Jason Zumpano compositions featured at the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival
If the nameJason Zumpano sounds familiar, it might be because this drummer and keyboardist led a band of that same (last) name in the 1990s, when it recorded two albums for Sub Pop. Singer Carl Newman went on to form the New Pornographers, and Zumpano subsequently launched two outfits, Sparrow and Attics and Cellars, before turning his attention to other projects, including composing music for movies.
Some nifty shorts and animations can be sampled at his website , but his highest-profile outing yet is a feature found at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. Screening Friday (September 29) and October 4 and 5, Cartoon College offers a delightfully skewed visit with students and instructors at North America’s only institution, in small-town Vermont, devoted to the making of comix people and graphic novelists.
“The kind of music they wanted was a bit retro,” says Zumpano, on the line from his Vancouver home, of electronic tunes with a video-game ring to them. “But I didn’t do it that consciously.”
The composer’s connection with New York filmmakers Josh Melrod and Tara Wray came when the latter used some of his existing songs for her previous feature, Manhattan, Kansas. A few guitar-based tracks not on his website did make it onto a new, second album with his current band, Cyrillic Typewriter, released on his own JAZ Records label.
“I’m not really jazzy, but close enough,” admits the musician, who can also be recognized, if a tad blurrily, for his years slinging beers at the WISE Club. “I do all my recording at home, and it’s pretty bare bones. My stuff’s not super-slick. I tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I figured I better stick to doing what I do.”
Zumpano will be on hand for the movie’s October screenings.