We’re delighted to introduce the legendary jazz keyboardist John Medeski as our featured guest in our monthly Composer Spotlight series! Widely acclaimed for his contributions to the groundbreaking jazz fusion trio, Medeski Martin & Wood, John has recently taken on the role of composer for the soundtrack of A24 / Showtime’s original series, The Curse, created and written by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie.
Seamlessly blending comedy, drama and reality show style home improvement, the series revolves around the lives of newlyweds Asher and Whitney Siegel, portrayed by Fielder and Stone. As they navigate the challenges of conceiving a child, the narrative takes a compelling turn with the emergence of an alleged curse. This captivating twist unfolds against the backdrop of their problematic new HGTV show, Fliplanthropy, produced by their friend and occasional antagonist Dougie Schecter, played by Benny Safdie.
Collaborating with soundtrack producers Daniel Lopatin and Randall Dunn, as well as series masterminds Benny Safdie and Nathan Fielder, John adds a captivating layer to the series where the score is present not just as a background music, but feels like a character in itself. Ahead of the highly-anticipated final episode premiering tonight on Paramount+ with Showtime, John has shared with us a playlist inspired by his process working on The Curse soundtrack.
Of his playlist selection and composing process, Medeski says:
“The only real reference that I was given for The Curse was the first song on this playlist, Alice Coltrane’s “Jagadishwar”. The version I got (and the one in the show) can only be found on YouTube at this point. It was originally released as Turiya Sings, a cassette issued through her Vedantic Center. The album, which was intended for use by students of the Center, features Coltrane singing devotional songs in Sanskrit and playing her incredible Wurlitzer organ with overdubbed strings and synthesizer tracks. I believe it was never rereleased because they couldn’t find the masters of the original synth tracks, so this version, featuring her voice and organ, came out in 2021. It’s the tone and spirit of the track that we were inspired by, trying to create a score that is more like another observer providing a different perspective than a soundtrack.
There’s nothing else that I really listened to as a model for the music so everything in this playlist reflects music that I love and discovered or enjoyed while working on the show.
Take a listen to the playlist below and check out the full soundtrack from The Curse – out now!