Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score to Paul Thomas Anderson's movie Phantom Thread.
The album features the films original music composed by Jonny Greenwood who recorded his score with the London Contemporary Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The films piano-and-strings dominated score, which received a Golden Globes nomination for best original score, plays a key role in defining the lead characters of Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), the 1950s London couture designer, and Alma (Vicky Krieps), his model and lover.
"We talked a lot about 50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded," Greenwood tells Variety. "Nelson Riddle and Glenn Goulds Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections, Ben Webster made some good ones, and focus on what the strings were doing rather than the jazz musicians themselves."
Greenwood reasoned that if Reynolds listened to music, it would have been Gould. "Lots of slightly obsessive, minimal baroque music," says Greenwood. "And we could use the piano as the common ground between the romantic music and the formal, slightly more buttoned-up themes that suited Reynolds."
The romantic movements "couldnt cross into pastiche, or be in any way ironic," he says. "It took a long time to figure out how to do that." At one point, Greenwood recorded with an ensemble of 60 strings, his largest ever.
Some of the cues, however, are played by only a quartet. "The smaller groups, and solo players, work like close-ups [and] not necessarily to accompany [a] visual, but rather, to focus your attention on and make you feel directly engaged with the characters. The bigger orchestral things often worked best for drawing you back to see the bigger situation."
Anderson first heard Greenwoods themes-in-progress at the musicians London studio.
"These were turned into a whole body of work for him to draw from, and to request longer, shorter, faster versions and variations," says Greenwood, adding that, "Some cues were written specifically to scenes. Others were just sketches of the characters, or of the story."
All told, some 90 minutes of music ended up in the final cut. Says Greenwood: "When I told [this to] Robert Ziegler, who conducted the score, he said, Thats not a soundtrack, thats a musical! But I know Im pretty lucky to work on films like this, where theres so much scope for developing a score over such a long time."
"Building out from the movie's main theme a delicate whirlwind of violins that comes in four different variations, like a model being newly outfitted for each new fashion season Greenwood's score is a masterpiece of troubled beauty, a glass of sherry spiked with poison. At first, in fraught pieces like 'Boletus Felleus' and 'Sandalwood I,' the beauty is troubling. However, by the time we get to the climactic lilt of 'For the Hungry Boy,' the troubling has become beautiful. Greenwood perfectly intuits the tidal dynamics of Anderson's perverse romance, and translates them into something that everyone can feel for themselves. Thanks to Greenwood, 'Phantom Thread' would still be one of the year's best films if you watched it with your eyes closed." - David Ehrlich, IndieWire, The 10 Best Movie Scores of 2017, Rated 1/10!
"As lavish and lush as the film's old-world beauty...The scope of the score far exceeds Greenwood's previous work for film." - Pitchfork
24-page special booklet
Limited time MP3 download
1. Phantom Thread I
2. The Hem
3. Sandalwood I
4. The Tailor Of Fitzrovia
6. Boletus Felleus
7. Phantom Thread II
8. Catch Cold
9. Never Cursed
10. That's As May Be
11. Phantom Thread III
12. I'll Follow You Tomorrow
13. House Of Woodcock
14. Sandalwood II
15. Barbara Rose
16. Endless Superstition
17. Phantom Thread IV
18. For The Hungry Boy