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Easter Island's Anton Sanko and Joel Thompson

By Monk Turner
Published: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, at 11:17AM
Anton Sanko and Joel Thompson Monk Turner [Flickr]

Anton and Joel: Strings and Reeds

Nope. I'm not going to do it. Not going to make the comparison.

Why? Because I can't stand it when people compare Downtown L.A. to New York City.

Look, all I'll say is that when our Arts District east of Alameda can pull talented native Manhattanites out of their borough, we're doing pretty good. Such is the case with composer Anton Sanko, who relocated his music studio here two years ago. After a stint as a classical guitarist and Susan Vega's musical director, he has led a very successful career composing music for television and film.

Anton and collaborator Joel Thompson were kind enough to recently take a little time to tell us what they've been cookin' up.

MONK TURNER: Tell us about some of the projects you guys are working on.

ANTON SANKO: We're currently working on season four of Big Love and we're prepping to do a gigantic project for National Geographic called Great Migrations. It is a five hour long National Geographic documentary on, guess what, animal migrations. [laughter]

MT: Important stuff. So you guys primarily focus on television...

JOEL THOMPSON: I'd have to say no. I've only been working with Anton for 3 years..

MT: Only? [laughter]

JOEL THOMPSON: Well for some of that time my job was exclusively to bring guitars to the repair shop. [laughter] We've come a long way. But, we do mostly feature films and some television but I wouldn't say it is the focus.

MT: Why did you decide to make downtown your headquarters?

AS: I love the architecture here and the sense of community. The quietness of the arts district and I like having a lot of space for my instruments. I like the sense of neighborhood and the ability to walk most places. There is a sense of comradery among my neighbors. They are all mostly in the arts field, not pretend artists like in SoHo. [laughter] Most of the people in this building are photographers, architects, and painters. I like being in that kind of community.

MT: Well, being from New York, how does the lifestyle compare?

AS: My family moved to Tribeca in the mid-seventies and I find the arts district very similar to what our lives were like there. Both in the community and in the physical layout of the place.

MT: When at traction, where does one eat?

JT: Lets see. Well. Novel Cafe. Every day. They make good sandwiches. Great coffee. Sparkling personalities. [laughter] Urth Cafe is really good. Definitely been to Metropol a few times. Pete's tons of times. Went to the Nickel Diner, that was good.

Anton's website is pretty basic, but can be found at Best to visit imdb to get a to get a sense of all he's worked on.


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