Composer John Kaefer Talks Setting the Right Tone for Crackle's "Sequestered"

106995.jpgOne can say that composer John Kaefer was born to make music, receiving degrees in composition from Yale University, the Eastman School of Music and also a Doctoral graduate of Juilliard. So when given the opportunity to score "Sequestered" on Sony's Crackle network, Kaefer was more than prepared for the job. The show, which Cinemablend calls "A suspenseful trip and gamechanger" follows a jury sequestered in a hotel while deliberating a high-profile kidnapping-murder case. “Sequestered” stars Jesse Bradford (“Bring It On”), Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) and Patrick Warburton (“Rules of Engagement,” “Seinfeld”) and is currently streaming on Crackle. We recently talked to Kaefer about everything from how he got involved with the show to what he would do different in season 2. Read the full interview here..

How did you get involved with "Sequestered"?

I was hired by Lifeboat Productions President/“Sequestered” Executive Producer Jaime Burke. I’ve known Jaime for several years and was thrilled to join the team.

Where did you get the inspiration for your "Sequestered" score?

I’m excited to be a composer at this time now, when music can have great depth and diversity. While I have classical training (Doctoral Degree from Juilliard), I love the freedom and inspiration that work in film/tv offers. It may sound simple, but during the scoring process I found inspiration in the show itself - I watched and imagined what I wanted to hear (and then wrote it). I also found inspiration by the idea of combining contemporary minimalist music with a modern scoring approach.

There are a lot of different characters on the show, did you give each one a specific theme?

Instead of individual themes for each character, I focused on overarching thematic ideas - conflict, intrigue, debate, tenderness, etc. I believe this approach helped unify the score and tell the story more effectively.

Which episode was your favorite to score and why?

I enjoyed scoring all the episodes, each had a different challenge. However my favorite was the pilot episode, especially the opening scene - the score is the first sound you hear. I love the idea of setting the tone for the show and music becoming its own unique character.

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Binge watching has become just as common as regular watching with Netflix, Amazon and Crackle. Did you approach this show differently, musically, knowing that fans could binge watch?


I tried to create a musical narrative that made sense not only within each individual episode, but also worked across all 12 episodes. This micro/macro approach helped tie together the score throughout the entire show.

If there was to be a season two of the show, would you do anything different?

If there was to be a season two, my orchestral palette would be more refined and refreshed with new sounds and organic-like textures. But the overall tone and structure would likely remain similar and consistent.

What's up next for you?

I just finished up the score for Remedy Entertainment and Microsoft Studios’ “Quantum Break” - set to release for Xbox One on April 5, 2016. The revolutionary game features a live-action TV series (produced by Lifeboat) that interacts with the gameplay based on the player’s choices. I continue to work with Discovery Music Source and on a variety of other projects (both film/tv and concert stage commissions), including a new work for pianist extraordinaire Molly Morkoski.

You can learn more about John at www.johnkaefer.com

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Written by rand01 on Feb 2, 2016

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