Soundtracking with Edith Bowman

Soundtracking with Edith Bowman

United Kingdom

In a unique weekly podcast, Edith Bowman sits down with a variety of film directors, actors, producers and composers to talk about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films, from their current release to key moments in their career. The music chosen by our guests are woven amongst the interview and used alongside clips from their films.


Preview: Gore Verbinski On The Music Of Alan Silvestri  

Ahead of our next episode, Gore Verbinski discusses Alan's score for Mouse Hunt - and also his arrangement for one of Edith's favourite TV themes ... The full episode is out on Friday 24th February, and features reflections upon the scores for Pirates Of The Caribbean and Gore's latest film, A Cure For Wellness.

Episode 29: Ang Lee On The Music Of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' And Other Movies  

As Ron Howard observed in one of our previous episodes, Ang Lee is a filmmaker with a quite extraordinary range. He followed the majestic Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with comic book joyride Hulk - before bringing us Brokeback Mountain, Lust Caution and The Life Of Pi. Such a diverse array of subject matter has very different musical requirements, with Tan Dun, Mychael Danna, Danny Elfman and Alexandre Desplat among the composers he’s worked with. And these collaborations are exactly what we’re here to discuss on Soundtracking – a weekly podcast about screen music with Edith. Ang’s latest movie is Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Starring young British actor Joe Alwynn in the title role, it tells the story of a soldier returning from Iraq who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. From the point of view of score, the narrative posed a new set of challenges for the Taiwanese director - given that much of the action unfolds in a sports stadium …

Preview: Ang Lee On The Score For 'Lust, Caution'  

Ahead of our next episode with the delightful Ang Lee, the Taiwanese director reflects upon Alexandre Desplat's work on 'Lust, Caution', which is one of his favourite scores. The full episode is out on Friday 17th February, and features further conversation about the music for 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' & 'Hulk' among many other films.

Episode 28: Director Mike Mills On The Music Of 20th Century Women, Beginners & The Punk Revolution  

Over the years, there's been many a filmmaker in possession of a sensational record collection. We've spoken to a few on this show - from Andrea Arnold and Richard Linklater to Nicolas Winding Refn and Danny Boyle. But just because you have impeccable taste, doesn't mean you can successfully translate it to the screen. Thankfully, writer / director Mike Mills knows how to enhance a story with sound - as evidenced by his latest movie, 20th Century Women. Set in 1979, it tells the story of a mother who enlists her bohemian friends to help raise her son, and is part-based on his own childhood. Music is central to both the development of narrative and character - with the artists featured all close to Mike's heart. Each selection is inspired by personal experience, from offerings by Siouxsie And The Banshees through The Buzzcocks to Black Flag. Indeed, when it comes to Talking Heads, he even bought the T-Shirt (well, his sister did anyway) ... There are SO many great tunes in here, you'd be a fool to miss it.

Preview: Director Mike Mills On The Challenges Of Securing 'As Time Goes By' For His Latest Film, 20th Century Women  

Ahead of our next episode with Mike Mills - a man who genuinely loves his music - the 20th Century Women director reveals just how far he had to go to secure the rights to As Time Goes By. It's a lovely yarn - and just one of many you'll hear when the full episode is released on Friday 10th February.

Episode 27: Jeff Nichols On The Music Of Loving, Midnight Special & Mud, Among Other Films  

When you’ve made 5 movies that average over 90 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s fair to say you’re doing something right in the eyes of the discerning film fan. Writer / director Jeff Nichols has done just that. From his debut Shotgun Stories to Take Shelter, Mud and Midnight Special, he’s proved himself to be a master craftsmen, capable of breathing life into an incredibly diverse range of subjects. His latest offering Loving is no exception. Starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, it tells the true story of the landmark US court case Loving versus Virginia, which challenged the state laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage. As with all my guests, music is a central feature of Jeff’s work. From the scores provided by his go-to composer David Wingo to the considered placement of pop favourites from his youth, he has more than met the contrasting sonic demands presented by the narratives he’s brought us.

Preview: Jeff Nichols On The Collaborative Way In Which He, His Editor And Composer Settled On A Score For Loving  

Ahead of our next episode, Edith introduces a clip of Jeff Nichols discussing the process of composing the score for his award-winning historical drama, Loving. Not for him and his team temp music - in the specific case of this movie anyway! The full episode is out on Friday 3rd February, and also features wide-ranging insights into the music that features in Mud, Midnight Special and Jeff's other work.

