“It’s a dream scenario. Everything about this show is a dream for me,” admits composer Siddhartha Khosla about creating the musical score for NBC’s hit family drama “This is Us.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Khosla above, as he talks at length about, and also plays excerpts from, his favorite themes from the show’s first three seasons.
This season, the show’s creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman, who Khosla counts as one of his closest friends, asked the composer to pen an original song that would be featured in a pivotal emotional moment during the seventh episode titled “Sometimes.” “We went back and delved into Jack’s history in Vietnam and also looked very closely at the beginning of Jack and Rebecca’s relationship,” he explains. The song, “Invisible Ink” was co-written by Moore’s husband Taylor Goldsmith, and is featured during a road trip to LA that Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) and wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) embark on. Budding musician Rebecca plans to perform the song for record label executives in LA, and sings the song to Jack on their journey. “It ended up being this beautiful montage where Rebecca is singing this song to Jack in the car acapella,” Khosla explains, “and as she’s singing the song, he’s brought back to all these Vietnam memories and so it was a deeply emotional scene and so fitting I got to work with Taylor on it,” he says.
Along with this new original song, Khosla composed more of the memorable melodies that have become part of the emotional core of the show, with different cues and themes for each of the characters featured in the show’s many timelines.
“Most of the score is composed on my acoustic guitar, and so much of it is just me feeling like I am an invisible character observing what’s happening, almost like I am in the living room observing the Pearsons,” he explains. “I don’t turn in a piece of music for this show, and this sounds really cheesy, but it’s true, unless I feel a tingle in my spine,” he admits. “It’s really critical how the music is performed to the scene, but also how it’s placed. Right at the right time and the right note has to hit, to give you that feeling. For me, it’s deeply personal because I get to feel that as I am scoring and I play this entire score with my own hands.”
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