Christian Lundberg is a multi-instrumentalist and composer working for Bleeding Fingers Music, a collective of composers who score for film and television that was founded in partnership between Hans Zimmer and Extreme Music. Most recently, Christian scored for Slim Film + Television and Federation Entertainment’s upcoming television series starring David Tennant, “Around the World in 80 Days.” I had the chance to check in with Christian to hear more about his process scoring for the series, as well as his creative approach as an artist!
Hi Christian, how are you?
Hi Jake, I’m great! How about yourself?
Great, thanks for asking! To start off, you’ve collected some incredible credits over the course of your career thus far, including scoring for upcoming series “Around the World in 80 Days”. How did you get your start composing professionally?
I started my career writing/producing and sometimes playing in bands in the LA area. I had a little recording studio in North Hollywood with my good friend Joe Tamel. During this time, I also started composing music for commercials. I quickly realized how much I enjoyed writing for visual media, that was really a key factor that ultimately evolved into writing for Film & TV.
How is it collaborating with Bleeding Fingers Music and Hans Zimmer? How does being a part of Bleeding Fingers affect your approach to music?
It’s very much a joint effort between the composer and the creative team, from the score producer, the music editor to the creative directors, everyone plays a part, and it really adds an extra layer of creative energy. Bleeding Fingers Music has put together an amazing creative team to oversee projects. The level of professionalism is second to none.
And of course, Hans is a legend in this business and whenever you can have him lead your team is a win win. Even with his incredible resume, he is still just as driven as when he first started out, it’s very inspiring to be in that space.
Tell us more about your approach to your work. What’s the first step in your creative process?
This could vary depending on the project but let’s say I’m starting to write tone ideas for a new film or TV series.
First, I would make sure I really understand what the director wants to say, what is his inspiration behind this project, what historical events could I possibly pull from. If I have the script, I will study it to learn more about the characters and the story arc. Basically, I seek out any information I can to educate myself. I’m very visual when it comes to creating music, so If I can imagine what it will look like on screen, that is a big help for me during the early stages of a project. During this process, I also start thinking about what the instrument pallet should be, I generally try to create some custom sounds, which could be organic or synthetic. I always search for sounds that are distinct enough to anchor the score. For Around The World In 80 days, this was the Big Ben Chime and the mechanics of the iconic clock.
Were there any specific challenges that you encountered working on “Around the World in 80 Days”?
I think if anything, the distance and because of Covid the travel restrictions between us and the team in London was a little tricky at first, but after a while we sorted out how to setup the zoom meetings in such a way that we could efficiently stream picture and discuss whatever creative aspects were going on at the time.
I know this industry can require a lot of hours, but it is surely a labor of love. What do you find to be the most fulfilling or favorite thing about your job?
Sure, it can require a lot of hours but for me it never feels like a job. I love creating, in any form really. I feel very fortunate to be in a creative mindset on a daily basis.
Any last words of advice for aspiring composers?
My advice would be to write , write and then write some more, obsess on learning about your craft, practice whatever instruments you play on a daily basis. Being a modern composer does require a lot of time in front of a computer but if you can incorporate your own playing into your music, it will be super helpful in your career.
I also think it’s so important to understand that to be successful, these days you often have to wear several different hats. You need to be able to write music of course, but you also need to be able to produce and mix your compositions. There will be times where you have the budget for a recording engineer and a mixer, but it will be up to you to sell the initial idea to the client, and it needs to sound very close to the finished piece.