Soundtracking With Edith Bowman



In a unique weekly podcast, Edith Bowman sits down with a variety of film directors, actors, producers and composers to talk about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films, from their current release to key moments in their career. The music chosen by our guests are woven amongst the interview and used alongside clips from their films.


  • Episode 21: Justin Kurzel On The Music Of Assassin's Creed, Macbeth & Snowtown

    23/12/2016 Duration: 37min

    In days gone by, it might have been considered a backward step to go from adapting Shakespeare to adapting a video game. Not anymore – with this week’s guest Justin Kurzel having done just that. Following his hugely well-received take on Macbeth, the Australian director has now turned his attention to Assassin’s Creed - a movie based on the video game franchise that has sold well over 100 million copies worldwide. Both projects are scored by his brother Jed, and both star one of the actors of the moment, Michael Fassbender. In the 21st Century, our brief here on Soundtracking applies as much to games as it does to film. Not only is the Assassin’s Creed series fully scored by the likes of Jesper Kyd and Winifred Phillips, but one of the trailers features a cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World by New Zealand vocal sensation, Lorde. They’re more than just hackathons, too - with big ideas about morality, science, history and fate driving the narrative. Plenty, then, for Justin to draw inspiration from wh

  • Episode 20: Gareth Edwards On The Music Of Rogue One, Star Wars, Monsters and Godzilla

    16/12/2016 Duration: 37min

    In cinematic terms, it may very well just be the greatest story ever told. With its ground-breaking special effects, unforgettable cast of characters and universal themes, the original Star Wars trilogy has inspired and delighted film goers ever since A New Hope blew everyone away in 1977. Among those to have felt its force is Gareth Edwards - the man charged with directing the latest addition to the franchise, Rogue One. And it goes without saying that music is central to the impact of George Lucas’s masterpiece – as are the iconic sound effects. John Williams’s score is one of the most famous ever written, while we all mimicked the noise of a Tie-Fighter or lightsaber when we played with the toys as kids. Gareth was only too aware of this sonic legacy, and reveals how he and composer Michael Giacchino acknowledged it in Rogue One. We’ll also explore his collaborations with Jon Hopkins and Alexandre Desplat on Monsters and Godzilla respectively, with plenty of examples from both scores woven into the c

  • Episode 19: Sean Ellis Reveals All About The Music In His Films, Including Metro Manila And Anthropoid

    09/12/2016 Duration: 35min

    Having earned an Oscar nomination for his short film Cashback in 2004, British director Sean Ellis has since caught the eye with a stylistic approach that is urgent, visceral, and intense. With the help of composers Guy Farley and Robin Foster, he's delivered soundscapes to match. Following its run at the Oscar, Sean developed Cashback into a full-length feature before bringing us Anglo-French horror The Broken, both of which were scored by Guy. Then came the Philippine-set crime drama Metro Manila, which won numerous awards. His latest project is Anthropoid, which tells the true story of an unlikely assassination attempt on Hitler's second in command Reinhard Heydric - the so-called Butcher of Prague For these two most recent ventures, Sean predominantly collaborated with Robin, who we must thank profusely for his assistance in putting this episode together. Apart from anything else, we'd have struggled to identify the specific Bartok violin sonata that features in a key scene in Anthropoid without him!

  • Episode 18: Writer, Producer And Director James Bobin On The Music Of Alice, The Muppets And Flight Of The Conchords

    02/12/2016 Duration: 35min

    You have to go a long way to find someone who doesn't like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the gang - or Alice of Wonderland fame, for that matter. With this in mind, it's a great pleasure to welcome James Bobin into the Soundtracking family. Not only has James directed two Muppet movies and steered Alice on a recent outing through the Looking Glass, he's played a very significant hand in a couple more pop-cultural institutions too. For having helped Sasha Baron Cohen create Ali G, Borat and Bruno, he then teamed up with Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie to bring the wonderful musical comedy Flight Of The Conchords to our screens. Indeed, Bret subsequently lent his expertise to both of James' Muppet movies. We'll be playing plenty of tunes from these films throughout the course of the conversation, as well as some classic Conchords. We also have the joys of hearing excerpts of Danny Elfman’s majestic score for Alice Through The Looking Glass - and a Strauss polka that was all the rage in the 1870s.

