About Nathan Johnson
A multi-talented and innovative composer, director, and producer, Nathan Johnson turned heads in 2005 with his idiosyncratic score for the neo-noir film Brick. He continued pairing traditional instrumentation with unconventional audio sources on subsequent films like Looper and Knives Out, which like Brick were directed by his cousin Rian Johnson. In addition to his film work, Johnson has produced numerous short films and music videos and is a founding member of the Los Angeles-based visual, engineering, and musical arts collective The Echo Society.
The East Coast native moved to England in the 2000s, and upon returning founded The Cinematic Underground, an alternative rock collective that featured a revolving cast of friends and family from both home and abroad. The group released its debut album, the narrative-driven Annasthesia, in 2003. In 2005 Johnson provided the score for his cousin Rian's first feature-length film, Brick. Recorded in his apartment with help from some of his Cinematic Underground bandmates, the soundtrack utilized a mix of found objects -- filing cabinets, cheese graters -- and organic instrumentation, and received considerable acclaim. He added strings and woodwinds to his self-coined "back porch orchestra" for the score to the 2008 comedy-drama The Brothers Bloom, and expanded his sonic palette with electronics and field recordings for 2012's award-winning Looper.
Johnson composed the score to Brick and Looper star Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut, Don Jon, in 2013 and served as both composer and executive producer on director Jack Paltrow's science fiction action film Young Ones in 2014; that same year, he scored the biographical crime thriller Kill the Messenger. He teamed back up with cousin Rian for the 2019 mystery blockbuster Knives Out, and in 2021 he provided the soundtrack to Gordon-Levitt's comedy-drama television series Mr. Corman. ~ James Christopher Monger