster art into screen prints. The same company that staged a live zombie invasion and played “Dawn of the Dead” inside an abandoned shopping mall. They’d go for it. If the idea was good, they’d go for it. And go for it they did. When Rob and Justin saw what I had in mind they were instantly on board. When we showed it to Nathan he replied “I LOVE IT!”. Clearly we’d figured out a solution.
Now came the fun part, designing the thing. We spent weeks working through the aesthetic language of the film to get the details right. The markings on the bars, the material for the clothing, everything. I worked up a custom type treatment based on the engraved currency demarcations. As the pieces came together everyone became more and more excited to see the finished project. Nathan was so enthusiastic he started asking if there was anything extra he could supply. When the composer asks if he can provide additional material to a soundtrack release you pounce on the opportunity. We got him to create a special locked groove “loop” and even put together a 7” single containing his piano solo version of the main theme and Kid Koala’s “Slinky Dance” from the club scene. I’ve worked on a good number of soundtrack releases and I’ve never seen so much direct contribution from a composer. Outside of his musical career Nathan is part of a graphic design shop with his brothers so he’s got a background in art. It made sense that he wanted hands on involvement with this project. His contributions and feedback are one of the big reasons the final product came out as cool as it did.
Once the design was complete the moment we all secretly dreaded had arrived. Making the physical product. It’s a lot of fun to come up with crazy ideas and pretend they’re logistically feasible but when it comes time to get production vendors to realize your vision in a tangible way you inevitably run into problems. And boy did we run into problems. As simple as the concept seems, blasting a realistic artillery hole in a burlap sack, the manufacture of something like that on a volume scale is anything but. Sure we could punch a shape out of the material and screen print a little black around the edges but the results were cheap and unconvincing. The only way to make this look like a film prop was to do it by hand. If we were only going to release a dozen copies of this thing that would’ve been fine but this was a proper soundtrack pressing so we needed to come up with a solution that would work for every record. After shipping production samples back and forth and trying to figure out a way for the factory to make these look right Mondo came up with the perfect solution. Have the factory create the basic sleeve with the hole punched and a flat black screen printed burn ring but then hand finish every bag right in Austin. Mondo has a great relationship with a special effects shop down there (I believe the same folks who did all of the zombie makeup for their Dawn of the Dead screening) so they were able to use film industry practical effects tools to get the details exact. My involvement in this part of the process was limited to looking at production samples and saying things like “Holy shit guys this looks amazing!” and “Do you think these will be finished before we’re actually living in “Looper” future?”. Somehow the miracle workers at Mondo were able to finish the project and it’s finally ready to be released!
This soundtrack is one of my favorite projects of my career. The amount of dedication and collaboration between Mondo, myself and Nathan Johnson has been remarkable. Everyone contributed so much to this release. It’s something I’ll always be incredibly proud of.”

Looper Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 180gram Vinyl

I’m so excited to finally announce the double-vinyl release of the Looper score in conjunction with Mondo records. I worked closely with everyone at Mondo and the awesome designer Jay Shaw to make something that goes way beyond a limited edition. This is truly a deluxe collector’s item, and I’m so proud of all the work everyone put into it. 

Here are the details:

•180g vinyl, 45 RPM

•2XLP album: embossed, gold foil gatefold jacket

• Custom, hand-embellished Canvas bag by Austin-based effects shop Hawgfly Productions.

• Special “lock groove” breaks that play on continuous loop in the center of the record; featuring the found-sound rhythm section programmed and performed by Nathan Johnson and Chris Mears

• Limited edition 7” featuring Kid Koala's track “Slinky Dance” as featured in the Belle Aurora club scene, along with a B-side featuring a solo piano version of the Looper theme performed by Ryan Lott (Son Lux). (NOTE: it appears the extra 7” version of the album is sold out, but there are still a few available over at Mondo. Move quickly - these are on the verge of selling out for good :)

If you haven’t seen the making-of videos of the score, you can find them here, along with a feature on All Things Considered.

And finally, I got to meet Jay Shaw last night. He’s a great designer, and a great guy! Below is an essay that Jay wrote about the project over on the Mondo blog.

When Rob Jones asked if I had any ideas for the cover of the “Looper” soundtrack I was honestly stumped. Mondo had recently released Martin Ansin’s wonderful poster for the film so I couldn’t get that image out of my head. Rob and I went back and forth with a half dozen duality gimmicks but none of them quite fit the tone of the film. As we sent ideas to Nathan Johnson (the film’s composer) it became increasingly clear that he had a real affection for his creation wanted this release to be special. I knew we were getting nowhere with our current approach so I took a step back from the project and worked on other things. When I’m stuck conceptually that tends to help redirect my process a bit. After a few brainstorming sessions with my wife and other smarter people than me the idea of recreating something directly from the film was born. Once I tossed out some stinkers (a working clock running in reverse for example) the gold currency bars seemed perfect. We could create a custom fabric sleeve and have a blunderbuss hole blown through it to reveal the gold bars underneath. Great idea but how is this going to work? How expensive would something like that cost to make? What if we pitched this to Nathan only to have it fall apart during production? As I put together a rough mock-up of the concept my concerns started to subside. This is the same company that took a bunch of “Monsters” metal posters out to a shooting range and blasted them with shotguns. The same company that spent countless hours turning some of Drew Struzan’s best poster art into screen prints. The same company that staged a live zombie invasion and played “Dawn of the Dead” inside an abandoned shopping mall. They’d go for it. If the idea was good, they’d go for it. And go for it they did. When Rob and Justin saw what I had in mind they were instantly on board. When we showed it to Nathan he replied “I LOVE IT!”. Clearly we’d figured out a solution.

