“It was a really surreal and humbling experience to have that happen,” admits composer Mac Quayle as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his Emmy win for “Mr. Robot.” Quayle won the prize for Music Composition for a Series for the show’s first season, and is back with the second year of this USA series about a hacker (Rami Malek) suffering a mental break. “There was already some pressure because the first season had been so well received,” he adds, “and the music had gotten a lot of attention, so we knew we had to not let people down.”
The tunesmith also spoke about his work on the FX limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” Ryan Murphy‘s inside look at the longstanding fight between Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) centered on the filming of their horror classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” “Ryan wanted it to sound like the early ’60s,” Quayle reveals. “He wanted it to be an orchestral sound, so we knew that would be the pallet.” As well, “the emotion would speak to the tension between the two women, and also the sadness in what they went through in their lives, and how they were treated by Hollywood.”
Quayle’s collaborations with Murphy date back to “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (2014), for which he received his first Emmy nomination. He’s back again with the latest installment, “Roanoke,” a found-footage/reality TV hybrid unlike any other season of the FX chiller. “There’s something very different about it,” he divulges. “So we were trying to find a place for the music to still be what people expect from ‘American Horror Story,’ but also to give us this feel that we’re actually in another show.”
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