  • Episode 17: Director David Yates Talks About The Music Of Harry Potter And Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

    25/11/2016 Duration: 32min

    When you're invited to direct a movie adaptation involving one of the most-loved literary creations the world has ever known, you can be pretty certain you won't get a second chance if you mess it up. Thankfully, that's not a fate that befell David Yates. Not only did David take charge of the last four Harry Potter films, he was also asked to make JK Rowling's official spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which has been greeted with hugely positive reviews. With the budgets attached to the Potter franchise, it is of course possible to secure the services of the best composers in the world. David has taken full advantage of this privilege, variously employing Nicholas Hooper, Alexandre Desplat and James Newton Howard. He also collaborated with Rupert Gregson-WIlliams on The Legend Of Tarzan. You'll hear plenty of their work throughout the conversation, as well as that of John Williams - who provided scores for the first three Potters. We also find out a little bit about his earlier work, and ge

  • Episode 16: Christopher Guest On The Music Of Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind and Mascots

    18/11/2016 Duration: 30min

    Routinely cited as one of the funniest movies of all-time, This Is Spinal Tap is much imitated, oft-quoted, and as fresh now as it was when it first appeared in 1984. If you haven't seen it, you must buy it immediately. Directed by Rob Reiner, it takes the form of documentary following a shambolic heavy metal band as they tour North America. Though the band is, of course, fictional, their songs are very real, and very funny. One of the men behind both these songs and the razor-sharp script is writer, actor, director and musician Christopher Guest. As we'll discover, Christopher's musical background stood him in good stead for Tap, and also A Mighty Wind, his affectionate parody of the folk world. His latest directorial project is Mascots, in which he appears alongside Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Chris O'Dowd and Ed Begley Junior among many others. As with all his films, there's no traditional score - with the tunes the mascots perform to provided by CJ Vanston. But he is a fan of film music, and in parti

  • Episode 15: Mat Whitecross On Oasis, Ian Dury, Coldplay And The Music In His Films

    11/11/2016 Duration: 47min

    As subject matter goes, it doesn't get much more rock and roll than Joy Division, New Order, The Happy Mondays, Ian Dury, The Stone Roses, Coldplay and Oasis. But, in one way or another, all these artists have featured in the work of British director Mat Whitecross. As we'll discover, Mat got his big break from Michael Winterbottom while working as a runner on the set 24 Hour Party People, which tells the story of Tony Wilson and Factory Records. The pair went on to direct Road To Gauntanomo together, before he flew solo on the Ian Dury biopic Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll and Stone Roses-inspired comedy, Spike Island. Coldplay are among his illustrious list of music video clients, while he's also worked with composer Ilan Eshkeri and Tim Wheeler of Ash on more than one project. Indeed, Ilan and Tim have very kindly supplied us with some of their favourite compositions for their film and TV work with Mat, which you'll hear throughout the show. And as if you needed more, there are excerpts from Rael Jone

  • Episode 14: Derek Cianfrance On The Music In Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond The Pines And The Light Between Oceans

    04/11/2016 Duration: 48min

    In his relatively short career, writer and director Derek Cianfrance has produced a body of work that has not only been critically lauded, but also wildly contrasting in its sonic demands. For Blue Valentine, his celebrated breakthrough feature, he collaborated with American folk-rockers Grizzly Bear, who provided him with a dreamy hybrid of source music and score. He then worked with Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr Bungle and Fantomas on The Place Beyond The Pines, before securing the services of composer Alexandre Desplat for his latest film, The Light Between Oceans. Each project had very different musical requirements, which Derek outlines in fascinating detail here. He's a great raconteur, too - with splendid anecdotes about his lifelong obsession with Mike Patton and the sneaky way he got Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams to sing and dance for him in Blue Valentine. Expect plenty of Alexandre's score for The Light Between Oceans, Mike Patton's diverse back catalogue, Grizzly Bear and, of course, th

  • Episode 13: Nicolas Winding Refn on the Music in Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon

    28/10/2016 Duration: 35min

    Few filmmakers at work today can claim to have more visual flair than Nicolas Winding Refn. From his debut thriller Pusher to Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon, he has always served up a feast for the eyes. Invariably his themes are downright dark and sleazy - with tech-noir soundscapes and cinematography enhancing the mood. Whether using source music or score, the Danish director is most accomplished when it comes to sonic dressing. Nicolas has enjoyed a particularly fruitful relationship with composer Cliff Martinez. We'll hear plenty more about that during the course of the interview, as well as excepts of score from the movies on which they've collaborated. Nicolas also gives us a fascinating insight into how he deploys music to induce a profound emotional response from his cast, and also reveals what he considers to be the Holy Grail of score.

