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.


Episode 34: An Edgar Wright Musical Retrospective  

Like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright is one of those filmmakers who's become synonymous with an expert use of music in his work. As well as having collaborated with composers such as Nigel Godrich, Stephen Price and David Arnold, he's also deployed source cues to maximum effect in every single one of his projects - from offbeat comedy classic Spaced to the ridiculously entertaining Cornetto Trilogy. It's thus an absolute delight to welcome him to Soundtracking - a weekly podcast in which directors, writers, actors and musicians discuss the sounds of the screen. Edgar's new film Baby Driver recently premiered at South By Southwest in Texas to great acclaim, but we'll invite him back to talk more about that in August when it gets a general release. Suffice to say, the soundtrack features in excess of 35 songs ... In the meantime, we're going to reflect upon a CV that includes Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, World's End and Scott Pilgrim - not to mention Spaced - the wonderfully postmodern TV show with which he made his name ...

Preview: Edgar Wright On The Song 'Don't Stop Me Now' Kept Out Of Shaun Of The Dead  

Ahead of a very special retrospective with Edgar Wright, the esteemed British director reveals which track would have replaced Don't Stop Me Know in Shaun Of The Dead had they failed to get clearance from the nice fellas in Queen. It's an absolute corker. The full episode is out on Friday 24th March, and features plenty of further discussion about the music in Spaced and The Cornetto Trilogy.

Episode 33: Bill Condon On The Music Of Beauty And The Beast, Dreamgirls & Chicago  

When Jon Favreau joined Edith to discuss his remake of The Jungle Book, he revealed that the aspect of the film he was most preoccupied with was the music. Our latest guest Bill Condon says much the same thing about his retelling of a more recent Disney classic, Beauty And The Beast. In Bill's case, it was a potential deal-breaker: he only agreed to direct the project on the condition that the man who composed the original score came on board. That man is Alan Menken, whose Oscar-winning themes for the 1991 animation reverberate loud and clear throughout this live action reboot. We also discuss his work with pre-eminent composer, Carter Burwell, who has collaborated with Bill on several occasions

Preview: Director Bill Condon On The Composers That Inspired Him  

When does one ever need an excuse to hear Bernard Herrmann's main theme for North By Northwest or Pino Donaggio's work on Carrie? Never, of course, but it so happens we have one anyway. Ahead of our next episode with Bill Condon, the Beauty And The Beast director reflects upon the film music that influence him growing up. The full show is out on Friday 17th March.

Episode 32: Jordan Vogt-Roberts On The Music Of Kong, Vietnam & The Kings Of Summer  

The mighty Kong has traveled a long way since we first saw him batting away aeroplanes atop the Empire State Building to the melodramatic strains of the great Max Steiner. CGI now rules when it comes to Monster Movies, in the way Marcel Delgado's model of the giant ape did the New York skyline back in 1933. But some things in cinema never change - including the way music is used to set an identifiable tone for narrative. In the case of Kong: Skull Island, young American director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has sought to introduce the familiar sonic stylings of the Vietnam War to the traditional thrills and spills of the matinee creature feature - with most entertaining results. During the course of his conversation with Edith you'll hear plenty of musical nods to Apocalypse Now and Good Morning Vietnam - and also discover which Rolling Stones track provided the inspiration for Henry Jackman's score. They also reflect upon Jordan's previous film, The Kings Of Summer, with extracts from composer Ryan Miller's wonderful experimental soundscape underlaying the discussion. But the show begins on Skull Island, where Samuel L Jackson and his men go about their business to the pounding beats of Creedence Clearwater Revival, David Bowie and Black Sabbath ...

Preview: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts On The Joys Of South Korean Cinema  

Ahead of our next episode with Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the 'Kong: Skull Island' director provides a couple of movie recommendations from South Korea. Jordan professes a fondness for messing around with genre conventions - and reckons the likes of Bong Joon-ho and Na Hong-Jin are the current masters at upending audience expectation. We've accompanied this preview with extracts of score by Byeong Woo Lee and ‎Jang Young-gyu - including a very cool theme from The Good, The Bad & The Weird. The full episode is out on Friday 10th March.

Episode 31: James Mangold On The Music Of Logan, Cop Land & Johnny Cash  

If one could embody charm, it might very well take the form of James Mangold - an open, warm and intelligent man who also happens to have a proven track record in delivering quite tremendous movies. His latest offering is Logan - a dark, violent and spandex-free addition to the X-Men franchise, which sees Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the throes of existential crises. Critics love it - in part due to the director's offbeat take on a sometimes formulaic genre. And as we'll discover, offbeat is a word which applies equally to Marco Beltrami's score ... While James doesn't entirely accept the claim himself, his films have been described as eclectic. He's certainly tackled a rich variety of subject matter - from Cop Land to Girl Interrupted and the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line - with scores and soundtracks to boot. Enjoy!

Preview: Director James Mangold On The Link Between Johnny Cash, Frankenstein & Wolverine  

Ahead of our next episode, James Mangold tells Edith why he chose The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash to end his new film, 'Logan'. It's a deeply personal story, beginning with the time he spent talking to Johnny while preparing his script for 'Walk The Line'. The full episode is out on Friday 3rd March, and features music from 'Heavy', 'Girl, Interrupted' and 'Cop Land' among many other films.

Episode 30: Gore Verbinski On The Music Of Pirates Of The Caribbean, Rango & The Cure For Wellness  

Another week, another Academy Award winner - this time in the shape of Tennessee director Gore Verbinski. Gore secured the Oscar for Rango – a firm family favourite in Edith's house - and has also notched up a string of box office smashes, from Mouse Hunt and The Mexican to The Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy. As you’d expect from someone ranked as the 10th highest grossing director in the world, he’s also collaborated with some mighty fine composers. On which note, Gore is not the first of our guests to have developed a productive relationship with Hans Zimmer. As well as scoring several of his movies, Hans also offers regular advice on who to hire when he’s not available. Indeed, this applies to Gore’s latest film - the psychological horror A Cure For Wellness. Based on his own nighhtmares, it stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth and tells the story of a young American executive who is sent to a mysterious rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps. As is typical of the genre, music and sound design play a key role in building tension – with the cornerstone of Ben Wallfisch’s excellent score a creepy lullaby that’s reprised in various forms throughout the film …

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.

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