Published On: Wed, Apr 23rd, 2014

Nathan Barr, Pete Townshend talk music for ‘The Americans’ season 2

Rock legend Pete Townshend write a new song titled “It Must Be Done,” which will premiere in the episode of the TV series “The Americans” that airs April 30th. Townshend wrote the song with Nathan Barr, who has composed music for movies and TV shows, including True Blood,” “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever” and received Emmy nominations for his work on “The Americans” and “Hemlock Grove.”

“What I was struck by was that Nate composes on the cello, an instrument my partner and orchestrator Rachel [Fuller] uses, so I have listened to a lot of cello music and I have really fallen in love with it,” Townshend said in an interview about the song with Billboard. “We exchanged ideas [between England and Los Angeles] and I was immediately struck by this very evocative piece he had written, very plaintive. I added some guitar, then came up with some lyrics.”

Townshend said that his goal was to keep the song simple, in keeping with the show’s themes. “Here’s this couple whose whole life is about duty, duty without honor, duty without explanation,” he said. “There are no accolades. They’re not living a lie but doing things they find hard to do. Everybody has a part of their life that’s difficult to explain…”

Barr spoke with Billboard about scoring the show, saying “The original demos I did for (“The Americans”) before I got the job were influenced by those great scores from the ’70s and ’80s – ‘Taking of Pelham One Two Three’ by David Shire, prepared piano stuff in things like Lalo Schifrin’s score for ‘Dirty Harry’.”

He continued, “That was exciting music for me to explore. The bass and prepared piano stuff in those movies is a real jumping off point for me in ‘The Americans.'”

“The Americans” airs Wednesdays at 10 PM ET/PT on FX.


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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.


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