(September 21, 2015– Los Angeles, CA) –Varèse Sarabande will release the AMERICAN ULTRA – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on September 25, 2015. The album features original music by composer Marcelo Zarvos (ROCK THE KASBAH, THE AFFAIR) with additional original music by Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll (TORMENTED, PEAKY BLINDERS).
“I always love when a film pushes me to do something different from what I’ve done before,” said Zarvos. “In the case of American Ultra director Nima Nourizadeh was very keen on an electronic sounding score, so we could never really picture a person playing an instrument. Even when certain elements were played live, a lot of time was spent processing the sounds so they always felt strange and unexpected. It was a fun direction that informed the entire score.”
AMERICAN ULTRA is a fast-paced action comedy about Mike (Jesse Eisenberg), a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristen Stewart), is suddenly turned upside down. Unbeknownst to him, Mike is actually a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, as his secret past comes back to haunt him, Mike is thrust into the middle of a deadly government operation and is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive.
Brazilian-born Marcelo Zarvos (THE AFFAIR, RAY DONOVAN) burst onto the indie film landscape in 2001 with his score for KISSING JESSICA STEIN and in 2004 with the film adaptation of the John Irving novel, THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR. Though Zarvos’ training began by studying classical music in his teens he later began delving into jazz and world music. This expansion of influence helped to create Zarvos’ trademark sound – a seamless blend of classical, orchestral, rock, electronic and various ethnic and folk elements, together create uniquely affecting and emotionally charged music.
Zarvos, who earned his BFA from Cal Arts, was named one of the 25 New Faces of Indie Film in 2004 by FilmMaker Magazine. His film credits include THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR, ENOUGH SAID, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, THE WORDS, BROOKLYN’S FINEST, THE FACE OF LOVE, REACHING FOR THE MOON (FLORES RARAS), SIN NOMBRE and HOLLYWOODLAND. Zarvos has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards (for YOU DON’T KNOW JACK and TAKING CHANCE) and two HMMA Awards for BROOKLYN’S FINEST and ENOUGH SAID. His television work includes the hit Showtime series THE AFFAIR, RAY DONOVAN, THE BIG C and the HBO movie PHIL SPECTOR. Zarvos’ upcoming projects include an adaptation of the John le Carré novel OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, ROCK THE KASBAH, and the sci-fi thriller CELL.
“Paul comes from the pop world and I obviously come from film,” said Zarvos. “I think the idea was to blend those two worlds into a cohesive whole.”
“I’d had chat with Nima, the director. We spoke about the various themes and styles that would be needed for the film,” Hartnoll explained. “Nima’s main directions were ‘make it more organic with the drums’, he wanted them to have a primal feel. Another one was ‘do something that would kick off at the Glastonbury Festival’, and ‘more wrapped, more twisted!’ All words as a composer, you want to hear!”
Paul Hartnoll is a British writer, producer and composer of music, widely recognized for his pioneering work with the band Orbital. Known for their innovations in electronic music, Orbital were equally famed for their blend of visual presentation and live performance – an approach born of the same audio-visual sensibility that informs Paul’s work to this day. Over the span of their 25-year career, Orbital toured extensively and released eight albums, culminating in a performance at the 2012 London Paralympics Opening Ceremony with Professor Stephen Hawking.
Whilst Orbital’s music has been licensed to feature films including Hackers, Mortal Kombat, and Mean Girls, the band also scored and composed new material for movies and television including Event Horizon, The Saint, The Beach”, xXx, and Pusher. As a composer Paul has written music for many commercial campaigns, with clients including Volkswagen, Range Rover, Rolex, Ralph Lauren, and the NSPCC. Though primarily associated with electronic music, Paul’s stated and audible influences have always leant towards to the cinematic, with frequent nods to John Barry and Ennio Morricone via the machine led sensibilities of Kraftwerk and the upstart instincts of do-it-yourself punk. His movie and television work has included music for the film TORMENTED and scoring the second season of the BBC Series PEAKY BLINDERS.
Paul released a solo album in 2007, “The Ideal Condition”, which he wrote and arranged with a full orchestra and choir. In 2015 Paul released an eponymous album under the moniker “8:58”, which featured artists ranging from Robert Smith and Ed Harcourt to the actor Cillian Murphy.
“I scored the fireworks scene first as it was the end game to every fight scene, it’s where Mike turns the tables,” Hartnoll described. “Everything else from my end was a variation and build to that moment. It’s also where Marcelo and I come together for the first time and the two strands of the score come together. As the score progressed, Marcelo and I collaborated on two long pieces that were for the big fight scene near the end of the film.”
Lionsgate Film presents AMERICAN ULTRA currently in theaters. Varèse Sarabande will release the AMERICAN ULTRA – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on September 25, 2015.