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The collaboration between Marcus Mumford and Tom Howe on the theme song and score for Ted Lasso began when star Jason Sudeikis left Mumford “the world’s longest voice note” — something Sudeikis apparently is famous for doing. He asked his good friend (and lead vocalist of Mumford & Sons) whether he’d be interested in teaming with composer Howe to create the music for Apple TV+’s heartfelt soccer comedy. “Thankfully Tom’s become one of my grown-up friends who can actually read music,” says Mumford. “He’s a real musician.” Mumford and Howe spoke to THR about how they came up with Lasso‘s unique sound.
What was your initial intention with the music for the show?
MARCUS MUMFORD We felt the theme song had to be placed somewhere right in the middle of the Atlantic, between the U.K. and the U.S., so we listened to a lot of Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers, and then also Creedence Clearwater Revival, as references, in saying it should feel somewhere halfway between London and Kansas, where Ted’s from.
What ended up being the biggest challenge?
TOM HOWE The action stuff is tricky, I think. There’s a danger with sports that something can sound cheesy quite quickly if you go at it in the wrong way. That was hard, to get the right balance between keeping it authentic but giving it the kind of energy you’d expect from an actual sports thing.
What did you learn from working on this?
MUMFORD It’s made me recognize the importance of melody. When you take lyrics away, which I haven’t done that much in my career, you have to be able to convey a lot more just through a melody.
HOWE This was more like making a record, which I hadn’t done in a long time. When you’re making a record, you’re not only thinking about melody and tune but about the overall sonics and sound. So the first thing I did after we finished the first season was I bought stereo mics for my Felt piano. I had to gotten so used to playing a MIDI piano because it’s quick and easy, but the real one sounds a hell of a lot better. Marcus’ sense of what real sounds and warmth can bring to something is very important and something that I’ve learned from doing this.
This story first appeared in the June 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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