Reinventing Film Scores - An Interview with London Contemporary Orchestra

With their ear for amorphous string sections, sweeping melody, and unnerving electronics, the London Contemporary Orchestra have been quietly altering the sound of cinema over the past decade.

Establishing themselves as Jonny Greenwood’s go-to orchestra, they have recorded on Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, as well as collaborating on Greenwood’s scores for films The Master and most recently The Phantom Thread and You Were Never Really Here.

It was their score for The Phantom Thread that earned them and Greenwood their first Oscar nomination. A melancholy, piano-led suite of instrumentals, the score perfectly accompanied Daniel Day-Lewis’ final performance as the controlling couturier, Reynolds Woodcock.

Always pushing boundaries, the orchestra have also worked on a number of contemporary electronic projects including a collaboration with techno producer Actress for Boiler Room and a ‘deconstructed jungle’ set of orchestral compositions at last year’s Printworks GABA-Analogue show.

We spoke to the orchestra’s co-directors and conductors Robert Ames and Hugh Brunt about the nuances of film scoring, the annoyance of some films’ ‘nonsense music’, and finding their space between the electronic and acoustic.

Read the interview in Hero Magazine.

[This piece was published on 26/03/18]