Knowing producer Bill Lawrence has plenty of benefits, including access to his address book full of connections. That’s according to composer Tom Howe, who worked with Marcus Mumford and Ben Gibbard on the themes songs for two of Lawrence’s shows, Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso and Shrinking, respectively.
“When we started in Season 1 [of Ted Lasso], Marcus and I were sort of put together by a great friend of Jason’s [Sudeikis] and I knew Bill [Lawrence]. We met for breakfast and we got on and he invited me to his house to hang out. So I flew from [Los Angeles] to Devon, which is in the middle of nowhere in England, and stayed there for 10 days with Marcus. Considering I had only met him once for breakfast, it was quite interesting,” Howe told Deadline during a panel for the shows at Sound & Screen: Television.
“We hung out for 10 days having no footage or scripts or anything. We met every day at around 9 a.m. with coffee in his studio. It was nice for me because he came with more of a record background and I have more of a TV-film background. I think we both hopefully learned a few tricks off each other. Across the 10 days, we worked on some thematic stuff and stuff that might be useful for action or comedy or whatever.”
The collaboration earned Howe and Mumford an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
For Lawrence’s newest project, Shrinking, Lowe collaborated with Death Cab for Cutie’s Gibbard in the creation of the song, titled “Frightening Fishes,” which leans into the show’s SoCal vibe.
“Shrinking is like trying to sit in a band while thinking of the sounds of California,” said Howe. “Instantly, I tried a few things, but think of ’60s Beach Boys-type California sound. So Shrinking is full of organs and different types of keyboards and also vocals.”
On working with Gibbard, “Bill obviously has an incredible address book. And actually, on Ted Lasso, I did the main title before we did anything else, which is quite unusual, certainly for me. But in Shrinking, it was at the end, but I had some thematic ideas. And we’re just saying, ‘Who do you think would be good for this?’ And somebody said, ‘What about Ben Gibbard?’ So [Bill] literally dialed him in whilst we’re on the phone talking about it and said, ‘Would you be up for it?’ And he said, ‘Sure.’ And then it sort of went from there.”
Check back Friday for the panel video.