For Variety’s first awards-season section on potential Oscar contenders in music, I interviewed Harry Gregson-Williams (The Martian), Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs) and Johann Johannsson (Sicario) about their use of technology in music-making: The Martian combines electronics with traditional orchestra and choir, Steve Jobs a unique three-part approach including 1980s synthesizers, Sicario extensive processing of acoustic sounds. A second story concerns composers Mychael and Jeff Danna creating a surprising and unusual soundscape for Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur.
Great fun last night interviewing English composer Daniel Pemberton after a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening of the new Steve Jobs movie at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn theater in Hollywood. Pemberton was a delight, explaining (with lots of amusing asides) how each of the film’s three distinct acts demanded its own musical approach. He used vintage synthesizers for the 1984 segment, a classical/operatic style for the 1988 “revenge” segment set in the San Francisco Opera House, and a modern synth approach created with Apple technology in his studio for the final act, set in 1998. Pemberton, who is already well-known in the U.K., also wrote a fun score for this year’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie.