“Last Resort” television show composer Robert Duncan isn’t afraid to be innovative when it comes to composing music and generating sound effects. Check out this YouTube video of the two-time Emmy award nominee recording on a submarine in order to capture authentic sounds.
On July 2nd, the Toronto-native released a 22-track soundtrack to “Last Resort” via Sony and is available on iTunes.
“On any given day, he is tinkering away from within the live room of the hallowed and notorious rock studio formerly known as ‘Devonshire’ searching through his trove of musical oddities, global instruments, deconstructed pianos and industrial salvage; metal brushes; a hot rod exhaust pipe; a fire extinguisher and many other odds and ends, to find something that can add a fresh sonic identity to a score,” according to Jordan Von Netzer, a spokesman for Mr. Duncan.
For the last five seasons of ABC’s hit series, “Castle,” Robert Duncan has been delivering new and unique musical compositions to the show, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2009. This past year, Duncan scored the ABC series “The Last Resort,” an action thriller about the crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine who become fugitives after refusing to fire their nuclear missiles.
Duncan offered a few insights in how he pulled off a few scores and effects for the television show in a July 1 interview with Examiner.com.
“With Last Resort, the execution of the score for every single episode was like that of a feature film score with live players and a scoring mixer,” said Duncan. ” We recorded and mixed everything in surround. Only a handful of shows on the air right now get that royal treatment. I think it really shows in the end result. We weren’t granted any extra time to pull it off, so I would start composing each episode before they had finished editing to give time for the orchestration and parts copying. We found creative ways to pull it all off within the time constraint.”
In creating the show’s musical palette, Duncan boarded a decommissioned Cold War era submarine in San Diego with his engineer and recorded experimental sounds to utilize within the score.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Duncan grew up in a musical family and composed his first piece when he was a sixth-grader at the Claude Watson School of the Performing Arts. In an experimental music class, the 11-year-old Robert was encouraged to take apart and explore a piano in order to make new sounds. In high school at age sixteen he got his first job scoring a promotional video for the local Board of Education.
Shortly after moving to California, Duncan was hired as series composer on the enduring fan-favorite hit show, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (FOX/UPN) When that series ended, he composed music for “Tru Calling” (FOX), “The Unit” (FOX/CBS), “Into the Blue 2: The Reef” (MGM), “Lie to Me” (FOX), “The Gates,” (ABC), “Terriers” (FX), “Chicago Code (FOX), “Shattered” (Lionsgate), “The Entitled” (Anchor Bay) and many others.
“If I had to pick one favorite scene to score from Last Resort, I’d have to say the ‘Fall of the Colorado’ was my favorite,” says Duncan. “This was the grand finale of the series, and all the characters themes got used in that one piece. It was an emotional musical wrap-up and farewell.”