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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

One final note on "Looper" and the sound of science fiction, When you think about the music of great science fiction, a few things likely come to mind. Perhaps this...

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC, "STAR WARS")

CORNISH: And probably this...

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC, "STAR TREK")

CORNISH: That was, of course, the theme to the classic "Star Trek" TV series and before that, some of John Williams' famous work for the "Star Wars" movies. Well, Nathan Johnson, the composer for "Looper," wanted to break with tradition. Instead of that slick orchestral sound, he used things like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SOUND EFFECT)

CORNISH: An industrial fan to come up with this...

(SOUNDBITE OF SOUND EFFECT)

NATHAN JOHNSON: I actually moved down to New Orleans, where they were shooting the movie, and just spent a month wandering around the city, walking around the sets, gathering anything that struck my ear. The sounds of fingers drumming on railings, music stands, treadmills in the hotel room, microwave oven, both the beeping of entering the numbers and also the hum of the engine rolling around.

I used software to turn those sounds into actual playable instruments.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JOHNSON: One afternoon, I brought Noah Segan, the actor who plays Kid Blue, into the studio and we recorded all the sounds of his gat gun from the movie. So, not just the firing of the gun, but the actual cocking mechanism, the way the barrel spun around, all these little clicks and pops.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JOHNSON: One of the other things you hear in here is the sound of car doors slamming. We wanted to evoke a kettle drum. But rather than using a normal kettle drum, we were in this massive parking garage one day and as we were shutting the car doors, the reverberation was amazing and the oomph of the bass when the doors slammed just sounded fantastic.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR DOORS SLAMMING)

JOHNSON: We wanted to link these industrial found sounds with traditional instruments as well and we kind of used the software instruments that we created as the core fabric and then supplemented that with sometimes a piano, sometimes a cellist, some orchestral ensemble supplements as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JOHNSON: I think aesthetically I'm really drawn to imperfection in music. So I took the same approach when I was gathering these sounds. Rather than using a library where everything has been sampled perfectly and recorded in the studio, part of it was just to get our own stamp on it so that the world of "Looper," auditorily, felt really unique.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: That's composer Nathan Johnson talking about his found sound score for the film "Looper" just released on video.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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