CS Score Interviews Lupin Composer Mathieu Lamboley, Plus The Matrix 3LP Set

Welcome back film score lovers! This week we’re taking a look at two new Record Store Day releases, namely the complete score to Don Davis’ The Matrix and the fantastic picture LP of Dave Grusin’s The Goonies. We also spoke with composer Mathieu Lamboley about his work on the popular Netflix series Lupin!

Let’s do this thing!


NEWS


REVIEWS

THE MATRIX: The Complete Edition – Don Davis (3-LP Set)

Don Davis’ score for The Matrix is amazing. I remember first seeing the film with a bunch of friends on opening weekend and while the action scenes, unique philosophical concepts, and world-building blew our minds, I was equally as impressed with the music, specifically because I had never heard of the composer. Sure, much of the “cool” bits on the soundtrack stem from groups such as the Propellerheads and Rage Against the Machine, but Davis expertly weaves a robust orchestral score through the punk/goth/rock and, ironically, manages to create the de facto sound of the Matrix using traditional instrumentation — French horns, racing strings, piano, drums, clanging anvils, etc.

Due to its popularity, Davis’ score was given its own separate release that omitted a great many tracks and totaled, roughly, 30 minutes in length. In 2008, Varese Sarabande unveiled a Deluxe Edition that expanded the score to 78 minutes; and now, over a decade later, the label saw fit to release “The Matrix: the Complete Score” on both CD and vinyl (as part of Record Store Day).

I ordered my CD copy when it was first announced, but Varese was also kind enough to send me over a copy of the record version as well, which blew my mind! Spread over three Glitter-Infused Green vinyl, the score is expanded to 44 tracks, and housed in a stunning new art design. Also included are classic film stills and an exclusive new interview with composer Don Davis.

Make sure you grab this one before it’s gone! Note: the LP version is set to drop on July 17. (Read more about The Matrix 3xLP here!) But, you can purchase the 2CD set today by clicking here.

TRACK LISTINGS

Side A

1. “Logos / The Matrix Main Title”

2. “Trinity Infinity”

3. “Neo Con Brio”

4. “Follow The White Rabbit”

5. “Neo On The Edge”

6. “Through The Surveillance Monitor”

7. “Unable To Speak”

8. “Bait And Switch”

Side B

1. “Switched For Life”

2. “Switched At Birth”

3. “Switches Brew”

4. “Cold Hearted Switch”

5. “Nascent Nauseous Neo”

6. “A Morpheus Movement”

7. “Bow Whisk Orchestra”

Side C

1. “Domo Showdown”

2. “Switch Or Break Show”

3. “Shake, Borrow, Switch”

4. “Switch Works Her Boa”

5. “Bring Me Dinner”

6. “The System”

7. “Freeze Face”

8. “Switch Woks Her Boar”

9. “Cypher Cybernetic”

10. “Ignorance Is Bliss / Cyber Cyphernetic”

11. “See Who?”

12. “Switch Out”

Side D

1. “Boon Spy”

3. “Oracle Cookies”

4. “Threat Mix”

5. “Exit Mr. Hat”

6. “On Your Knees, Switch”

Side E

1. “Mix The Art”

2. “Whoa, Switch Brokers”

3. “The Cure”

4. “It’s The Smell”

5. “The Lobby”

6. “No More Spoons”

7. “Dodge This”

8. “Fast Learning”

9. “Ontological Shock”

Side F

1. “That’s Gotta Hurt”

2. “Surprise”

3. “He’s The One Alright”


THE GOONIES – David Grusin (Picture Disc) 

Another RSD release by Varese Sarabande is the classic score for Richard Donner’s The Goonies. Composed by Dave Grusin, The Goonies blends high adventure in tracks such as “Fratelli Chase,” an iconic piece of music that has been used in any number of film trailers, and “Plumbing,” but also delves into youthful melancholy in cues like “The Goondocks” and “Pee Break and Kissing Tunnel,” while mystery and suspense abound in “Playing the Bones” and “One Eyed Willie.”

All told, Grusin’s work on The Goonies remains one of the composer’s finest, which is saying something considering his storied career.

Naturally, the original soundtrack album for the film leaned heavily on pop songs, notably Cyndi Lauper’s popular “The Goonies ‘R Good Enough,'” and it wasn’t until 2010 that the score was made commercially available via Varese Sarabande’s album release.

Now, the beloved soundtrack is available on an LP picture disc! The special release features the album cover on side A and the infamous One-Eyed Willie on side B. The tracklisting to this abbreviated single-disc version of the original score was personally selected and assembled by Grusin himself.

Read more about The Goonies here!

