Nathan Barr Q&A: ‘The Americans’ composer
Last year Nathan Barr became the first composer ever to reap two Emmy bids for Original Main Title Theme Music in the same year. He contended for both “The Americans” on FX and “Hemlock Grove” on Netflix. Those marked his first two Emmy bids and now he's back in consideration again. As he admitted during our recent webcam chat, this year he would welcome “getting recognition as a songwriter, in addition to the underscore” for the tune “It Must Be Done” that he recorded with The Who guitarist Pete Townshend for the second season of “The Americans.”
Sharing a nomination with Townshend might give him a chance to meet his boyhood idol in person, as the magic of digital technology meant that they were able to make the song together while on different continents.
In addition to “The Americans” and “Hemlock Grove,” Barr scored every season of “True Blood,” which is set to end this summer on HBO after seven seasons. His newest show — the animated “Tumbleaf” — premiered on Amazon last month. “Talk about a different shift of gears, going from ‘True Blood’ to ‘The Americans’ to a kids’ show,” Barr mused. “The diversity you get to experience as a composer working in film and television is one of the most exciting aspects of doing it because you get to try so many different genres and sounds, based on whatever the particular project is.”