Episode 26: Danny Boyle On The Music Of Trainspotting And Other Films  

From the very opening sequence of Danny Boyle's debut Shallow Grave - in which the viewer zooms through the streets of Edinburgh to the dark pounding beats of Leftfield - it was clear we were dealing with a filmmaker of great visual flair who understood a thing or two about music too. As if proof were needed, he followed Shallow Grave with Trainspotting and that set of songs - which rank it alongside the likes of Pulp FIction and Lock, Stock ... as one of the defining pop soundtracks of the 1990's. Two decades on and Danny is still blazing a trail. Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud back - alongside Iggy, Blondie, and one or two artists for the 'T2' generation. In the case of Danny, there's simply too much ground to cover in one show. So, for the time being at least, we focus on his various collaborations with John Murphy, AR Rahman and Rick Smith and Karl Hyde from Underworld - who, of course, had a big musical hand to play in both Trainspotting films ...

Preview: Director Danny Boyle On The Man Who Inspired Him To Make Movies  

Edith's next guest is the one and only Danny Boyle. There will be plenty of discussion about his seminal soundtrack for Trainspotting (and the echoes of it in the sequel) when the full show is released on Friday 27th January. Meantime, hear what Danny has to say about one of his great heroes, Francis Ford Coppola. And yes, we will be dropping some Wagner ...

Episode 25: Composer Justin Hurwitz on La La Land, Whiplash And The Musicals Of Yesteryear  

As double-bills go on a show such as this, it’s hard to imagine a more relevant combo than the director and composer of La La Land - the film that’s literally causing quite the song and dance the world over. In our previous episode we had the pleasure of talking to director Damien Chazelle about his musical masterpiece; this time round, it’s all about his composer and great friend, Justin Hurwitz. If you’re new to the show, the format is simple. Each week, Edith speaks to key figures from the world of cinema about the music in their work, with relevant examples of the cues we discuss woven into the discussion. So it is you'll be hearing extracts from Justin’s compositions for Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench, Whiplash and La La Land, all of which he scored for his Damien. The pair met in their Freshman year at Harvard, forming a band called Chester French who went on to have considerable success after they to make movies. But Chester French’s loss has been our gain, with Whiplash and La La Land in particular earning near-universal acclaim – not to mention awards and nominations aplenty …

Preview: La La Land Composer Justin Hurwitz On His Musical Themes For The Film  

How many piano demos does it take to find melodies for the soundtrack to a film like La La Land? Turns out quite a lot! Here composer Justin Hurwitz tells Edith exactly how much time he spent at the piano refining the themes for Damien Chazelle’s stunning musical. The full show is out on Friday 20th January. In the meantime, why not check out our previous episode with Damien by heading to the main Soundtracking page at Audioboom? He's predictably great company and most well-informed when it comes to music too.

Episode 24: Damien Chazelle On The Music Of La La Land And Whiplash  

If you've had the pleasure of watching Damien Chazelle's debut feature Whiplash, you'll know it's a hard act it is to follow. But follow it he has with La La Land, an utterly beguiling 21st century musical set in the city of angels. Having just landed 7 Golden Globes - including Best Screenplay and actress and actor awards for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling - it's now been nominated for 11 Baftas. In the case of both Whiplash and La La Land, the music is provided by Damien's old college roommate Justin Hurwitz, who I'm delighted to say joins me next week. You’ll hear plenty of examples from both scores, as well as a spot of West Side Story and Singing In The Rain.

Preview: Damien Chazelle On The Musicals That Inspired His Multiple Golden Globe  Winning Film La La Land  

Well, this is seriously exciting … Fresh from La La Land’s stunning success at The Golden Globes (and its subsequent swathe of BAFTA nominations), director Damien Chazelle joins Edith to discuss the story behind his wonderful 21st Century musical. In this preview, he gives us an insight into the kind of films that inspired the score's tone for his composer and good friend, Justin Hurwitz. The full episode is out on Friday, and also features plenty of chat about Whiplash – not to mention a West Side Story!

Episode 23: John Michael McDonagh On The Music In War On Everyone, The Guard And Calvary  

Edith's guest this week is fast establishing a reputation as a filmmaker of wit, originality and imaginative flair. In his short career as a writer / director, John Michael McDonagh has brought us 3 features, all of which have been characterised by taut narrative, black comedy and whip-crack dialogue. First up was The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, which is officially the most financially successful Irish independent movie of all time. Then came Calvary, a darkly humorous drama about a priest tormented by his community. Now he’s crossed the Atlantic with War On Everyone, another twisted comedy in which Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña play a pair of tearaway New Mexico cops. John’s heartfelt passion for music is reflected in the wide variety of artists he’s used in his work. During the course of our conversation, you’ll hear tunes from The Clash, The Fun Loving Criminals, REM, M.O.P and John Denver, among many, many others. We’ll also discuss his collaborations on score with Calexico, Patrick Cassidy and Lorne Balfe.

