CJ Mirra is the alias of London-based composer, sound designer and recording artist, John
Sampson. Combining live analogue instruments with electronic and ambient textures his sound blurs the boundaries of composition and sound design. Since 2015, he scored a number of critically-acclaimed films screened from BFI London Festival to SXSW, and received a BIFA ‘Best Sound' nomination in 2018.
Currently scoring the documentary feature, Nascondino (BFI IDFA), directed by Victoria Fiore, Mirra’s Recent projects include the score for Ruth Paxton’s debut feature, A Banquet (set for
festivals in 2021). Paxton described Mirra’s score as “an expression of luxurious tragedy. The work
is evocative, menacing and beautifully haunting all at once. A lingering body of powerful
compositions: the work is not only exquisitely atmospheric, but definitive of the film itself”.
Mirra also worked on Lizard, the Sundance ‘Grand Jury’ prize winner and BAFTA nominated film,
directed by Akinola Davies Jr. with soundtrack coming soon through Vinyl Factory. Mirra’s film debut came on Martin Radich’s critically acclaimed feature, Norfolk (BBC Films Creative England) working alongside Chris Watson and JG Thirlwell in 2015. Other original scores include Tony Grisconi’s 2019 Sands of Venus, Benjamin Wigley’s Paa Joe The Lion, as well as Ruth Paxton’s Be Still My Beating Heart. In 2018, Mirra received a British Independent Film Award nomination for ‘Best Sound’ for his Ground-breaking work on documentary feature, Time Trial, directed by Finlay Pretsell.
Mirra’s introduction into composition came through surf films such as Edges of Sanity described as“surfing in musical form; surfing as a sound” by MPORA. Since then he has scored over twenty acclaimed surf films, screened from Paris to Honolulu, becoming a ‘go to’ composer for European surf films. Mirra, with long term collaborator and director Chris McClean has toured two award-winning live audio visual film performances, Chasing Zero and Translate. In 2020 he released the surf soundtrack Translate which followed Static a compilation of surf film scores released in 2018.
Alongside his composition work, Mirra has spent time in the studio working with artists such as Mount Kimbie, Lindstrøm, and Mike Slott. In 2021, CJ Mirra continues to work with past collaborators on a range of future projects, as well as focusing on his forthcoming debut record.