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 55: Benedict Andrews On The Music Of Film, Theatre & Opera  

Following a string of seasoned moviemakers such as Luc Besson, Doug Liman and Steven Soderbergh, we bring you a relative novice this week in the shape of Benedict Andrews. At least - a novice in cinematic terms. For Benedict is one of the world's foremost theatre and opera directors, who makes the transition to the screen with psychological thriller Una. Given this is Benedict's first film, much of the conversation focuses on the differences between the mediums in which he's worked. It also gives us an opportunity to play you examples of music from his stage productions, including extracts from Alex Baranowski's smoky, cinematic score for Streetcar Named Desire, which starred Gillian Anderson. But there's plenty to discuss when it come to Una too. Starring the ever excellent Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, the narrative centres on a woman confronting an older man about a illicit sexual relationship which took place in their past. The film is scored by Benedict's friend Jed Kurzel, whose work we discussed at length during a previous show with Jed's brother, Justin. Jed has developed a reputation as a composer of serious weight, as evidence by the fact he and the London Contemporary Orchestra recently provided the music for Ridley Scott's Alien Covenant. Hardly surprising, then, that Benedict turned to his old mate on taking the plunge from stage to screen ...

Preview: Benedict Andrews On Jed Kurzel's Score For Una  

Ahead of our next episode with Benedict Andrews, the director reveals one of the sonic inspirations for Jed Kurzel's score for Una. Given the film deals with the thorny issue of an illicit sexual relationship between the protagonists (played by Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn), it was imperative they found the right tone. Benedict is one of the world's foremost theatre directors - so the full episode features plenty of discussion about how one makes the transition from stage to screen. It's out on Friday 8th September - do join Edith then.

Episode 54: Steven Soderbergh On The Music In His Work  

When Edith sat down with Steven Soderbergh, he immediately told her he'd been listening to our podcast by way of research. That unsettled her a little bit, but we hope you'll agree his homework served him well - such was the magnificence of his company! As a director, he's renowned for his expert use of both needle-drop and score - with Thomas Newman and Cliff Martinez two of his go-to composers. His latest project Logan Lucky sees him reunited with David Holmes, with whom he struck up a most fruitful relationship on Out Of Sight and the Ocean films. And it's with Logan Lucky we began - and David's Original Score Medley that features on the soundtrack to the film ...

Preview: Steven Soderbergh On The Art Of Using Music In Film  

Ahead of our next episode, Steven tells Edith about his principles when it comes to using needle-drops and score in music - including a phenomenon he calls the Looney Tunes approach! The full episode is out on Friday 1st September, and includes discussions about his collaborations with David Holmes & Cliff Martinez, as well as plenty of music from his latest film, Logan Lucky.

Episode 53: Doug Liman On American Made, Swingers, Bourne & Go  

From indie classics Swingers and Go to big budget blockbusters The Bourne Identity and Edge Of Tomorrow, Doug Liman is a director who makes a point of thrusting the viewer into the very heart of the action. His musical selections are central to the experience - as evidenced by the Oakenfold track which so memorably accompanied the exhilarating car chase in Bourne, and accompanies Edith's intro. Doug's latest film is American Made. It's based on the life of Barry Seal, a commercial pilot who became a drug smuggler in the 1980s and was recruited later on by the DEA to provide intelligence. The film is scored by Christophe Beck, who has very kindly sent us a couple of his cues from the film to exclusively feature in this episode. They're not available anywhere yet, so MASSIVE thanks to him. But as well as Christophe's original compositions, American Made also features a rip-roaring array of needle-drops from the 70s and 80s, including tracks by George Harrison, Talking Heads and the one which opens up the conversation - A Fifth Of Beethoven by Walter Murphy

Preview: Director Doug Liman On Go!  

Ahead of our next episode, Doug Liman explains what he was hoping to achieve with the excellent Soundtrack to Go, which remains a personal favourite. Musical accompaniment comes in the form of Lionrock and Fatboy Slim. The full episode is out on Friday 25th August, and features musical examples from Swingers, The Bourne Identity and his new film, American Made.