  • Episode 12: Director Ron Howard on the Music in His Films

    21/10/2016 Duration: 44min

    From child star to Academy Award winning director, Ron Howard has always made it his business to entertain. And entertain us he has - from A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 and Frost / Nixon to his most recent offerings - the Beatles documentary Eight Days A Week and Dan Brown thriller Inferno. But whereas Edith's previous guest Andrea Arnold prefers to accompany her films with source music, Ron is a particular fan of score, and has, accordingly, collaborated with some of the finest cinematic composers of recent times, including James Horner, Thomas Newman, John Williams and Hans Zimmer. We'll hear plenty more about the director's admiration for that venerable bunch during the course of our conversation, as well as excerpts from the work they produced for his movies. Ron also reflects on his time as an actor, and has a most amusing anecdote about Michael Jackson!

  • Episode 11: Oscar winning director Andrea Arnold talks American Honey

    14/10/2016 Duration: 30min

    Andrea Arnold announced herself to the film world by winning an Oscar for her short film Wasp in 2005. Since then her releases Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey have all won the Jury Prize at Cannes. The latter is her latest offering - a road trip following a 'Mag Crew' as they party their way across the American Midwest selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door - listening to plenty of phat beats. Hip-hop is the sonic hearbeat of the film, with the sub-genre of Trap particularly prevalent. Originating in Atlanta in the 1990s, Trap music is dark, aggressive and lyrically challenging. We feature plenty of uncensored examples from the soundtrack during this episode. Don't forget you can check out the playlist to the show on Spotify. Next week: Ron Howard!

  • Episode 10: Director Tate Taylor on Danny Elfman, Thomas Newman, James Brown and The Girl On The Train

    07/10/2016 Duration: 36min

    In his brief directorial career, Tate Taylor has brought us three very different films requiring three very different soundscapes. First up was his Oscar-nominated Civil Rights drama The Help, set in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962. It is a deeply personal film for Tate and awash with the music of the time - including Ray Charles, Mavis Staples and Johnny Cash. It also saw him collaborate with Thomas Newman for the first time on the score. Then came the James Brown biopic Get On Up - with track after glorious track from The Godfather of Soul. Produced my Mick Jagger and again scored by Thomas, it was built around an incredible performance by Chadwick Boseman in the lead role. Now we have his take on Paula Hawkins' international bestseller The Girl On The Train – a psychological thriller featuring suitably claustrophobic sonic undertones. Danny Elfman provides those in spades, and you'll hear plenty of his score in this episode. We also get the story behind Thomas's score for The Help, a

  • Episode 9: Thea Sharrock on her career in the theatre, and now her debut feature film Me Before You, scored by the legendary Craig Armstrong (Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Love Actually)

    30/09/2016 Duration: 27min

    Thea Sharrock was brought up on The Ramones. She cut her directorial teeth in theatre, becoming the youngest ever artistic director at a British theatre when she took over at the Southwark Playhouse at the tender age of 24. She went on to direct Happy Now? at the National Theatre, before taking Equus to New York in 2008 - with Daniel Radcliffe making his Broadway debut. In 2009, she directed a production of As You Like It at Shakespeare's Globe. In 2010, she directed Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis in The Misanthrope, then Benedict Cumberbatch in the Olivier-winning revival of After the Dance – before moving to TV with Tom Hiddlestone's Henry V for the BBC. This was beautifully scored by Adrian Johnston - whose work features prominently in this episode. Her debut feature film Me Before You is a romantic drama starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, with a soundtrack featuring Ed Sheeran, Max Jury, Jack Garratt and The 1975 - and a score by the legendary Craig Armstrong (Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Love

  • Episode 8: Richard Linklater on the Music in Dazed And Confused, School Of Rock, Everybody Wants Some!! and Other Films

