(Module 6) Composer Mark Isham incorporates mathematical equations to create the score for “The Accountant”

“It is the most diverse score I have ever done, but it holds together through thematic unity—the score is based on mathematical equations and patterns.” – Mark Isham , “The Accountant”


Mark Isham

October 4, 2016 (Hollywood, CA) — Oscar nominated and Grammy winning composer Mark Isham teams up with his frequent collaborator, director Gavin O’Connor, to create a score that explores a world of duality and intrigue for the upcoming action thriller “The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, and J.K. Simmons. It is the fourth film collaboration between O’Connor and Isham, following “Miracle,” “Pride and Glory” and “Warrior.” Opening in theatres on October 14, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Brothers. The score album is available on Watertower Music.

“The Accountant” follows Christian Wolff (Affleck), a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people.  Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.  With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving

Ben Affleck in “The Accountant”

millions of dollars.

For the film, Isham created a hybrid score, which includes a 78-piece orchestra, choir, solo cello as well as 27 feet of Steinways (three pianos). Isham explained that writing the score was a massive undertaking, but the challenge was necessary to tell the story. Tapping into his diverse musical talents, he provides a score that traverses between the structured world of accounting and the danger of the central character’s dual life.

“It is the most diverse score I have ever done, but it holds together through thematic unity—the score is based on mathematical equations and patterns,” Isham states.  “Despite the lush orchestration and massive amounts of customized electronica, the music is not overly dramatic. The main character of ‘The Accountant’ is a mathematical prodigy, and lives in the world of numbers and numeric patterns. Therefore, I wanted the music to reflect that. Part of the score was created using a series of simple patterns with enough randomness to create texture and nuance. As an example, two notes out of every three would be played,
then 5 out of 7, etc. all juxtaposed together, then randomized with competing tempos!”

14Isham has created critically acclaimed scores for over 100 films, including “Crash,” “42,” “Nell,” and “A River Runs Through It,” for which he received a Best Original Score Oscar® nomination. In 2013, Isham was recognized with the Distinguished Film Composer Award at the inaugural Middleburg Film Festival along with a concert by the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra of his memorable scores. His self-titled album, Mark Isham, earned him a Grammy Award. Mark Isham’s accolades also include an Emmy award, a Golden Globe nomination and the Henry Mancini award for Career Achievement from ASCAP. Isham currently scores John Ridley’s critically acclaimed event series “American Crime” and the Emmy-nominated series “Once Upon a Time,” both for ABC. Upcoming film projects include Christopher Jenkins’ “Duck Duck Goose” as well as an adaptation of Lauren Kate’s #1 New York Times bestseller Fallen.

accountantO’Connor directed the film from a screenplay by Bill Dubuque (“The Judge”).  The film was produced by Mark Williams and Lynette Howell Taylor, with O’Connor, Jamie Patricof and Marty Ewing serving as executive producers.  Warner Bros. Pictures presents an Electric City Entertainment/Zero Gravity Management Production, a Gavin O’Connor Film, “The Accountant.”  The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  It has been rated R for strong violence and language throughout.

(courtesy of Costa Communications)

Take a listen to the following interview Noel Manning conducted with O’Connor with WGWG below:



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