Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, Nick Chuba Collaborate On Score For FX Limited Series SHŌGUN

Shōgun premieres on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

By: Feb. 24, 2024
Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, Nick Chuba Collaborate On Score For FX Limited Series SHŌGUN
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Oscar, GRAMMY, and Golden Globe-winning composer and Nine Inch Nails recording artist Atticus Ross (The Social Network, Watchmen, Soul, Gone Girl, Mank), composers Leopold Ross (Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, The Book of Eli, Triple 9) and Nick Chuba (The Girl from Plainville, Dr. Death) have collaborated on the score to the highly anticipated FX limited series Shōgun, which premieres Tuesday, February 27, 2024 exclusively on FX and Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories. The series premiere will include the first two episodes, followed by a new episode each week. The Shōgun Original Soundtrack Score was released by Hollywood Records on February 23.

The 10-episode global event is an original adaptation of James Clavell's bestselling 1975 novel set in Japan in the year 1600 at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. Shōgun was first adapted into a hugely successful historical drama TV miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, and Yoko Shimada that aired in 1980 and went on to win an Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Award. The new series adaptation is drawing rave reviews from critics, including TIME magazine, which calls it a "revelation" and "genuine masterpiece."

The composer team created all-new original music focusing not toward making period Japanese music, but rather ensuring that on a cellular level the textures in the score were authentic. They worked closely over 2.5 years with Japanese arranger Taro Ishida to orchestrate the score, hire performers, and source authentic instruments of Japan's Edo Period in history. Ishida traveled throughout Japan recording specific classical Gagaku ensembles performing music true to the period. With unprecedented access to record in a historic temple (which name is being undisclosed per the resident monk's request), Ishida captured sounds that have never before been recorded. The composers also read Clavell's novel and watched the 1980 series in effort in order to create an entirely original score that did not sound like past works.

Leopold Ross explains the process of working with Ishida, "[Ishida's] expertise allowed us to capture the specific gagaku ensembles true to the period, so that on a cellular level the textures used in the score were authentically Japanese, however the intention was never to make period Japanese music, rather it was to create a palette of sound specific to the singular world that Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks had created."

Atticus, Leopold, and Nick took the recordings, and through heavy processing, resampling, and manipulation created their own sonic universe of playable sample banks with a palette of sound specifically designed toward the language of the show.

Atticus Ross further details the musical intention for the project, "The goal was to create music that cannot be identified as ancient or modern, nor specifically Eastern or Western - we wanted it to exist between the lines, playing primarily to the psychology of character and story."

Along with his frequent co-composer and Nine Inch Nails bandmate Trent Reznor, Atticus won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his work on director David Fincher's The Social Network, as well as an Academy Award and GRAMMY for the score and soundtrack to Pixar's Soul, which they collaborated on with Jon Batiste. Together Atticus and Trent also scored Fincher's globally popular Netflix thriller The Killer, HBO's Watchmen series, the Ken Burns documentary The Vietnam War, and Luca Guadagnino's upcoming tennis romance film Challengers starring Zendaya.

Brothers Atticus and Leopold have collaborated on select projects for years. Besides Shōgun, together they worked with composer Claudia Sarne on the score for films such as The Book of Eli, Blackhat, and Triple 9 (alongside The Haxan Cloak), and other series including Outcast, Black Mirror, the Tupac Shakur docuseries Dear Mama, and Touching Evil. An English musician, record producer, recording engineer and music programmer who has scored numerous motion pictures and television shows, Leopold most recently composed scores for Apple's major Godzilla TV franchise Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and The Con Queen of Hollywood.

In addition to Shōgun, Atticus, Leopold, and Nick have worked together on music for the series Dr. Death. Leopold and Nick composed the score for the series The Girl From Plainville. Outside of his composing work, Leopold was also a founding member of eclectic rock band Nojahoda, and has written, recorded, produced, and performed with diverse acts such as Bad Religion, Error, Grace Jones, Korn, Dillinger Escape Plan, Rancid, The Transplants, Five Finger Death Punch, Brigitte Fontaine, The Big Pink, Io Echo, and Brett Anderson. Nick is an LA-based composer who got his start working as an assistant to Atticus, and has worked on numerous projects with him since 2014.

On February 9, FX released The World of Shōgun, a five-minute immersive video introducing fans to the history behind Shōgun, the rise of Warlords, Samurai, and a powerful empire in Feudal Japan. Shōgun features an acclaimed Japanese cast, unprecedented for an American production, including Tadanobu Asano, Hiroto Kanai, Takehiro Hira, Moeka Hoshi, Tokuma Nishioka, Shinnosuke Abe, Yuki Kura, Yuka Kouri and Fumi Nikaido. Shōgun was created for television by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks, with Marks serving as Showrunner and Executive Producer alongside Michaela Clavell, Edward L. McDonnell, Michael De Luca, and Kondo. The series is produced by FX Productions.


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