Welcome back to The Spool’s weekly interview podcast, More of a Comment, Really…, where editor-in-chief Clint Worthington talks to actors, filmmakers, composers, and other figures from the realm of film and television.
One of the best, most undersung action shows on television is Cinemax’s Warrior, a stylish period piece based largely on concepts developed by the late Bruce Lee for a show that would eventually (and unfortunately) become Kung Fu. Charting the conflicts between Chinese gangs and the American police in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 19th century, it’s a show that combines some of the best, clearest action on TV (thanks to Andrew Koji, Joe Taslim, and a roster of incredible martial artists and choreographers) with a tale of America’s own reckoning with its racial animus.
Adding to the cool factor is the show’s jaunty, stylistically agile score, co-written by Reza Safinia alongside creative partner H. Scott Salinas. A multi-instrumentalist composer who’s worked on shows like Snatch, P-Valley, and the Nicolas Cage film The Trust, Safinia scores with a decidedly meditative, deliberate approach — no doubt aided by his years of connection to creative meditation, Daoist philosophies, and the like.
On top of his scoring for Warrior (which just received a surprise renewal thanks to HBO Max), Safinia has also been hard at work on a set of dual concept albums, Yin and Yang, which explore the flowing musical conversation between classical and electronic music.
Together, Safinia and I talked about those albums, the relationship between meditation and music, and crafting the hard-hitting score to Warrior.
You can find Reza Safinia’s official site here.
Warrior is currently streaming on HBO Max, with a third season on the way. You can listen to the soundtracks for seasons 1 and 2, as well as Reza’s albums Yin and Yang, on Spotify and other music streaming services.