    23/09/2016 Duration: 34min

    It's a safe bet that any writer / director who borrows song titles to name his own films is something of an audiophile. Richard Linklater is unquestionably one of these. From Dazed and Confused To Boyhood and the so-called 'Before' Trilogy, the amiable Texan has forged a career making movies with a very specific sense of time and place - accompanied by soundtracks that appropriately underscore the mood he's attempting to create. His latest film continues this trend. Set in a fictional US college in 1980, Everybody Wants Some!! offers up a stonking array of contemporary tunes - from Donna Summer and Jermain Jackson to Blondie and The Sugarhill Gang. As with so much of his back catalogue, it's also very funny and beautifully observed. By his own admission he prefers source cues to score - though he’s not averse to orchestration when the situation demands - as it did, for instance, in A Scanner Darkly. But it's rock 'n' roll where his heart lies, so expect music from Steppenwolf, The Hives, The Flaming Li

  • Episode 7: David Mackenzie On The Music In Hell Or High Water, Hallam Foe, Starred Up And Other Films

    16/09/2016 Duration: 31min

    Though it’s impossible to pigeonhole the 9 feature films David Mackenzie has directed, there’s one thing they have in common: his obvious passion for music. Having enlisted Scottish band The Pastels to provide the soundtrack for his debut The Last Great Wilderness, he’s since collaborated with luminaries such as David Byrne and Max Richter. Indie label Domino Records provided all the songs for Hallam Foe, while David’s romantic comedy You Instead was shot over 5 crazy days at the T In The Park festival in Scotland. His latest film Hell Or High Water continues this fine musical tradition - scored as it is by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. So expect to be taken on a musical journey, with tracks from Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Franz Ferdinand and The Bill Wells Trio among many others.

  • Episode 6: Matt Ross About The Music Of Captain Fantastic and other movies

    09/09/2016 Duration: 36min

    Actor, writer and now director of Captain Fantastic starring Viggo Mortensen, Matt Ross takes Edith on a musical journey encompassing bagpipes, German experimentalism and Bulgarian folk – not to mention Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Guns N Roses. To hear all the music from the show in full, check out our spotify playlist - and please subscribe to the show on itunes. You can find out what else Edith is up to at and follow her on twitter @edibow

  • Episode 5: Jon Favreau on the music of The Jungle Book, Swingers, Chef and other movies

    02/09/2016 Duration: 34min

    In the latest episode of Soundtracking, writer, actor, director and all-round good guy Jon Favreau joins Edith to discuss how he uses music in his films. From the big-band beats of Swingers to the Latin and R&B infused rhythms of Chef, Jon has always displayed a knack for using sound to perfectly compliment his visuals. This is no bad thing in the context of his remake of The Jungle Book, what with its formidable musical legacy. As well as George Bruns' majestic score, it also features a series of unforgettable showstoppers by longtime Disney collaborators the Sherman brothers. Good job he had Bill Murray and Christopher Walken to help out! Expect tracks from artists as diverse as AC/DC, Buddy Holly, The Chips, Roberto Roena and Louis Prima.

  • Episode 4: Todd Phillips on the music in War Dogs, The Hangover and other films

    26/08/2016 Duration: 26min

    On the release of his latest film War Dogs, writer and director Todd Phillips discusses the use of music in his movies, which reflects his love of everything from Black Flag to Billy Joel, Pink Floyd to Gram Parsons.

  • Episode 3: Todd Solondz talks Wiener Dog and other movies

    19/08/2016 Duration: 27min

    Todd Solondz won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for his debut feature Welcome To The Dollhouse. He followed it up with Happiness, which explored themes including rape, paedophilia, murder and suicide. Upon the release of his latest venture, the dark comedy Wiener Dog, Todd talks to Edith about musical collaborations with Nina Persson and Devendra Banhart, plus his love of Mary Poppins, The Carnival of the Animals and Barry Manilow. To hear all the music from the show in full, check out our spotify playlist - and please subscribe to the show on itunes. You can find out what else Edith is up to at and follow her on twitter @edibow Next week, Todd Phillips - the man behind the Hangover trilogy, whose new film War Dogs is based on the extraordinary true story of two highly unlikely arms dealers.

  • Episode 2: David Ayer talks Suicide Squad and other movies

    12/08/2016 Duration: 20min

    Edith chats to US film director David Ayer about the incredible range of music in his movies...from Fury and Training Day, up to his latest release, the hugely anticipated Suicide Squad. To hear all the music from the show in full, check out our spotify playlist - and please subscribe to the show on itunes. You can find out what else Edith is up to at and follow her on twitter @edibow Next week: the man behind Happiness and Wiener Dog, Todd Solondz

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