Sundance 2020 Composer Spotlight: Alex Somers


Film: Miss Americana
Charm City Kings

Alex Somers is an American composer and producer who currently resides in Los Angeles, having spent most of the last decade living in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he studied visual art at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. Somers was born in Baltimore and studied composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

He first rose to prominence in 2009 with Riceboy Sleeps, his ambient album collaboration with partner Jónsi (Sigur Rós). Following the highly-acclaimed Riceboy Sleeps project, Somers co-produced Jónsi’s 2010 debut solo album Go, and went on to play keyboards and guitar on the album’s world tour. He then began expanding his production work by opening his own recording studio in Reykjavík where he co-produced and mixed Sigur Rós’ 2013 album Valtari. At his studio he continued to collaborate with artists Jónsi, Julianna Barwick, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Damien Rice, Amiina, Sin Fang, Briana Marela and more…

Somers began scoring for film and TV in 2011 and has collaborated with Jónsi to compose music and produce songs for We Bought A Zoo, How To Train Your Dragon Trilogy, Aloha, season one of WGN’s Manhattan, and The Circle. In 2016, Somers took on his first solo film, providing an original score for Matt Ross’s Cannes-feted Captain Fantastic, and in 2017 he worked with Bill Morrison on his award winning documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time, which he later performed live to picture with the Winnipeg Symphony as part of the Winnipeg New Music Festival.

In 2017, Somers also scored the “Hang The DJ” episode of the highly-acclaimed Netflix series Black Mirror, and provided original music for the Oscar nominated documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening, and additional music alongside composer Danny Elfman, to Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, both of which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2019 Somers composed the music for Honey Boy, a film written by Shia LaBeouf and directed by Alma Har’el.

The composer will be at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival with the opening night film Miss Americana (Documentary Premieres) and Charm City Kings (U.S. Dramatic Competition). Miss Americana is the Taylor Swift Netflix original documentary from Emmy-winning director Lana Wilson, which she describes as a “raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time.” Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, Charm City Kings is based on the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys and tells the story ofone boy’s unforgettable journey toward manhood.

Most recently, Somers has collaborated with Jónsi and producer Paul Corley on Liminal, an endless ambient mixtape built around music from the ’Sigur Rós family’ of artists, as well as a live musical soundbath, which they have performed in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Hobart, and Reykjavík.

ASCAP Composer Spotlight @ Sundance 2020

Meet the ASCAP composers whose music is powering this year's Sundance selections.