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March 10, 2006

“In a show like this, we’re weaving textures,” explains Leigh Roberts, composer and co-founder of JECO. “For a scene where a white family member has black makeup on, or vice versa, the instrumentation can be a hip hop groove, but we might also score it with strings or piano on top of that, something that blurs the line between genres. Other times, we’re writing within a very specific genre because the scene calls for clarity. But the opportunity to write these hybrid pieces of music is what’s most exciting, fusing styles and cultures.”

Roberts and JECO co-founder/composer Jon Ehrlich lead a team of six additional composers who worked quickly to cover the multitude of authentic musical styles that the series called for.

“There were 40 different cues for the first episode alone, and stylistically they were all over the map,” says Ehrlich. “The show is about cultural collaboration and the intertwining of cultural experience. And music is a reflection of culture. Leigh and I, as creative directors, helped to steer ourselves and the other composers toward a sound that had the appropriate range and blend of vibes.”

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