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It doesn’t get more Emmy-tastic in the Music Composition categories than Sean Callery.
Callery has received 17 Emmy nominations and 4 wins, making him one of the most nominated composers of all time. 10 of his Emmy nominations are for the hit Fox drama 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, where Callery composed all nine seasons and is the only composer to have been nominated every year for a series that ran more than three seasons. Altogether, Callery won three Emmys for Outstanding Music Composition for his work on 24.
His fourth, and most recent win, came in 2016 for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for Netflix’s Jessica Jones, starring Krysten Ritter.
He also composes the music for hit series such as Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, ABC’s Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and CBS’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired drama series Elementary, starring Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller.
I had the pleasure to chat with Sean about his prolific composing career, the intricacies of being a Television Academy judge in the Limited Series music sections, and how music is a primal form of human communication.
In our conversation, Sean talks about his first major moviegoing experiences that helped shape his own likes and inspirations with composing, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jaws.
Describing creating the Emmy-winning theme for Jessica Jones, Sean found the voice of Jones through film noir but with an original spin, playing with the playful and hardened elements of the character.
Sean also reveals the golden piece of advice that every composer wants to hear before creating a score.
Sean resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie.
This interview opens with his Emmy-winning main title theme from Jessica Jones and closes with music from Homeland‘s 7th season and sixth episode, “Species Jump.”