Episode 52: Clint Mansell On His Scores For High Rise, Moon, Requiem For A Dream & More  

It's fair to say Soundtracking might not exist without Clint. That's because the genesis of the idea formed when Edith saw him performing his film scores at the Largo in Los Angeles back in 2012. And 5 years later, here we all are! After his band Pop Will Eat Itself disbanded in 1996, Clint was introduced to the business when Darren Aronofsky asked him to score Pi. The pair have collaborated several times since - as part of total body of work comprising around 50 films. During the course of the conversation, you'll hear extended extracts of Clint's work on High Rise, Moon, Pi, Black Swan and Requiem For A Dream. But we begin in the iconic venue in which this interview took place - Air Studios in London - with the main theme from the very first score he recorded there ...

Preview: Clint Mansell On His Score For Black Swan  

Ahead of our next episode, Clint and Edith discuss the story behind his magnificent score for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. (By his own admission, he owes a debt of gratitude for it to a certain Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.) The full episode is out on Friday 18th August, and features examples of Clint's work on Moon, High Rise and Requiem For A Dream.

Episode 51: Writer & Director David Lowery On The Music In His Work  

From short film Pioneer to romantic crime drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Disney epic Pete's Dragon, David Lowery has made a habit of examining the nature of identity, family and relationships from altogether sideways perspectives. It's an approach that's served him well - and one he uses to great effect again in his latest offering, A Ghost Story. A Ghost Story stars Casey Affleck as the spirit of a recently deceased man who remains in the house he shared with his wife, played by Rooney Mara. It's scored by Daniel Hart, who David has worked with on many occasions. Daniel's compositions for the film stemmed from a song he wrote for his band, Dark Rooms, and you'll hear plenty of it during the course of the conversation. Edith and David also discuss the music which inspired him as an aspiring director, and also what it's like to work with the great Robert Redford.

Preview: Director David Lowery On The Great Will Oldham  

Ahead of our next episode with David Lowery, the director reflects upon collaborating with Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) on his short film Pioneer, Pete's Dragon and his latest project - the excellent A Ghost Story. The full episode is out on Friday 11th August.

Episode 50: Sarah Bridge On The Art Of Music Supervision  

This weekend mark's our first birthday, and it occurred to us that we've been rather remiss in our formative year in not having featured a music supervisor. So we decided to put that right by speaking to Sarah Bridge, who came highly recommended by one of our previous guests, the Oscar winning John Ridley. As well collaborating with John on Sky Atlantic's TV series Guerrilla, Sarah has worked on a host of critically acclaimed productions including X + Y, The Sense Of An Ending and The Theory Of Everything. The latter was scored by one of her idols, Jóhann Jóhannsson. This episode features examples of his score, not to mention music by Max Richter, Femi Kuti, Keaton Henson and Irma Thomas. But we began by learning about the myriad facets to Sarah's role in the movie-making process.

Preview: Music Supervisor Sarah Bridge On Her Attempts To Clear A Rolling Stones Track  

Well, it was never going to be easy, was it? But our latest guest Sarah Bridge had a cunning plan in the event the asking price broke the budget. The full episode is out on Friday 4th August, and offers a fascinating insight into to diverse brief of the music supervisor.

Episode 49: Luc Besson On The Music Of  Valerian, The Big Blue, Leon & Nikita  

When it comes to stylish movie-making, you can generally rely on the French. And one man with Gallic flair in abundance is Luc Besson. The genial Parisian has been involved in over 100 films as either a writer, producer or director - including much loved cult classics Nikita, The Big Blue and Leon. His latest project is CGI sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, a sumptuous visual feast based on the comics he loved as a kid. Much of Luc's work has been scored by his longtime friend Eric Serra, of which more in a moment. But in the case of Valerian, he turned to Alexandre Desplat, just to shake things up a little bit ...

