Mark Isham Q&A: ‘The Accountant’ composer
During our recent webcam chat, composer Mark Isham describes his score for “The Accountant” as featuring “a wide, wide variety of diverse orchestrations,” with some being “very restrained emotionally” and others having “their heart on their sleeve.” Directed by Gavin O’Connor, this Warner Bros. thriller stars Ben Affleck as an autistic math savant evading both the Treasury Department and a dangerous new client. The veteran tunesmith reveals, “I managed to hold it all together by sort of a single concept,” which is that Affleck’s character “just loves the abstract beauty of mathematics.”
Isham, who received an Oscar nomination for “A River Runs Through It” (1992) and won an Emmy for his main title theme for “EZ Streets” (1996), explains, “I tried to find very simple and yet very effective ways of making mathematically musical decisions, like patterns of rhythms, and just letting them either be tense or perfectly aligned so it felt beautiful.” This ultimately, “tied every piece together.”
This is the composer’s fourth collaboration with O’Connor, following “Miracle” (2004), “Pride and Glory” (2008), and “Warrior” (2011). He describes the filmmakers as being, “an extremely good communicator. He doesn’t back off from what he thinks, and he asks the same of his collaborators, which I really enjoy.”
The film, which co-stars Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, and Jean Smart, has been a hit at the U.S. box office since opening Oct. 14th, reaping over $47 million in grosses thus far.