Will Bates (‘The Looming Tower’ composer) on the pressure of scoring Hulu series about 9/11 attacks we ‘all lived through’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Composer Will Bates knew from the get-go that scoring “The Looming Tower” would be a daunting task. “It seemed kind of clear that of all the things that I’ve worked on, this was going to be the largest in terms of the scope of work and the level of detail that it really needed,” he reveals. Based on Lawrence Wright‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book, this Hulu limited series starring Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Bill Camp recounts the events leading up to the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Bates knew he had his work cut out for him because 9/11 is “something that, to some extent, all of us have lived through.”

SEE Jeff Daniels (‘The Looming Tower’) wonders, did we learn anything from 9/11, ‘or are we more divided than ever?’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Upon reading the book, Bates was struck by “how huge this subject is.” The story takes us around the globe, from Washington D.C. to the Middle East, to track both the origins of al-Qaeda and the communication failures between the FBI and CIA that inadvertently set the stage for tragedy. Because of the show’s “geographical aspects” Bates needed to figure out “different instrumentation, different kinds of tonalities for all the various locations.” He started by purchasing a variety of Middle Eastern instruments while vacationing on Ibiza. “Generally when I start most projects I tend to try and source some kind of unique sound or some kind of instrument that would be unique to that project,” he adds. “So this was a really good opportunity to do that.”

SEE Peter Sarsgaard (‘The Looming Tower’): ‘I don’t think many of us were ready’ for a series like this soon after 9/11 [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

2018 has already been a busy year for Bates. In addition to “The Looming Tower,” he has also worked on the shows “Rise,” “The Path,” “The Magicians,” “Dirty Money,” and the upcoming “Sweetbitter.” He has worked on the big screen as well, in both fiction (“Another Earth,” “I Origins,” “Imperium”) and nonfiction (“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” “Zero Days”). Can he enter the Emmy race for the first time this year?

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