Preview: Luc Besson On Eric Serra's Themes For The Big Blue  

Ahead of our next episode with Luc Besson, he and Edith reflect upon Eric Serra's score for the French director's much loved film. The full episode is out on Friday 28th July, and features music from Leon, Nikita and his latest movie, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. We love this guy!

Episode 48: Sofia Coppola On The Music Of The Beguiled, Lost In Translation And The Virgin Suicides  

When we originally conceived the idea of a show about film music, one of the first names on our guest wishlist was Sofia Coppola. And we finally got our girl - with the supremely gifted writer / director joining Edith on the release of The Beguiled, which won her the Palme D'Or at Cannes. Sofia's pedigree is impeccable. Few directors in the history of cinema have used music more effectively than her father - who instilled in her from a young age a deep understanding of its potential. This has been reflected in her own work - from the anachronistic punk tracks she deployed in period drama Marie Antoinette to the dreamy electronica that so perfectly fitted the mood of Lost In Translation. Playing now from that film is Alone in Kyoto by Air, who would later provide the score for The Virgin Suicides. She's also married to Thomas Mars form Phoenix, who composed what little score there is for The Beguiled.

Preview: Sofia Coppola On Air  

Ahead of our next episode, Sofia Coppola recalls the chance discovery of Air's Premiers Symptômes in a London record store, which ultimately led to them scoring The Virgin Suicides. The full episode is out on Friday 14th July, coinciding with the release of The Beguiled (hence the reason we've skipped a week).

Episode 47: Edgar Wright On The Music Of Baby Driver  

He's back! Having joined us to reflect upon his career to date in Episode 34, Edgar Wright returns to concentrate on his latest project Baby Driver, which has received widespread critical acclaim as it wows cinema-goers around the world. The film tells the story of young getaway driver Baby, who uses music to calm his nerves in the face of chronic tinnitus. As such, he's listening to his iPod throughout much of the narrative. It's an audacious premise which - while posing technical challenges - also gave Edgar the opportunity to share a wealth of sonic gems from his record collection. With 35 tunes in Baby Driver, there's certainly plenty to discuss - from the specific Jon Spencer track that inspired the movie 20 years ago to the structural delights of Barry White, Queen and Focus. It also features a personal favourite of Edith's, which seemed as good a place as any to start the conversation ...

Preview: The Return Of Edgar Wright  

Ahead of Edith's second installment of Soundtracking with the brilliant Edgar Wright, the director makes a confession about what happened to the vinyl collection that features in his latest film Baby Driver after shooting had finished. The full episode is out on Friday 30th June - and includes a comprehensive breakdown of why Edgar chose many of the 35 tracks in the movie.

Episode 46: Composer Nicholas Britell on The Music Of Moonlight, Seven Years A Slave & Vangelis  

One of the surprise cinematic hits of 2016 was the heart-wrenching coming-of-age drama Moonlight, which of course won Best Picture at this year's Oscars in unforgettable circumstances. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight presents 3 stages in the life of the main character Chiron as he struggles to deal with his sexuality and challenging social circumstances. It was beautifully scored by Nicholas Britell, who we're delighted to say is Edith's latest guest on Soundtracking - a weekly podcast about screen music. On the face of it, Nicholas's compositions follow orchestral conventions. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and one discovers all sorts of sonic tricks - including a technique borrowed from hip-hop called Chopped & Screwed, in which the original piece of music is slowed down, bent and overlaid to create something that sounds altogether different. Plenty, then, for Edith and Nicholas to discuss ...

Preview: Moonlight Composer Nicholas Britell On Using The Technique Known As 'Chopped & Screwed'  

Ahead of Edith's next episode, Nicholas Britell explains the thinking behind using a method associated with hip-hop on his classical score for the Oscar-winning Moonlight. Chopped & Screwed developed in the Houston hip hop scene in the early 1990s. It involves slowing the tempo down of the original piece, skipping beats, record scratching and affecting portions of the music to make a "chopped-up" version. This preview clip is typical of the insights Nicholas provides on the process behind scoring a movie - all articulated in terms that even the musically illiterate can understand. The full episode is out on Friday 23rd June.

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