As it turns out, Halli Cauthery, the composer for the Hulu show Future Man, and Josh Futturman, the “man” the title refers to, have a lot in common. For both, a critical turn in their life is centered on discovering things about yourself that you did know. For one, it’s having the potential to save humanity and for the other, it’s synths.
I’ll let you guess which one is which.
Halli Cauthery, a classical violinist by trade, is the Emmy nominated composer now serving up 80’s inspired synth nostalgia for Hulu’s new original show Future Man. And while he may not have seen television music composed with synths in his future, there was always a feeling that there could be an “alternate reality” for him, not entirely unlike the Future Man protagonist Josh. But unlike Tiger and Wolf, who travel back in time to find their Future Man in Hulu’s television show, Cauthery reached out forward about his own future.
Cauthery had, in his youth, taken singing lessons with the great Harry Gregson-Williams, a prominent composer, conductor, and producer. “Most of my friends started as someone else’s apprentice,” Cauthery shared, and for him, it was no different. “I wrote him out of the blue,” Cauthery said, referring to himself as “the little kid with a violin.” That note and that kid with the violin led to an opportunity to apprentice for Gregson-Williams on a Ridley Scott film and the rest is history.
Or should I say future?
There was no defining moment that drew Cauthery into film and television composition but rather a question: “How can I expand my musical horizons?” It was the first of many questions, and it is that exquisite inquisitiveness that Cauthery exhibits that led him not just to television composition but to the unique sound goals and tones for Future Man.
The Hulu television show, produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Kyle Hunter, centers around Josh Futturman, a janitor and video game enthusiast who is selected as the savior of all humanity by Tiger and Wolf, two characters from the video game that have come from the future. “The entire show is a loving tribute to 80’s sci-fi and they wanted the music to nod in that direction,” shared Cauthery. Cauthery used Josh’s video game as a launch pad for the sound. Cauthery pondered, “If this game existed, what might the music sound like?”
Well, the machines have taken over and it’s a “bleak dystopian future” that resembles Terminator. Considering those elements, it was a short leap to finding the right soundscape: a synth driven futuristic experience.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/379654454″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
Rogen and crew also helped zero in on the sound of the show and kept Cauthery on the right path. “If I wrote a music cue that was too far in the direction of orchestra vs synth, I knew when it wasn’t hitting the right tone,” Cauthery shared.
Sometimes, we can’t predict the future. While streaming shows may provide more opportunities for composers like Cauthery, and we’re in the “golden age of television,” he believes we may have to wait a few years to see how streaming has changed the environment. But there is one thing we do know for sure about the future: Future Man has recently been renewed by Hulu for Season 2, so more sci-fi adventures of Futturman are coming.
If Cauthery, that “kid with the violin” could predict his future, he may not have seen a synth-driven soundscape. To him, it was “an unfamiliar direction away from orchestra.” He wondered, “Could I do that? I’m not sure if I could do that.”
But at one time, perhaps Futturman, the unsuspecting potential hero of Future Man, thought the same thing.
Check out Future Man on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/future-man