Jeff Russo conducts the music for ‘Fargo’, ‘Oslo’, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ – Deadline
Earlier this week, composer Jeff Russo conducted sequels to Fargo, Oslo and Star Trek: Discovery for Deadline’s very first Sound & Screen event.
The Composers Showcase, highlighting original music written for television, was presented by Deadline, Global Music Rights and Rhapsody PR, and took place at the Newman Scoring Stage on the Fox Lot. He saw Russo’s sheet music bring a 55-piece orchestra to life, with an additional appearance by Grammy-winning opera singer Ayana Haviv.
Three-time Emmy winner and nominee, Russo worked on both Fargo and Discovery for years. The first is a critically-acclaimed crime drama from creator Noah Hawley, inspired by 1996 Oscar winner The Coen Brothers, which debuted on FX in 2014, and has so far spanned four seasons. Premiered on streaming service CBS All Access (now known as Paramount +) in 2017, the seventh series in the Star Trek The franchise, created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, is three years old so far.
The most recent project Russo featured on Sound & Screen was Oslo, an HBO TV movie about the secret negotiations of the Oslo accords, directed by Bartlett Sher. In the case of this film, Russo was not composing alone. Instead, he worked closely with Zoe Keating, a composer and performing artist he had collaborated with in the past and whom he had known for years.
In his career as a composer, Russo often found himself balancing many projects and their associated sound universes. As he explained when I met him at Fox, it’s difficult to move between the scores he’s working on simultaneously, given that each one is akin to its own language. At the same time, however, the way he handles this challenge is “just … automatic”.
“One pulls you out of the other,” he said. “If I get stuck on something, I’ll move on to another project, and that usually brings out the dust or brings out the cobwebs.”
Russo was one of four composers whose work was performed in the Sound & Screen concert, which first aired in its entirety on Friday. Siddhartha Khosla (It’s us), Ruth Barrett (Law and order: organized crime) and Kris Bowers (Bridgerton); we will present their segments of the event to you over the next few days.
Sound & Screen was made possible with support from the teams at Deadline, Global Music Rights and Rhapsody PR; Jeff Russo, Kris Bowers, Ruth Barrett and Siddhartha Khosla; Randy Grimmett, Jana Davidoff, Alix Becq, Gina Zimmitti, Whitney Martin, Michael Perfitt, Perrine Virgile, Tracie Turnbull, Sam Lucas, Ben Fox, Vincent Cirilli, Stacey Robinson, Mary Beth Blakey, Stephanie O’Keefe, Fabrizio Mancinelli and Simon Jay ; as well as Netflix, FX, HBO and HBO Max, CBS, Paramount +, NBC and 20th Television.
Check out Russo’s Sound & Screen showcase and an interview with Deadline above.