BUNCH OF FIVES: Jennifer Walton – music composed for film | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Phillipa Carson

Beguiling and intricate electro songwriter and musician Jennifer Walton performs at Whole Latte Love at this year’s Stockton Calling, taking place on Saturday 31st March. Here, she tells us about some of her favourite pieces of music composed for film.

Under The Skin – Love (Mica Levi)
Like a lot of the films in this mix, I grew really obsessed with them and re-watched them all a dangerous amount of times, but none had the immediate impact like seeing Under The Skin for the first time. The track Love, stands alone amongst the wave of discordance and sparse dread that the rest of the score gives. Love gives a feeling of momentary synthetic hope and respite, before being cut short in a heartbreaking scene. Mica Levi’s score is an incredible example of thematic scoring that underpins the films subtext and world/character building perfectly.

The Social Network – Hand Covers Bruise (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross) 
The Social Network was the first film I’d seen to draw industrial and electronic elements into film score. When the already cinematic sound and narrative song writing of Nine Inch Nails is fused with gorgeous direction of David Fincher it combines perfectly. From industrial driving optimism to bleak warped orchestral pieces, the variety shows the breadth of both composers. There was nothing quite like getting pulverised by the sub in the club scene, at the Odeon in Bolden as a 12 year old. 

Youth – Just (After Song Of Songs) – David Lang 
After seeing Youth, this piece seemed to play on loop in my head before being forced to listen to it back to back. Since then I’ve been locked on to David Lang’s other contemporary classical pieces. His work with voice is incredible, from the choral elements of Love Fails to the personification of death in Death Speaks. As a piece of score Just is wholly unique, using lyrics as its main component in scenes that also have speech. The text of the song and the diegetic speech exist so well together without the worlds between them clashing. 

Her – Loneliness #3 (Night Talking) – Arcade Fire & Owen Pallett 
I saw Her purely for the fact that Arcade Fire and frequent collaborator Owen Pallett had provided music for it, yet was instantly in love with Spike Jonze’s vision of a near future. The way he handles future issues of love and intimacy feel nuanced and stay away from the pitfalls of tech scepticism that so many others have fallen. The score feels similarly nuanced, using the common language of typical film score while giving an electronic flourish that elevates them to a plane of their own. The band’s decision not to release the score outside of the film breaks my heart … (thank god for leakers) 

Raw – Finger Scene – Jim Williams 
After seeing the trailer for Raw before the disappointing Alien: Covenant, I got hooked by its use of abstract imagery that worked as the perfect trailer to convey its world without giving any concrete sense of plot. My first time seeing it I sat open mouthed for the whole film. Each scene is dense with information without overbearing the viewer, either building on the themes of sisterhood or the other… darker themes. The sparse score perfectly interweaves feelings of nostalgia with more typical horror foreboding. This track marks a moment of no return for the film, playing it without visuals does it a disservice. If nothing else, watch this film!

Listen to Jennifer’s playlist here:

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