Now came the fun part, designing the thing. We spent weeks working through the aesthetic language of the film to get the details right. The markings on the bars, the material for the clothing, everything. I worked up a custom type treatment based on the engraved currency demarcations. As the pieces came together everyone became more and more excited to see the finished project. Nathan was so enthusiastic he started asking if there was anything extra he could supply. When the composer asks if he can provide additional material to a soundtrack release you pounce on the opportunity. We got him to create a special locked groove “loop” and even put together a 7” single containing his piano solo version of the main theme and Kid Koala’s “Slinky Dance” from the club scene. I’ve worked on a good number of soundtrack releases and I’ve never seen so much direct contribution from a composer. Outside of his musical career Nathan is part of a graphic design shop with his brothers so he’s got a background in art. It made sense that he wanted hands on involvement with this project. His contributions and feedback are one of the big reasons the final product came out as cool as it did.

Once the design was complete the moment we all secretly dreaded had arrived. Making the physical product. It’s a lot of fun to come up with crazy ideas and pretend they’re logistically feasible but when it comes time to get production vendors to realize your vision in a tangible way you inevitably run into problems. And boy did we run into problems. As simple as the concept seems, blasting a realistic artillery hole in a burlap sack, the manufacture of something like that on a volume scale is anything but. Sure we could punch a shape out of the material and screen print a little black around the edges but the results were cheap and unconvincing. The only way to make this look like a film prop was to do it by hand. If we were only going to release a dozen copies of this thing that would’ve been fine but this was a proper soundtrack pressing so we needed to come up with a solution that would work for every record. After shipping production samples back and forth and trying to figure out a way for the factory to make these look right Mondo came up with the perfect solution. Have the factory create the basic sleeve with the hole punched and a flat black screen printed burn ring but then hand finish every bag right in Austin. Mondo has a great relationship with a special effects shop down there (I believe the same folks who did all of the zombie makeup for their Dawn of the Dead screening) so they were able to use film industry practical effects tools to get the details exact. My involvement in this part of the process was limited to looking at production samples and saying things like “Holy shit guys this looks amazing!” and “Do you think these will be finished before we’re actually living in “Looper” future?”. Somehow the miracle workers at Mondo were able to finish the project and it’s finally ready to be released!

This soundtrack is one of my favorite projects of my career. The amount of dedication and collaboration between Mondo, myself and Nathan Johnson has been remarkable. Everyone contributed so much to this release. It’s something I’ll always be incredibly proud of.”


“You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance in order to possess what you do not possess.” - T.S. Eliot

Just did an interesting interview with Randall Winston for PMc Magazine which I really enjoyed. Fun to talk about process, fears, limitations, and other artists who I look up to. Also a bit about two of the upcoming films I scored, as well as how my favorite T.S. Eliot quote applies to film composing.

“You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance in order to possess what you do not possess.” - T.S. Eliot

Just did an interesting interview with Randall Winston for PMc Magazine which I really enjoyed. Fun to talk about process, fears, limitations, and other artists who I look up to. Also a bit about two of the upcoming films I scored, as well as how my favorite T.S. Eliot quote applies to film composing.

earlstepp asked:

Hey Nathan, might you have some tips, tricks or hints for a novice composer? I loved the process of how you recorded the score for Looper, it reminded me of Music Concrete. It has inspired me to go out and record some found sounds and make some awesome music. Thank you.

Thanks Earlstepp

Really glad to hear that the score inspired you to go make some stuff on your own. I suppose there are probably lots of specific and practical little tips, but how about a broad one? I’ve found it helpful (as with many kinds of writing) to write from my gut and test it against a certain scene. If it makes me feel something, chances are it will make others feel something as well, but the important thing is that when you’re feeling something, you’re inspired to keep following that thread. And of course, that is an important key to making any type of art: the persistence to keep following a thread until you really see what it can become!

loopermovie
loopermovie:

We are EVERYWHERE!
iTunes, Xbox, PSN, Amazon, Blu, DVD, Redbox, take your pick. We are officially out.
If you’re a fiend for extras, the Blu is your best bet.  (Has anyone found the easter egg yet?)
The above image, by the way, is my dad proudly posing at our color timing session with his cameo.  Happy New Year!

I bought myself the blu. Highly recommend. There were even some nice things that I hadn’t yet seen!

loopermovie:

We are EVERYWHERE!

iTunes, Xbox, PSN, Amazon, Blu, DVD, Redbox, take your pick. We are officially out.

If you’re a fiend for extras, the Blu is your best bet.  (Has anyone found the easter egg yet?)

The above image, by the way, is my dad proudly posing at our color timing session with his cameo.  Happy New Year!

I bought myself the blu. Highly recommend. There were even some nice things that I hadn’t yet seen!