Or, visit Varese Sarabande to purchase the CD or LP!

TRACK LISTINGS

Side A

1. “Fratelli Chase”

2. “Cellar And Sloth”

3. “The Goondocks (Goonies Theme)”

4. “The ‘It,’ Fifty Dollar Bills And A Stiff”

5. “Pee Break And Kissing Tunnel”

6. “Skull And Signature”

7. “Plumbing”

8. “Restaurant Trash”

9. “Boulders, Bats And A Blender”

Side B

1. “They’re Here And Skull Cave Chase”

2. “Playing The Bones”

3. “Mikey’s Vision”

4. “Triple Stones And A Ball”

5. “Wishing Well And The Fratellis Find Coin”

6. “Mama & Sloth”

7. “One Eyed Willie”

8. “No Firme And Pirate Ship”


MATHIEU LAMBOLEY INTERVIEW

LUPIN

Lupin composer Mathieu Lamboley is a renowned composer who has worked on a number of films, including The Speech, Old Fashioned, Sisters in Arms, and the TV series L’art du Crime. He was kind enough to speak with ComingSoon.net about his work on the popular Netflix series Lupin, which is currently streaming right now!

Jeff Ames: What drew you to this project?

Mathieu Lamboley: My French agent heard about the project and the producers organized a pitch. There was a competition with several composers working on a few scenes and he managed to get me on the pitch. I immediately proposed a theme which ended up being the Arsene theme, the main theme of Lupin. What I liked about the script was the fact that the series is not a remake of Maurice Leblanc’s books, but more a way of continuing the book’s legacy in the present, with this character of Assane living in Paris in the 21st Century.

You’ve described the score for Lupin as a mix of classical tones and hip-hop beats — how did you arrive at this musical identity for the show?

When I started working on Lupin, I spent some time thinking about what the show really stands for. To me, Lupin is all about heritage, a father passing on a literary heritage to his son, and the latter continuing the legacy in the present time. The question then becomes, how do I translate this in music? I decided to work on hybrid music: mix my classical heritage with more modern sounds, like I was myself trying to make my music heritage live in the present. And this is what you can hear in the soundtrack.

As someone who was familiar with the source material, was the task of scoring the series easier, or did you feel the pressure of doing justice to something you were a huge fan of?

I feel pressure every time I work on a project. Let it be feature films, shorts, or series. But as a kid, I was a real fan of Arsene Lupin books, I read many of them, so I knew the character and already loved it. It allowed me not to feel that much pressure but to be even more inspired. I worked on the project keeping in mind that my mission was to compose a unique soundtrack for the show, not to be an Arsene Lupin expert.

You recorded the score with an orchestra in Paris … talk about how this came about and why this is such a unique opportunity.

For the final episode, the directors asked for a grand finale. They wanted me to compose something special that could have a great impact on the viewers. To meet their expectations I proposed to write a symphony, blending all themes of Lupin. To obtain the best results, we needed a great orchestra. I decided to work with ONDIF, which I already worked with before and they did an amazing job. The main reason why this sequence is great is because the viewers listened to all characters’ themes from one episode to another and that they are able to enjoy a complex music mixing of all these themes. This is one of the many advantages I had the pleasure to experience while composing for a series: by having the time to actually develop an artistic idea, one is able to push the process further in terms of creativity. This is why it was a great opportunity.

Lupin was broken up into two parts — what can fans expect from your music during the second part of the series?

In the first part, the music has this hybrid style, and the goal was to expose the main themes of the series. Actually, each character has his own theme. In part 2, the atmosphere is more tense, and episodes are built like a big crescendo, with episode 10 as a climax. One can feel this tension in the music as well. I took all the themes and put it in a way that they all met together in episode 10 in an orchestral symphony.

The series has been an enormous hit on Netflix — are you surprised by its success? And what do you think is the main appeal of the show?

In my opinion, what matters most is that the entire show doesn’t try to sound American or ‘international’. It embraces its heritage and doesn’t try to erase its “Frenchness”. I guess it’s part of the interest of a show like this, which has met a broad international audience. People see Paris, the French culture, they can hear our language and I think showing the French culture is part of the appeal, maybe even more during a time where people could not travel easily. Then in terms of production, we’re glad to show our savoir-faire, meeting the international standards, while keeping our personality. And then it’s just a good show! I believe people enjoy the character of Arsène most of all. Omar’s interpretation is fantastic, playful, friendly, and fun with this touch of low-fi tricks. He makes Assanane profoundly human and that’s probably what attracts a large audience.

What was your scoring process on the show? And how did you correlate with the various directors, namely Louis Leterrier, Hugo Gelin, etc., and showrunner George Kay?

