Composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founder of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Robert Levon Been has composed the score and original songs for writer and director Paul Schrader’s new film, “The Card Counter,” starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Wilem Dafoe, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
Levon Been’s compositions for the film, including several original songs such as ‘Arise Sun’, are deeply integrated into the picture, which opens in UK cinemas on 5 November. “The Card Counter: Original Songs from The Motion Picture” is due for release on 10 September via [PIAS].
Schrader reached out to Levon Been last year about writing the end title theme for The Card Counter. What started off as a one-song project evolved into multiple tracks used in the film, as well as Levon Been’s contribution to much of the instrumental score and sound design.
Levon Been first met Schrader, a renowned director & award-winning screenwriter (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, American Gigolo) through his late father, Michael Been, co-founder and lead singer of The Call. Michael Been was cast in Martin Scorsese’s 1988 film, Last Temptation of Christ, for which Schrader wrote the screenplay. Robert, who was on location in Morocco during filming as a child, was also given a small role in the picture. Following shooting, Schrader asked Michael Been to score his 1992 film Light Sleeper in the true indie-DIY ethos with all hands on deck, including Levon Been, then 16yrs of age.
“To work with Paul on The Card Counter this many years later is quite surreal. It was a unique challenge to help Paul’s vision of expanding the story through both soundscape and song to underscore the film’s characters and narrative. Once the film wrapped, however, it didn’t feel right to cease writing and exploring the songs. It felt like too much like a cliff hanger in my mind. Creating an album that could include both alternative and fully realized versions of the songs has been a huge undertaking, but what doesn’t kill you makes you Schrader,” says Robert.
Listen to “Arise Sun” – BELOW:
Together with Schrader, Levon Been collaborated on sonically punctuating the evolving narrative of the film’s protagonist, played by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis), illustrating the character’s inner turmoil and journey.
The Card Counter is not Levon Been’s first foray into film scoring. In 2013, BRMC scored Jeff Baena’s dark horror-comedy, Life After Beth. Over the past few years, BRMC has also been thriving in the sync world with high profile placements in television, commercials, and video games. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the band’s seminal self-titled release.
The Card Counter is a revenge thriller written and directed by Paul Schrader. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish and Willem Dafoe. Produced by Braxton Pope (The Trust, City of Gold), Lauren Mann (Swiss Army Man) and David Wulf (The Night Clerk, Inheritance) with Executive Producer Martin Scorsese. Other Executive Producers include William Olsson, Lee Broda, Ruben Islas and Stanley Preschutti. This marks the fifth collaboration between Schrader & Scorcese who previously worked together on Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ & Bringing Out the Dead.
Watch the trailer for ‘The Card Counter’ – BELOW:
Coinciding with the US release of the film, the album The Card Counter: Original Songs from The Motion Picture will be released 10 September via [PIAS].
The film will be released in UK cinemas on 5 November.
- Murder Hum
- Mercy Reprise
- Arise Sun
- Casino Floor 1 (Beta Testing)
- Casino Floor 2 (Stable)
- Smoke Ring
- Determined Events
- Mercy of Man (feat. S.G. Goodman)