Dan Rosen is one of Score a Score’s most in-demand and prolific composers. Though he works on a variety of projects, much of his signature material is tailored specifically for movie trailers and his work has been featured in campaigns for films like Venom, Avengers: Endgame, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Red Sparrow, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Shape of Water, Allied, The Girl in the Spider’s Web and many others.
Where did the journey start for you?
For trailers specifically: I was volunteering doing vegetable distribution for my local CSA and was chatting with another of the volunteers. We did the ‘Oh so what do you do’ thing and I said ‘Write music for stuff’ and he said ‘Have you ever thought about doing trailer music? A friend of mine is a trailer editor. I can give her your card’ and I said ‘Absolutely please do’ not expecting to hear anything. Two weeks later I get an email from her saying that she dug my work and I should come by the office. She told me about the world of trailers and the music side, and I started tailoring my writing towards that, and here we are.
What's the strangest method you've used to get the perfect sound?
IDK if it’s the method that’s strange, but I was visiting my parents and they were using a SodaStream and it started to die in the middle of carbonating some water. Its death-throes sounded amazing, so I recorded it on my phone, sampled and warped it, layered some other elements, and it became a signature sound on one of my tracks.
What do you do to decompress after a long day in front of the monitors?
Spend time with my family. Ugh, I know but it’s true. I also love to cook. I used to cook very involved and fussy things, but now I have a baby so I don’t have the time to be as snobby.
Other than your studio, where does inspiration most often strike?
When my brain goes into autopilot doing mundane tasks (walking to the grocery store, showering, doing dishes) sometimes melodies/rhythms/sound ideas pop into my head. Then I have to stop what I’m doing and sing them into my voice memos. Sometimes I can’t control when inspiration strikes and I have to improvise. The initial idea for “Seed of Destiny” came during a childbirth class. I couldn’t take out my phone, so I wrote the rhythm into my notebook with notes on a quick stave I drew. So, my notes for that day read ‘Techniques for coping with early labor: triplet feel, repetitive piano motif, arpeggiated dark synth deedodo DEEdodo deedodo DEEdodo. Do a puzzle.’
What's the oddest job you've ever had?
For several months I (and several other people) dressed as hockey goalies and went to different bars and events around the city to promote a beer company.
What are two things you're most proud of? One musical/professional, one personal. No humility allowed.
Professional: When I went to see (honestly I forget the movie) Mid-Feb 2018 and three of the six trailers beforehand had my music in them.
Personal: accurately corrected Ken Jennings on Twitter about an art history question.