FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One might be tempted to say that Emmy Award-winning composer and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Larry Groupé scored again when his soundtrack for Hollywood’s “The Outpost,” based on CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s bestselling book of the same name, premiered July 3 nationwide via select theaters and video-on-demand services.
The film, directed by Groupé’s longtime collaborator Rod Lurie, chronicles the true story of the 53 U.S. soldiers who battled nearly 400 Taliban insurgents at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan in 2009. It stars Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones.
“I am very lucky to have a long-term composer/director relationship with Rod,” said Groupé. “Some of the reasons for that are because he has to actually like my music and see it as a custom fit for his kind of storytelling. Also, I will rewrite, and often do, anything that’s not a 100% hit for him; so, he likes my work ethic.
“But the biggest aspect I think, as far as continuing together, is that I reinvent myself for every project. There is no relying on what worked in a previous project; everything always starts from ground zero, every time.”
Groupé said that he and Lurie agreed that the design of the score would not be like an action picture: “I wanted to concentrate on the stress and camaraderie of the rank and file soldiers … so the score resides when they are together. Must of the score is a combination of sound design and synthetic elements, but orchestra is embedded in there, too.”
Director of the Jacobs School’s Music Scoring for Visual Media program, Groupé offered advice for emerging composers: “Be willing to change anything in your music that the director does not find working. Be sure to have emotional discussions about what is and what is not working. Do not talk about instruments, orchestration or cool synthetic plugins—only talk about the story and character arc.”
One of the most talented and versatile composers in the entertainment industry today, Groupé enjoys an impressive musical resume in film and television as well as on the concert stage, and his achievements have received both critical praise and popular acclaim.
Some of his film scores include “Straw Dogs,” starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgård, which won a Global Music Award (2012), “Nothing but the Truth,” starring Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Alan Alda, and “Resurrecting the Champ,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett. All were collaborations with Lurie.
Most notably, Groupé wrote the score for “The Contender,” starring Joan Allen, Gary Oldman and Jeff Bridges, a highly regarded political drama written and directed by Lurie which received multiple Academy Award nominations. This led the pair to “Commander in Chief,” which became the most successful new TV series when launched by ABC in 2005.
Groupé said that his approach for scoring documentaries is the same as for feature films, “I do, indeed, elevate the storytelling and information being given to us, so I don't hold back, nor am I asked to. I do not believe in the old adage ‘a good score is one you never notice.’”
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of “The Outpost,” which is currently available to stream in its entirety on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.