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Castle Music Composer Robert Duncan Dishes on Alternative Season 3 Finale Song and His Blue Butterfly Cameo!

Our friends at recently caught up with Castle music composer Robert Duncan, who dished some interesting behind-the-scenes secrets about our favorite show.

Robert, a Canada native who has worked on such shows as Buffy, The Unit, and Lie to Me, has been a part of the Castle team since the pilot episode. He single-handedly selected the instruments that would come to define Richard Castle, specifically the African drum called the udu, which is still used when Rick is "up to no good and getting into trouble."

"It's a real brainstorm," the composer revealed about letting the characters dictate the musical direction. "Like in the case of Castle, coming up with the instruments that would express his childish swagger, if that's a term."

In addition to the udu, Robert frequently uses a wooden, stringed instrument called the mandolin, often in a percussive manner.

For Robert, the most important part of his job is making sure he lets the storytelling do its work, allowing the music to be the icing on the cake.

"I want the story and the acting and the direction to introduce the story to the audience," he said, "and then I like to be the sort of finishing blow. If you're already on the verge of tears by the story and acting, then you're an easy target for music."

Credit: Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC    

Take the final scene of the Season 3 finale, "Knockout," for example. Robert revealed that the Castle powers that be had initially investigated using Peter Gabriel's 2010 cover of David Bowie's song "Heroes," but ultimately selected Robert's composition.

"It was a very powerful scene and that was a real challenge," he said. "But I was set up nicely with the acting and the cinematography. It was a powerful moment with Montgomery's final stand."

Although Robert's usually working his magic behind the camera, he was able to make an on-screen appearance in Season 4, Episode 14: "The Blue Butterfly" as the jazz club pianist. You can spot him on the baby grand in the opening scene.

"I was so tickled that they let me on the set for that. Chuck Bowman, the director, was very nice about it," Robert said. "It was nerve-wracking, but a lot of fun. I had a great time working with Tamala."


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04.15.2012 / 09:30 PM EDT by Lindsay Dreyer
Related: Castle, Gossip, Music

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