Joseph Trapanese

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Joseph Trapanese
Trapanese in 2013
Background information
Born 1984 (age 32–33)
Origin New Jersey, United States
Genres Film score
Occupation(s) Film composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor
Instruments Piano, keyboard, trombone
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts Daft Punk, M83, Dia Frampton, Kelly Clarkson, Greg Kurstin, and Mike Shinoda

Joseph Trapanese (born 1984) (sometimes referred to as Joe Trapanese) is an American composer, arranger, and producer. He works in the production of music for films, television, records, theater and concerts.

Film and television music[edit]

Trapanese collaborated with Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) on the soundtracks for the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron: Legacy for two years (from pre-production to completion). His arrangements for the soundtrack have been described as "resolutely grand"[1] and "stirring... ominous, hypnotic".[2] The BBC described the work as "a sophisticated integration of acoustic and electronic instrumentation... majestic… rich, solemn tones… saturnine orchestration and a muscular rhythm”.[3]

Original composition projects include Universal Studios's Straight Outta Compton,[4] Lionsgate Films's The Divergent Series: Insurgent,[5] Sony Pictures Classics' The Raid 2,[6] Universal Studios's Oblivion (co-composed with Anthony Gonzalez of M83),[7] Disney XD's animated series Tron: Uprising,[8] Sony Pictures Classics's The Raid: Redemption (co-composed with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park), Sony Pictures Television's original web series The Bannen Way, the independent feature Mamitas (featured at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival),[9] and numerous scores for live action and animated films from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. Trapanese contributed musical arrangements to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, What Happens in Vegas and Traitor. Alongside composer Daniel Licht, Trapanese produced and orchestrated the scores for seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime's original series Dexter, and provided orchestrations for seasons 5 and 6.

The 2012 teaser trailer for Iron Man 3 features Trapanese's composition Something to Fight For.[10][11]

Music collaboration with artists[edit]

Following his collaborations with Daft Punk on Tron: Legacy, Anthony Gonzalez (M83) on Oblivion, and Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) on The Raid: Redemption, Trapanese continues to work with artists in film scoring, album production, and live events.

On August 7, 2015 Dr. Dre released his long-awaited third album Compton which featured string arrangements by Trapanese and Jennifer Hammond. They were conducted by Trapanese at the Straight Outta Compton scoring sessions at the Sony Pictures Studios scoring stage in Culver City.

On February 27, 2015 Kelly Clarkson released her seventh album Piece by Piece which featured an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese recorded at EastWest Studios in Hollywood. He collaborated with producers Greg Kurstin, Jesse Shatkin, and Jason Halbert on the project.

On September 22, 2013 Trapanese performed with M83 at the Hollywood Bowl as conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.[12] For the concert, Trapanese arranged new orchestral material for songs from Before The Dawn Heals Us, Saturdays=Youth, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, and Oblivion. He also arranged and conducted an orchestra for M83's show at Central Park Summerstage in New York City on August 8, 2012.[13]

Released on October 25, 2013 by RCA Records, Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red features an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese.[14] Produced by Greg Kurstin, it is Clarkson's first Christmas-themed release, featuring cover versions of various Christmas standards in addition to original material. As part of the album's promotion, on October 30, 2013 Trapanese led the orchestra for Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale at The Venetian Las Vegas, which was broadcast on NBC on December 11, 2013.

Trapanese collaborated with Active Child on the arrangement of "Silhouette" (featuring Ellie Goulding) for his 2013 EP Rapor. In addition to the album, he provided new string and choir arrangements for his performances in Melbourne, London, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[15]

For 2012's The Bourne Legacy, Trapanese worked with Moby on a new orchestral version of his "Extreme Ways".[16]

On October 18, 2011, M83's double-disc album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming released with five tracks arranged by Trapanese. Trapanese's work can be heard on "Intro", "Wait", "Soon, My Friend", "My Tears Are Becoming a Sea", and "Outro".[17]

Trapanese co-wrote and co-produced the song "Do or Die" with 3OH!3 from their album Omens.[18]

Music for live theater[edit]

The music Trapanese has produced for theater is performed primarily in New York City, most notably in productions by The Actors Company Theatre. Recent productions that he has provided music for include T. S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy, Václav Havel's The Memorandum, and Edward Bond's The Sea. His music for the production of Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles was described by the New York Times as "Precise and evocative... wistful, ringing melodies”.[19]

Awards and honors[edit]


Trapanese completed his bachelor's degree in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music, and later an M.A. in Music for Visual Media at UCLA, with support from the Henry Mancini fund. Joseph's tutors included Giampaolo Bracali, Bruce Broughton, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, Jack Smalley, and Martin Bresnick, and he also engaged in brief studies with Louis Andriessen, Aaron Jay Kernis, Julia Wolfe, Mark Snow, and Ira Newborn. From 2008–2011, Trapanese taught the Electronic Music and Composition curriculum at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music.[23]



Year Title Director(s) Notes
2011 Mamitas Nicholas Ozeki
The Raid Gareth Evans with Mike Shinoda
2013 Oblivion Joseph Kosinski with M83
2014 The Raid 2 Gareth Evans with Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal
Earth to Echo Dave Green
Stand Cosmos Kiindarius
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Robert Schwentke
Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Robert Schwentke
2017 Only The Brave Joseph Kosinski
Wolf Warriors 2 Wu Jing
Shimmer Lake Oren Uziel
The Greatest Showman Michael Gracey with John Debney

Video Games[edit]

Year Title Developer Publisher
2014 The Crew Ivory Tower Ubisoft
2017 Need for Speed Payback Ghost Games Electronic Arts


  1. ^ Walters, Barry (2010-12-07). "Daft Punk, 'Tron: Legacy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' Review". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Daft Punk Mash Classical, Electronica to Shape 'Tron: Legacy's' Soundscape". The Hollywood Reporter. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  3. ^ "Music – Review of Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy". BBC. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  4. ^ Balfour, Jay (2015-07-11). "Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar & Eminem To Feature On 'Straight Outta Compton' Soundtrack;". Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  5. ^ Feeney, Nolan (2014-11-25). "Exclusive: Joseph Trapanese scoring 'Divergent' sequel 'Insurgent'". Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  6. ^ Webb, Charles (2014-03-28). "Interview: Composing for Hell – Joseph Trapanese Talks Scoring THE RAID 2". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  7. ^ Feeney, Nolan (2013-04-24). "M83 and the Music for 'Oblivion' |". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  8. ^ Mercedes Milligan (2012-05-01). "Disney XD's 'TRON: Uprising' Coming Soon!". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  9. ^ "Film Interview: Off The Grid". Topanga Messenger. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  10. ^ "Iron Man 3 – Movie Trailers". Apple. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Something to Fight For by Joseph Trapanese on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  12. ^ "Review: M83 and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra explore youth". Los Angeles Times. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  13. ^ Amanda Hatfield (2012-08-09). "M83 played Central Park Summerstage (pics, review, setlist)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  14. ^ "Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  15. ^ "Active Child" Facebook Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  16. ^ "Stream Moby's Orchestral New 'Bourne Legacy' Version Of "Extreme Ways"". Ology. 2012-07-31. Archived from the original on 2013-08-24. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  17. ^ "M83 – Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  18. ^ "New Song: 3Oh!3, 'Do Or Die'". 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  19. ^ Annette Midgette. "Murder and Hymns". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  20. ^ "16th Black Reel Award Winners" February 19, 2016.
  21. ^ "Discovery of the Year Nominees Announced" Filmfestival February 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "Vote for the ASCAP Composers’ Choice Awards" May 31, 2014.
  23. ^ [1] Archived July 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]