There Will Be Music

Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Thomas Anderson

JONNY GREENWOOD: Sometimes Paul would describe the thing as kind of close to the horror-film genre. And we talked about how The Shining had lots of Penderecki and stuff in it. So yeah. I think it was about not necessarily just making period music, which very traditionally you would do. But because they were traditional orchestral sounds, I suppose that's what we hoped was a little unsettling, even though you know all the sounds you're hearing are coming from very old technology. You can just do things with the classical orchestra that do unsettle you, that are sort of slightly wrong, that have some kind of undercurrent that's slightly sinister. Which is what's happening with this film sometimes. Part of what I picked up on and got excited about is that it's the end of the 19th Century. A lot of [things are] just implied, so it's not a horror film in that sense, because people are sort of being polite, but there's a sense of darkness going on at the same time. I love that kind of stuff, when things are unspoken.
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON: I guess when you have a title like that, the music better be a little bit scary.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The score is extremely in-your-face in this film, as in all of Paul's movies. To love his films is really to go along with his musical choices. It's not like anyone could say, ''I loved the movie but hated the music.'' It's really integral — and loud. And it often stretches across different scenes.
You're right, when Paul puts the music in a film, it's very upfront. I realize now that I had an easy ride, really, in that it's the first time I've done anything like it, and I thought a film soundtrack would involve having to hit certain points and then duck out for people to say things, and [each cue] would all be over in exactly 63 seconds, or whatever. But instead, it's three minutes of all music [and no dialogue], to the image, quite often. It's mad, really. I was a bit like a kid in a candy store, in that I was just given free reign to write a lot of music with the film or certain scenes vaguely in mind. So I just wrote and wrote. I thought I'd have to be timing things, and the musicians would all have to play to click tracks. But it was the opposite to that. It felt like a really musical thing to be doing, although I'm sure that's not how it normally is for a soundtrack composer.
ANDERSON: To make a film, the final big collaborator that you have is the composer. Jonny was really one of the first people to see the film. And when he came back with a bunch of music, it actually helped show me what his impression of the film was. Which was terrific, because I had no impression. I had no idea what we were doing. And really, you have so many people that you collaborate with along this whole road of making a film, and you get to the end, and you're kind of face to face with two people really at the end: the editor and the composer. It's like the bottom of the Christmas tree. There's just the three of you standing, holding all of these people's work together, trying to make sense out of it. It was funny, because some of the stuff that Jonny came back with initially didn't make any sense to me at all. And he was smart enough to avoid me for a few days, so that I could let it all settle.

NEXT PAGE: ''I'm really not that competent at describing things musically. I think Jonny was probably amazingly patient with hearing some really long winded descriptions of things that made no reference to how you could do it musically.''


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