You have of course by now seen “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”,”The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest” and “The Girl Who Played With Fire”, the critically acclaimed movies of The Millennium Trilogy, based upon the world wide bestselling crime novels by Swedish writer, Stieg Larsson. But did you notice the music score? No? Thank you! In that case you have made the composer, Jacob Groth, a happy man. In his mind music for movies should be felt rather than heard.
Danish composer Jacob Groth is no stranger to accolades when it comes to scores. Five times an EMMY-winner, Jacob has now established himself as a man of merit worldwide. The Millennium movies was the final proof that he has successfully moved from the intimacy of the Nordic film and TV-screen to the international cinematic scope, which has been strongly underlined with his works in the US ever since. In Hollywood, Jacob has made the feature films “Dead Man Down” and “Skin Trade”, as well as 50 episodes of CBS network TV series “Unforgettable” and the NCB drama series “Midnight, Texas”. The critics unanimously agree that he has not blurred his trademark in the process. His music still exudes that special haunting atmosphere. A Jacob Groth score is rich in Nordic cool and full of melodic grace and alluring enigmas.
Recently, he has also been the man behind the music for the popular Danish TV2 series “DNA”, as well as the critically acclaimed Norwegian drama “Wisting” which has been renewed for a second season, set to premiere in 2023. In 2020, he once again worked with his longtime friend and collaborator, director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, on his film “The Butterfly Swing” (Danish: Lille Sommerfugl).
In 2021, he was accredited with the Honorary Award at the Music Publishers Association in Denmark’ s award show ‘Carl Prisen’.
In the Nineties Jacob Groth made his entry as a composer of TV series. His big break happened with “Taxa”, a long running success on Scandinavian TV-channels, and was followed up with “Unit One” (original title “Rejseholdet”). This series won an EMMY. The same honor befell “Young Andersen”, about the young Hans Christian Andersen. And “The Eagle” repeated the trick in 2005, when Jacob Groth along with the rest of the team received an EMMY. And in 2010 Groth enhanced the EMMY-winning series “The Protectors”(original title “Livvagterne”) with his music. The TV series version of Millennium was honored with an EMMY for best Foreign TV Series in 2011. Jacob has also received ASCAP awards for his work on “Unforgettable” as well as a BAFTA award for the Millennium Trilogy: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and a Camille Award for season 2 of Modus. At this website you’ll find a list of the TV-series with a Jacob Groth score.
Working with Jacob has been one of the great joys of “Unforgettable“. From the pilot, for which he created a score of emotional complexity and depth seldom found in American network television, through two seasons into a third, Jacob has proven himself a uniquely inventive and flexible composer. No mood, characterization or style is outside his range. He possesses that essential quality of a dramatist: compassion for the human condition. Like a detective, he searches out the hidden heart of a story: then lifts it, translates it, into sound. He’s also a great guy, sophisticated artistically and personally, but big-hearted, generous and warm. And you can hear it all in his music.
The music in ”The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo / Men who hate women” is great in every sense. Great because it is made with talent, compassion and an explicit understanding of making images and music accompany each other. Great because the music dares to be majestic and very “visible” in the film.
In the roles of Composer and Director Jacob and I share a past with several films and TV series. The work extends from a western inspired score for a black comedy to a very delicate score for a sensitive drama. Jacobs music is unique for every film, because his inspiration starts with the nature and emotions of the story.
To make the choice to do a grand music score for this film was a very big step for us. It was also an unusual step for a Scandinavian film. Jacob believed with passion that this would take the film to an even higher level. I am very pleased I went with his passion.
The books and the films about Lisbeth Salander have similarities with the Greek dramas. They are stories on a grand scale with both dramatic emotions and elements of the supernatural, even if the action clearly takes place in a realistic present. Jacob Groth’s music reflects and enhances the full scope of this complex story completely.
Jacob Groth stepped into my life with the TV-series “Taxa”, nearly 20 years ago. And since then, Jacob has been my chosen composer. Not just because he is nice to work with, but also because he is so awfully good and extremely versatile. Just listen to the blues guitar in the “Taxa” theme, the catchy music to “Unit One”, the beautiful title song in “The Eagle” and the big symphonic score to “Better Times”.
His originality, energy, sensitivity and light outlook on his life has made it’s impression on my mood and, not least, on many of my films. He can read a movie and keeps on experimenting until the notes are right. The word compromise does not exist in his universe.
We started playing blues music together when I was 14 years old, and the blues still adheres to us, it’s there when we work and in our friendship. Since that time we have produced more than 10 films, TV and theater projects together, in all possible styles from minimalistic beat to rock, jazz, electronic and symphonic score. We look for what we believe will give the film wings and Jacob does not give up before we find the truest expression. Jacob has many boxes he can open, but at the bottom of each one is a little blues harmony that grabs you by the heart.
I was lucky to get Jacob Groth onboard as a composer on the most successful Scandinavian franchise in this century, Stieg Larsson´s The Millennium series. As a producer you really need an experienced composer, when you are responsible for such a big project, especially because we from the beginning only planned 1 feature film and 6 x 90 min TV Series. Because of the huge success of the first feature film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” there was a wonderful demand of two more feature films, before the broadcasting of the TV series. And we had a serious deadline from our Broadcasters, who financed the majority of the production. If we wanted to do two more feature film, we had to release them the same year as “The Girl……”. There was an incredible pressure on our composer Jacob Groth, but he delivered beautiful music with a smile, on time, though he must have been on his knees.
So you grab a good piece of our Scandinavian talented pie, if you choose Jacob Groth as your composer. His talent and music ought to be shared, because he has already set the standard in the Scandinavian film industry for years.
It was thrilling to see how the score evolved and grew, episode by episode. It did so much to define our tone and rhythm, our very show. It is so important to know when to go big, or small, or even silent. Thankfully, Jacob does, and tells us when we don’t.
The music gives colour and oxygen to the emotions – the subtext, not just the text.