Preview: John Michael McDonagh Reflects Upon His Choice Of Song For The End Credits Of War On Everyone  

Edith’s guest this week is John Michael McDonagh, the man behind The Guard, Calvary and now War On Everyone, which stars Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña. We cannot begin to tell you what superb taste in music he has - and the wide variety of tracks he’s used in his films. Suffice to say, you’ll hear everything from REM through Ennio Morricone to Calexico and M.O.P. when the full episode is released on Friday. In this brief preview, John reflects upon the song he used for the end credits of War On Everyone – and the (perhaps unexpected) reason he settled upon the original versionover the cover, despite the protestations of his leading man!

Episode 22: JA Bayona On The Music Of A Monster Calls, The Impossible And The Orphanage  

Edith's first guest of 2017 is Juan Antonio Bayona - or JA for short - which we hope you'll agree seems a most excellent way to start the New Year. Since 2007, the Spanish director has made three critically acclaimed movies - all of which have had, in very different ways, children at the centre of the narrative. First came his superior horror flick The Orphanage, followed by The Impossible, which is about a family caught up in the 2004 tsunami and was inspired by true events. Now he brings us A Monster Calls. Based on the award winning fantasy novel by Patrick Ness, it tells the story of a boy who comes to terms with the terminal illness of his mother with the help of a humanoid tree. It stars Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall and Liam Neeson, and is an incredibly powerful cinematic experience. As with all JA's films, A Monster Calls is scored by Fernando Velazquez, while his foray into television with Penny Dreadful saw him collaborate with Polish composer, Abel Korzeniowski. You can expect plenty of extracts from both musicians' work, as well as pieces from George Delarue and Elmer Bernstein among others.

Preview:  A Monster Calls Director JA Bayona On The Music In The Orphanage  

Due to the shifting dates of cinematic releases over the festive season, this week’s episode of Soundtracking will be out on New Year’s Day. Edith’s guest is Spanish director JA Bayona, whose latest film is a wonderful adaptation of Patrick Ness’s award-winning children’s novel, A Monster Calls. In this preview of the show, he reveals the inspiration behind the score to one of his previous films, The Orphanage, which was composed by his regular collaborator, Fernando Velázquez.

Episode 21: Justin Kurzel On The Music Of Assassin's Creed, Macbeth & Snowtown  

In days gone by, it might have been considered a backward step to go from adapting Shakespeare to adapting a video game. Not anymore – with this week’s guest Justin Kurzel having done just that. Following his hugely well-received take on Macbeth, the Australian director has now turned his attention to Assassin’s Creed - a movie based on the video game franchise that has sold well over 100 million copies worldwide. Both projects are scored by his brother Jed, and both star one of the actors of the moment, Michael Fassbender. In the 21st Century, our brief here on Soundtracking applies as much to games as it does to film. Not only is the Assassin’s Creed series fully scored by the likes of Jesper Kyd and Winifred Phillips, but one of the trailers features a cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World by New Zealand vocal sensation, Lorde. They’re more than just hackathons, too - with big ideas about morality, science, history and fate driving the narrative. Plenty, then, for Justin to draw inspiration from when transforming the games into a cinematic experience …

Preview: Director Justin Kurzel Shares His Thoughts On The Score For His Adaptation Of Macbeth  

Ahead of our next episode, here’s a clip of director Justin Kurzel discussing his brother Jed’s score for Macbeth. It’s a truly eerie piece of work - at once evoking the Scottish landscape, medieval backdrop and dark themes of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The full episode is released on Friday 23rd December, and features plenty of chat about and music from his latest project, Assassin’s Creed.

Episode 20: Gareth Edwards On The Music Of Rogue One, Star Wars, Monsters and Godzilla  

In cinematic terms, it may very well just be the greatest story ever told. With its ground-breaking special effects, unforgettable cast of characters and universal themes, the original Star Wars trilogy has inspired and delighted film goers ever since A New Hope blew everyone away in 1977. Among those to have felt its force is Gareth Edwards - the man charged with directing the latest addition to the franchise, Rogue One. And it goes without saying that music is central to the impact of George Lucas’s masterpiece – as are the iconic sound effects. John Williams’s score is one of the most famous ever written, while we all mimicked the noise of a Tie-Fighter or lightsaber when we played with the toys as kids. Gareth was only too aware of this sonic legacy, and reveals how he and composer Michael Giacchino acknowledged it in Rogue One. We’ll also explore his collaborations with Jon Hopkins and Alexandre Desplat on Monsters and Godzilla respectively, with plenty of examples from both scores woven into the conversation.

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