‘Life’ Composer Jon Ekstrand on Why Flexibility Matters in His Job

     March 22, 2017


With director Daniel Espinosa’s Life opening in theaters this weekend, a few days ago at SXSW I sat down with composer Jon Ekstrand to talk about the film. If you’re not familiar with Ekstrand’s work, this marks his sixth project with Espinosa, having previously composed music for his films Babylonsjukan, Outside Love, Snabba Cash, and Child 44, and the Danish short film The Boxer, which was his first work as a composer. During the interview Ekstrand talked about how he got into composing, what it’s been like collaborating with Espinosa, his writing process, why he wanted to use a large orchestra and choir on Life, why you need to be flexible as a film composer, and a lot more.

life-movie-soundtrack-cover-artLife stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Hiroyuki Sanada and it revolves around the six-member crew of the International Space Station as they come into contact with the very first evidence of biological life on Mars: a small, single-celled organism. As they begin to research the specimen, however, this “life” proves far more dangerous than they could have ever imagined. Life was written by Deadpool’s Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese and produced by Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg along with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn.

Check out what Ekstrand had to say in the video above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by an exclusive piece of music from the film called “Godspeed Doctor.”

Jon Ekstrand:

  • When did he realize he wanted to be involved in movies and TV?
  • Talks about how he got involved in the business and how he connected with Daniel Espinosa.
  • How has Daniel Espinosa changed after working together so many times?
  • When does he start composing the music for a project?
  • Talks about why he wanted to use a large orchestra and a choir on Life?
  • How you need to be flexible as a film composer due to how things change in the edit.
  • Talks about his writing process and if he is able to work on more than one thing?
  • How long has he been working on Life?
  • How no one in the movie makes stupid movie mistakes and does that help with the themes of the music? Talks about how he doesn’t have to write stupid music.
  • Does he ever reuse music from other projects?
  • Have making Life has been an incredible smooth process.
  • Talks about getting ready to do a TV project in Sweden.

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