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★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

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★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

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Recently, it was announced that Thom Yorke is making his debut as a film score composer, providing the soundtrack for a forthcoming remake of 1977 cult horror movie Suspiria.

 

However, he's not the first musician to take a sideways step at the day job and delve into the intricate world of cinematic sonic production; even within his mainstay Radiohead, fellow bandmate Jonny Greenwood has begun crafting a name for himself as a film composer. Most notably, his work with Paul Thomas Anderson has been the subject of many awards and outstanding critical acclaim (Check out the soundtracks for 'There Will Be Blood', 'The Master' and 'Inherent Vice').

 

In this post, we'll focus on likeminded musicians who've taken on the task to challenge themselves creatively and compose a film score. (Note: This is not for existing soundtracks by already brilliant film score composers. I could write you a whole seperate essay on the genius of Ennio Morricone or Hans Zimmer some other time).

 

OK... Lights, Camera, Action!

 

Mica Levi - ‘Under The Skin’

spotify:album:6we3dlKJ8GPvKLwe9ysyC8:small

 

This was Mica Levi's first outing in film composition following her work with the Shapes, and she created a dark, dystopian noise for Jonathan Glazer's 2013 sickening minimal sci-fi. Unsettling, spacious, and tense, it accompanies the picture perfectly.

 

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - ‘The Proposition’

spotify:album:5TIEo6HnDn54UDGKXYgQGz:small

 

These Bad Seeds have already been doing soundtracks together outside of their main focus for over a decade... This, their first soundtrack together, sits on John Hillcoat's Australian bushranger western just right.

 

Curtis Mayfield - ‘Superfly’

spotify:album:6EE7W9L4RiZ10L9duKHCYS:small

 

Mayfield's music for the 1972 blaxploitation crime drama Super Fly is now regarded as a pioneering concept album about social justice, influencing countless soul artists afterwards. He also did another six films after this, each just as soulful as the rest.

 

Miles Davis - ‘A Tribute To Jack Johnson’

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Boxing promoter Bill Cayton asked Miles to soundtrack his documentary about the African American World Heavyweight, Jack Johnson. Released by Columbia in 1971, it's often cited as the second-most influential album to the Jazz-Rock fusion genre. And number one? 'Bitches Brew', which came out just a year before from Davis, also.

 

Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow - ‘Black Mirror’

spotify:album:5pbIO76BmvXWsIPRax9aD3:small

 

Barrow's work with electronic trip-hop pioneers Portishead hasn't stopped him delving deeper into weirder terrains. His work with Beak> is exceptional, but his soundtrack to an episode of Charlie Brooker's third series of techno-paranoia sci fi show 'Black Mirror' is remarkable. Working with Ben Salisbury (most notable for soundtracking Ex Machina and his long-standing relationship with the BBC and David Attenborough documentaries), the duo forged this album of blackened, droning soundscape. It fits the mood.

 

Let's hear and see more examples below, if you could!

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Regular

It's a bit a Beatles battle with two here from Harrison and McCartney! 

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/6OaJICWjl2MBTJDkw3njBJ

https://open.spotify.com/album/6FTdI3JhonfzzxpFA4ohlq

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Spotify
Spotify

Thanks, @Ellis!

 

In this Beatles battle, I'd say Harrison was the winner here. Killer record.

 

I like how you can subtly here traffic noise on tracks like 'In The Park' in places, due to the Bombay studio not having enough soundproofing. True story.

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Spotify Legend
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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Spotify Legend

spotify:album:69vvz4vmGiVvhEVnZkGbTE:small

spotify:album:6V8ConRfFeocQqrgmGd2MY:small

 

M83 have really created some lush soundscapes as well.

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Spotify
Spotify

Ahh @BaileySparkes, there's only two bands in the world that could have been chosen for that recent Tron soundtrack. Daft Punk and Kraftwerk, it had to be one of the two, didn't it? Those crazy robot people!

 

And I was totally unaware that M83 had gone into soundtracks, that's really interesting. I'll have to give these a spin. Not heard of the films, either.

Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Community Legend

Neil Young has created the soundtrack for "Dead man" by Jim Jarmusch. His stripped-down guitarscapes add another dimension to the movie and work perfectly. This example shows, that some movies don't need a large orchestra-score a la Hollywood.

 

spotify:album:57GBZQjetaMLHU24bJMHqv

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Rock Star 21
Rock Star 21

NIN's Trent Reznor has also shown some great pieces.

 

Here's a couple:

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/1ijkFiMeHopKkHyvQCWxUa

 

https://open.spotify.com/album/6LMRoAUdMGlsy8PeDw3eek

 

Amazing movies as well 🙂

 

BittencourtRock Star 21
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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Spotify
Spotify

Ah, great choices @Bittencourt and @heartscore!

 

I wasn't aware of Neil Young's history in cinematic soundtrack work, and I'll make a note to listen. 

 

That first Reznor album for the Social Network very almost made my cut of picks above, strangely! It was pipped to the post by the Geoff Barrow / Ben Salisbury album.

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Re: ★ Musicians Go Moving Picture ★

Community Legend

@Jack Well I am not sure, if I would listen to it without the movie, it's kinda ... spartanic

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