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Composer Erik Lundborg
High Scoring The Matrix

Return of the Matrix - Tracksounds Special Feature


Native of Montana

Teaches at Manhattan School of Music in NY

Holds degrees from New England Conservatory of Music and Columbia University

Recipient of a Warner/Nonesuch commission and
is also recorded on New World, CRI, and
Opus One

Served on the
boards of the American Composers Alliance and the League of Composers - ISCM

Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, three grants from the
National Endowment for the Arts, and a composer grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund
for Music

Studied music at USC under Elmer Bernstein, Buddy Baker, and David Raskin
 

Composition Credits


Enter the Matrix
(Video Game)
Analog Roam
The Sun & Serpent (TV)
Return to Sender
Ivy & Ice
Unfinished Business

Orchestration/
Arranger

The Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded
Behind Enemy Lines
Long Time Dead
AntiTrust
Battlefield Earth
House on Haunted Hill
The Prince of Egypt
Face/Off
The Borrowers
Jungle 2 Jungle
Temptation
Under the Moon
Lloyd, the Ugly Kid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erik Lundborg

"I really had to learn exactly what Don did and then continue to work within that frame of mind. It really wasn't a question of me doing something brand new."

Erik Lundborg


As the The Matrix franchise retakes theatres all over the world, the Wachowski Brother's, along with Atari and Shiny Entertainment, are about to take over Playstation 2s, Gamecubes, Xboxes, and PCs, with the video game, ENTER THE MATRIX. Tracksounds catches up with the man behind the music of this groundbreaking game - Erik Lundborg.

CC: Were you involved at all with the original Matrix film?

Erik Lundborg: No, but I've known Don (Davis) for sometime.

CC: So how did you meet Don Davis?

Erik Lundborg: I met him at a conducting workshop in New York with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra...and that must have been about 10, maybe even 12, years ago. We have kept in touch since then. Then in 1996, I made a serious move to LA. Later when he needed some help he called me.

CC: What was your first project with Don Davis?

Erik Lundborg: It was HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL.

CC: So it was somewhat natural for you to move into working with Davis on these mammoth Matrix projects: 2 film scores, the Animatrix shorts, and the game, ENTER THE MATRIX.

Erik Lundborg: Yes. Somebody told me that with Reloaded, which has about 90 minutes of music, Revolutions, which also has another 90 minutes, and the video game, which as 130 to 140 minutes of music, we have almost 6 hours of music!

CC: And also FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS from THE ANIMATRIX.

Erik Lundborg: Yes, so better make that almost 7 hours of music!

CC: How much time would you say you've devoted to these projects?

Erik Lundborg: I knew about these projects in September of 2002 and I knew that I'd probably be working on them. I think Don (Davis) was originally going to handle (ENTER THE MATRIX), but there was just too much music. So he asked me to adapt and incorporate his music into the game. Of course there is actual movie footage in the game that required scoring, so all the music is there is derived from THE MATRIX RELOADED AND THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.

CC: I've been told that you and Don Davis could actually be considered co-composers for ENTER THE MATRIX.

Erik Lundborg: Yes. I guess you could regard it that way. (Don Davis) just let me have free reign with it. Of course, he wanted to have some control over the music and that was something that the brothers (Wachowski) wanted as well. It's very tightly controlled in terms of the approval process.

CC: The Wachowski brothers are quite well known for that. How was it working with them?

Erik Lundborg: Well, it was fine. I didn't see them very much but I would submit the music to them. You know, you don't "hang out" with the directors as much as you submit the music. They listen to it in their office and then they send back notes saying what they liked and didn't like.

CC: It must have been difficult keeping everything straight in your own mind - working on ENTER THE MATRIX, arranging and orchestrating for THE MATRIX RELOADED AND REVOLUTIONS all at the same time.

Erik Lundborg: Actually, it wasn't that hard to keep straight. The composing part was entirely separate from orchestration part of RELOADED. I started on ENTER THE MATRIX in mid-November of 2002 through early February 2003. I jumped onto THE MATRIX RELOADED right after that.

CC: Do you have a similar composing style to Don Davis?

Erik Lundborg: I really had to learn exactly what Don did and then continue to work within that frame of mind. It really wasn't a question of me doing something brand new. Actually, I did do about 30 minutes of my own music for ENTER THE MATRIX which are derived from his (Don Davis') themes and ideas. We do have a similar background, so I understand where he is coming from and I've orchestrated four or five of his motion pictures, so I know how he thinks. I don't know if HE thinks I know, though! (laughs)

CC: Have you seen the finished product and how the music plays within the game?

Erik Lundborg: I actually haven't, but I will probably see it when I get back to LA.


CC: For ENTER THE MATRIX, did you record with the same orchestra as for the Matrix films?

Erik Lundborg: No. It was recorded in Seattle with a contracted orchestra.

CC: Do you plan to stay in that genre at all?

Erik Lundborg: Oh, I'd love to. I found it absolutely thrilling...just a lot of fun!

CC: Would you say that scoring a video game presents you different challenges than scoring a film?

Erik Lundborg: That's a very good question, because it certainly does. There are different environments of the game: whether you're fighting, or just wondering around someplace looking for something. In each of these environments you encounter some enemies, or an agent and whenever these things occur the music has to change. So in essence the player has control over what sort of music "kicks in" at any given point.

As a composer I'm not so concerned with that so much, because I wouldn't know when or where a player was at any given instance. What I, as the composer, am required to do is write "longish" pieces that give you a certain amount of freedom in a certain tone or mood. And that's what I liked about working on the game, because I could write these rather prolonged musical compositions that express a given idea over time. There's a certain amount of freedom in that.

Now, when you are scoring a film, you are really controlled quite specifically by what takes place on the screen at any given point in time. You have to be very careful about making those hits and addressing that issue at all times. So you need to underscore something much more carefully because you are controlled by the medium.

CC: In film, a score's presence or absence really has an important role in the emotion felt at any given moment. Would you say it works the same way within the context of a game?

Erik Lundborg: I think so. I think it is the precisely the same, except for fact that the player determines when the music changes.

CC: Do they employ any electronica within ENTER THE MATRIX as they do with the films?

Erik Lundborg: Yes. There is some electronic music, but I didn't compose it.

CC: Are you slated to do any future Matrix-projects, like an expansion to ENTER THE MATRIX?

Erik Lundborg: I don't know if they are planning to do one or not, but I'd certainly love to do it.

CC: Thanks for your time today.


 

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Return of the Matrix - Tracksounds Special Feature


   

 

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