Each of them has their own way to speak about music. But in a show like Lupin, there’s also a matter of unifying the season throughout the episodes, and it’s part of my job as a composer to create this unity. Ludovic’s episodes were really easy to work on as their aesthetic was totally matching with what I had composed for the first episodes. Regarding my scoring process, I first spent some time thinking about what Lupin really stands for, as I always want to give each project a unique soundtrack. To me, Lupin is all about heritage, a father passing on a literary heritage to his son, and the latter continuing the legacy in the present time. The question then became, how do I translate this in music? I decided to take a hybrid approach and mix my classical heritage with more modern sounds, as if I were myself trying to make my musical heritage live in the present. And this is what you can hear in the soundtrack: classical writing blended together with hip-hop beats.

What track from the show presented the greatest challenge?

The symphony was the most challenging piece. I had to compose an orchestral piece that in one hand had to be part of the scene (diegetic) like a repertoire piece played during a concert, and in another hand had to fit perfectly the action of the scene (extradiegetic). It was a lot of work, but a real musical spot where I had the opportunity to expose all the themes of the series, in a musical genre that was not heard earlier in part 1.

Turning to you, how did you get involved with film/TV composing?

After studying at the Paris Conservatoire, I started composing chamber & theatre music. Soon, I realized that I liked the idea of composing for other mediums, getting inspired by another creation. Actually, composing for film almost happened by chance: I read a classified ad where a director was looking for a composer. This turned out to be my first film (and first prize at Aubagne Festival in France).

You’ve been in the business since 2005, how has your style evolved over the years?

I don’t think my composition style has changed a lot, as I’ve always liked some sounds and harmonies coming from my classical background. But after 20 years of practicing, I got more experienced and confident to explore new things. A few years ago, I would’ve been afraid of experimenting with those things and would’ve stuck to directors’ notes. Now I figured out that one can be complex and creative even in the movie industry, and gain directors’ confidence even by proposing unheard sounds to them.


JEREMY TURNER INTERVIEW

IMMIGRATION NATION

MARVEL’S 616

Jeremy Turner is behind the score of the 6-part Netflix documentary series Immigration Nation. The series comes from Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz and offers a unique and nuanced view of the ongoing struggles in America’s broken immigration system under the former Trump administration.

Aside from Immigration Nation, Turner is also in Emmy contention this season for his epic main title theme for the Disney+ docuseries Marvel’s 616, which is appropriately orchestral, heroic, and cinematic.

Ames: What drew you to the world of TV and film composing?

Jeremy Turner: Oh, that’s a loaded question. How much time do you have? It’s funny, I’d have to go back pretty far, but probably some of the early soundtracks like Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. — and then even, I think it was John Barry’s score for Somewhere in Time, the Christopher Reeve movie — and as a young boy, I would just pluck out melodies from these shows I’d watched on the piano. My whole career got sidetracked, in terms of being a film and TV composer, because I ended up being a cellist playing in an orchestra, having a whole performance career. I played in an orchestra for 14 years and wrote songs on the side, played in a band, and things like that. I finally got back to what I probably was meant to do as a young boy who got into composing almost 10 years ago. But primarily I’d say just an early love of film and film music.

Ames: Speaking of your role as a cellist, I read in your bio that you were on shows like SNL, David Letterman, and 30 Rock, among others. What were those experiences like?

Those were really fun! When I joined the Met Orchestra, I was 21, and word gets out around town that there’s some new young string player. And so, contractors would call and bands that came to town — if they needed strings — they’d give me a call. Then it snowballed into arranging and working with bands and different artists and things like that. So, it was really fun. Especially in my twenties, it was a very active and vibrant and rich musical life in New York. I would be rehearsing in the opera in the morning and then going down the Letterman and rehearsing with the band and doing the taping and then going back up to Lincoln Center to play a performance that evening. Sometimes it was taking off the tux at midnight and then running downtown to go jump on stage with a band or something like that. So, it was just fun. The underlying thread through all this stuff was music, but there were various different dialects that I was learning and speaking.

The funniest incident that comes to mind — this would have been 2012 or 2013. I ended up playing on the SNL Christmas Show with Paul McCartney, and Dave Grohl was there too. He and Krist Novoselicdid a trio thing with Paul, and I had to go mix the first film score I ever wrote. I had to mix it early in the morning on Sunday back in Brooklyn, like at eight in the morning, because I had to catch a flight to go to Seattle that night to go play a concert — I was still kind of wearing a couple of different hats. I was still a cellist at that point.

