It's unfathomable to look back on film history and to imagine its greatest moments play out without their soundtracks. From Lawrence of Arabia to Jaws, a movie can be as identifiable by its musical themes as by its imagery, and the two together work in a way more mysterious and magical than either element would on its own. 2015 was an unprecedented year for music, with lifetime greats putting forth incredibly potent late-career works and newcomers defining their own sounds right as they defined their film's.
"The first piece of music I wrote was the final fight cues because that was the first scene they cut. I didn’t have any other scenes from the movie. I scored that whole 30-minute fight scene with ambient soundscapes. The only music I had was the old Rocky musical cue when Creed stands up and is like, 'I’m gonna go knock that son of a bitch down.'"
"I think maybe one of the most universal aspects of the film that people can identify with is that in the modern world so many of us are immigrants. It seems to be a huge part of contemporary life. And although we achieve greater self-realization, perhaps we also pay a price for that as we are separated from our families and I think there’s a fundamental human need to be around family and community. Perhaps a great deal of contemporary angst comes from that separation that goes against our human nature."
"I was instantly sort of terrified and was questioning my sanity for even saying yes to it, but my excitement for working with [director Colin Trevorrow] and working on a Jurassic movie after so many years sort of overtook that [fear] and got the better of me."
"It’s a very intense film and has this relentless intensity to it. That was something that I felt the music needed to emphasize and support. So, the idea of using percussion and rhythmical elements came very early on. But then, there was also the sense of feeling the loneliness of the desert and this kind of sadness of the border areas and the melancholy of the border."
"And I, actually, about one piece of music in the middle of the film, we had a serious argument. I literally wrote an email to him, you know, 'Trust me, trust me, my music is better than this temp music. Let me record it with real musicians, you'll hear it.' And I won."
"Tarantino considers this film a Western; for me, this is not a Western. I wanted to do something that was totally different from any Western music I had composed in the past."
"And [It Follows] was also a horror film that I felt like had a heart. It wasn't just arbitrarily dark and twisted. I want the things I work on to have a heart, so I was attracted to that."
"It’s when you’re dealing with emotional situations for me, I tend to believe less is more. The simplest thing you can do is just be simple and it’s always the hardest thing to do as well because the tendency is, for an emotional moment, is to pour on more and more and more but I learned over the years that it’s actually the opposite. It’s much like when you’re talking to a friend who just went through some sort of trauma, you’re not going to yell at them, you’re going to be as quiet and as supportive and just be there with them, and that’s how I like the music to be there in those moments, it’s almost as if a friend is there being with the character."
"There was such a belief in technology during this time that it felt like the future was arriving. I wanted to reflect that in the music. I wanted to use equipment from 1984, so I used old synthesizers. I wanted to work on this section in a way people would’ve worked on music in 1984. Composers had massive limitations we don’t have now. They used to have synthesizers that went out of tune because the heating was on. You had to play everything by hand and if you had a bad take, you’d have to do it again. With computers these days, we’re not used to that. That forced me to work differently for the first act. Those kinds of limitations can be very effective."
"I felt that he had made [the film] consistently and organically related to George Lucas’ incredibly original vision. At the same time, I felt a renewed energy, and a vitality, and a freshness that did not estrange any of the characters or material from the texture and fabric of Lucas’ creation — but revivified it."