Composer Jeff Russo stops by the ASA to talk about his work on Fargo, Legion, Star Trek: Discovery, and Picard. Jeff discusses his former work with his band Tonic, and his transition to scoring, as well as the timeless importance of themes, and the process of revitalizing and renewing a legendary property.
ABOUT JEFF RUSSO
Two-time Grammy nominee and Emmy-winning composer Jeff Russo is at the top of his field, scoring varied and compelling music for television, film and video games. Russo won the Emmy and received two additional Emmy nominations for his thrilling and angst-producing score on FX’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series “Fargo.” He currently scores two Peabody Award-nominated shows: CBS’s reimagining of the iconic cult-classic series “Star Trek: Discovery;” and FX’s “Legion,” starring Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza; as well as Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” starring Ellen Page, Tom Hopper and Mary J. Blige, based on the popular comic book series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba; and Noah Hawley’s feature directorial debut from Fox Searchlight, “Lucy In the Sky,” starring Natalie Portman and John Hamm. His recent film work further includes scoring Mark Wahlberg’s action-thriller film, “Mile 22” Craig Macneill’s “Lizzie,” starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival before releasing in theaters; and Jon Avnet’s “Three Christs,” starring Richard Gere, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
Russo has scored several hit TV series such as Starz’s “Counterpart,” starring J.K. Simmons; “Power,” produced by Curtis Jackson “50 Cent;” HBO’s Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated series “The Night Of,” starring John Turturro; FX’s John Singleton series, “Snowfall;” and the Netflix original show, “Altered Carbon.” In addition to film and television, Russo received a BAFTA nomination for Best Music for Annapurna Interactive’s indie video game, “What Remains of Edith Finch.”
Russo began his music career in 1990, after founding his rock band TONIC. The group quickly achieved great success and in 2003, received two Grammy nominations, one for “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for “Take Me As I Am,” and one for “Best Rock Album.” The band was a great showcase for Russo’s guitar work and songwriting that allowed him to branch out and begin his solo career in producing and composing.
According to Variety Magazine, “Jeff Russo understands how music can affect an audience. When music is employed, he sees it as an enhancement to character development, and is careful to create music that subtly flows with the action and visuals of the scene.”
Russo has composed music for the New York Ballet Company Cedar Lake Ensemble.