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According to historian Kurt London, film music was born out of necessity—it was needed to cover the sound of the projector. It wasn’t long, however, before film music took on an artistic life of its own.

During the silent era, movie theaters had to provide their own musical accompaniment, either by playing a phonograph or hiring musicians to improvise a score live. The first film composers, as we think of them today, appeared in 1929, when the ability to synchronize sound to celluloid emerged. Since then, film music has evolved from lush, sweeping symphonies to jazz-pop confections to blockbuster orchestrations combined with powerful synths.

In recent years, film music has undergone yet another transformation, with composers coming to the form not only from conservatories but also from the worlds of hip-hop, rock, jazz, and experimental music. Many work in close collaboration with directors to evoke mood as much as emotion. With programs curated by composers, Reel Change: The New Era of Film Music celebrates this period of increasingly adventurous film music and the wide-ranging influences of its most groundbreaking voices.

The LA Phil's Humanities Programs are generously supported by Linda and David Shaheen.

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Reel Change: Hildur Guðnadóttir

The New Era of Film Music

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Program

  • Hildur GUÐNADÓTTIR Under Takes Over
  • Ryuichi SAKAMOTO The Revenant Main Theme
  • Alvin LUCIER Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra
  • Kaija SAARIAHO Nymphéa Reflection: Feroce
  • Mica LEVI “Love” from Under the Skin
  • GÓRECKI Symphony No. 4, Op. 85: Deciso—Marcatissimo ma ben tenuto
  • Arvo PÄRT Fratres (version for String Orch and Percussion)
  • LIGETI Atmosphères
  • Hildur GUÐNADÓTTIR & Sam SLATER (arr. Robert Ames) Selections from Battlefield 2042
  • Hildur GUÐNADÓTTIR “Bathroom Dance” from Joker

Artists

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Hugh Brunt, conductor
  • Hildur Guðnadóttir, host & curator
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Reel Change: Kris Bowers

The New Era of Film Music

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Program

  • Inspirations Medley: Selections from composers Shigeru Umebayashi, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Owen Pallett, Arcade Fire, Björk, Jason Moran, and John Brion.
  • Kris BOWERS Concerto for Horn (world premiere, LA Phil commission)
  • Kris BOWERS King Richard Medley
  • Kris BOWERS Green Book Medley
  • Kris BOWERS When They See Us Medley
  • Kris BOWERS Bridgerton Medley

Artists

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Anthony Parnther, conductor
  • Andrew Bain, horn, John Cecil Bessell Chair
  • Kris Bowers, composer, curator
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Reel Change: Nicholas Britell

The New Era of Film Music

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Program

  • Nicholas BRITELL Selections from Vice
  • Mica LEVI Selections from Jackie
  • Gary YERSHON "Mr. Turner" from Mr. Turner
  • Terence BLANCHARD Selections from Malcolm X
  • Jonny GREENWOOD Selections from There Will Be Blood
  • Nicholas BRITELL Selections from The Underground Railroad
  • Nicholas BRITELL “Encomium” from If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Kathryn BOSTIC Selections from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
  • Nicholas BRITELL Selections from Don’t Look Up

Artists

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Hugh Brunt, conductor
  • Nicholas Britell, composer, curator