Jonny Greenwood has shared a new track from his score to Pablo Larrain’s new film Spencer, which premiered at Venice Film Festival and stars Kristen Stewart as the late Princess Diana. The piece is entitled “Crucifix” and is available via all streaming services, and can also be listened to on YouTube via the link below. The full score will be released on November 12th via Mercury KX.
Spencer will be the ninth film soundtrack that Greenwood has composed, with other notable credits including Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice, as well as Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here, which starred Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role. According to NME, the soundtrack to Spencer has been described as “a poignant accompaniment to the film, of genre bending music that combines free jazz and classical baroque.”
Greenwood shared details regarding the score and the writing process in a recent exclusive interview with NME, saying; “I explained to Pablo (Larrain) that there’s lots of baggage attached to classical music in films about the royals. You either use actual Handel or pastiche Handel. I watched a few royal films, which were full of sweeping shots of Buckingham Palace, with fanfare horns and tinkling harpsichords on top. I wanted instead to emphasise how chaotic and colourful Princess Diana was, in amongst all that baroque tradition. It’s what the film does too.”
Given Greenwood’s description of the overall sound, “Crucifix” appears to be one of the gentler pieces in the score, featuring gradually swelling strings, subdued timpani hits and sweeping harpsichord arpeggiations. Stylistically, Greenwood’s approach to film scoring has varied over the years; There Will Be Blood’s score is defined largely by piano and string pieces, whereas the sound of You Were Never Really Here is one that fuses electronic drums and lush synthesisers with guitars and orchestral instruments.
In other recent news, Jonny Greenwood has explained to NME more details of The Smile, a recently formed side-project that also features fellow Radiohead bandmate Thom Yorke and Tom Skinner of Sons of Kemet. The group made their debut in a surprise performance at Live At Worthy Farm on May 22nd of this year and announced in July that they had recorded a full-length album.
Greenwood said of the band’s forthcoming debut: “We’re sitting in front of a pile of music, working out what will make the record. We’re thinking of how much to include, whether it’s really finished or if there are a few guitars that need fixing. I’d hope it’ll come out soon, but I’m the wrong person to ask.”