Anyway, I finished my bit and I had to leave SNL before the show was even over. So, I wasn’t going to go to the after-party or anything like that, which I was bummed about because those things were always really very fun. But here I am carrying my cello walking into the elevator at 30 Rock and Dave Grohl’s getting out of the elevator and he sees me with my cello, and he’s like, “Dude, where are you going?” I’m like, “I gotta go home.” And he was like, “You’re not going to come to the party?” All of a sudden, I just felt so stressed. It was a funny moment, but I was also like, “Wow, I really need to pick a lane here because I was just doing too much and trying to be all things to all people.

Ames: Wow. So, you jump into film documentaries and shorts and movies … what were some of the difficulties you faced when making the leap to this type of career?

The funny thing for me — well, look, it’s a given that you have to have talent in order to walk in the door. That’s just a given. For me, I think I was less concerned about coming up with ideas and writing music because that kind of came naturally to me. Fortunately, knock on wood, writer’s block is not something I ever really struggled with, at least at this point. But the challenge for me was always, for lack of a better word, just all the logistical stuff and making sure you’re staying on track of all the revisions and realizing that eventually when things get busy enough, you actually do need help — whether it’s a music editor or an assistant. And then learning how to translate all the different requests that are coming your way.

Ultimately, you’re there to serve a director, but depending on how powerful a producer may or may not be, they’re going to chime in with things, so, you’re trying to make this board of people all feel like they’ve been heard. I think the mechanics of all that were probably what I needed to learn the most, because when you get that call for whatever it is, it’s like, “Okay, go,” and you’ve got to make sure your machine and your team and everything is ready to go at the drop of a hat.

Ames: How has your style changed since you first started versus your work on Immigration Nation and Marvel 616?

I think stylistically and musically my horizons have broadened tremendously. It’s funny when you mention Immigration Nation, because the first documentary I ever scored was with the same director, Shaul Schwartz. It was a film called Narco Cultura and it played at Sundance that was all about Mexican drug cartels, but also all this music from narcocorridos and these songs that get commissioned by these gang leaders. It’s pretty wild.

But I would say first and foremost, orchestral things come very naturally to me just because that’s the world in which I came up. But I think in terms of evolving like I’ve gotten much more into electronics and synthesizers and vocoders and all kinds of textures that I never really played with in the earlier part of my career. So, it’s been fun to fuse those two and expand upon the sounds I’m making.

Ames: With Immigration Nation, you took an interesting approach and scored that series like a horror film. What led to that stylistic choice?

I almost had to! There were a couple of bright spots, but it’s hard because when you’re scoring a regular film and it can be emotional and it can be taxing, but at the end of the day they’re actors, even if it’s something that’s been recreated in a true-life story. When you’re doing a documentary, it’s really hard because you’re seeing genuine pain and anguish. I wouldn’t know the first thing about what it’s like to grab a backpack full of stuff and hike through the desert and hope that you make it work. Sometimes it’s not even illegal immigration, sometimes it’s fully legal and it just gets tied up in the paperwork and you’re without your family for five years.

When I lean into the horror aspect of it, I just tried to zero in on the fear that must be felt and the uncertainty that must be felt. That often came up as a sort of a horror sound. Then I also thought about some of these ICE agents that probably get an adrenaline rush out of there because they feel like they’re action heroes. And so, it’s this weird twisted world.

You asked about how my sound evolved and there’s a genuine blend there of percussion and synthesizers and dark uncomfortable sounds like gong scrapes and things like that, but then there’s also the human side that I tried to capture with primarily shallow strings and a little bit of piano, but fusing those two worlds was the challenge.

Ames: You also worked on Marvel’s 616 and even earned a Hollywood Music in Media Award nomination for your theme. What was it like working with that studio and being recognized for your work?

That was awesome! It was really, really fun to join the already very rich and deep musical history of Marvel. I think the challenge with that one was — there’s already so much Marvel music out there, so I’m obviously not going to reinvent the wheel at this point. Especially for the main title theme anyway. But it was fun to dig deep and take a couple of nods from the past, but then add my own sound to it.

It’s really nice to be recognized for the hard work you put into things. The first time I was nominated was for one of the first big scores I did, it was for Five Came Back and it was before there was even a documentary category for music. So, it was going up against narrative series and things like that. I know it’s an apples and oranges comparison in many ways, but I love working on both narratives and documentaries. Obviously, the documentary thing has really taken off in the last couple of years and so it’s great that there’s finally enough work out there to warrant its own category, but win or lose — and it would be really nice to win one and have that recognition for all the hard work you put into it — but at the end of the day, it’s not why I do what I do. It’s the joy of making music and that’s the end goal. That might sound a little corny, but it’s true.