You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Iglesias: Versatility key to busy year

Eye on the Oscars: The Music - Alberto Iglesias

It’s been a busy year for Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias; first, he scored Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” a crazy modern opera stuffed full of sex, murder, rape, revenge — and plastic surgery, along with serious themes about the nature of identity and creation. Then he switched gears and scored the bleak spy thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” directed by Tomas Alfredson.

“The films are so different and needed very different approaches and music,” says the 56-year-old twice-Oscar nominated composer (for “The Kite Runner” and “The Constant Gardener”). “Pedro’s is so over-the-top and theatrical, and has a strange structure, and with eloquent music it becomes even more theatrical — and he gave me total freedom.”

Iglesias, a frequent Almodovar collaborator (“Volver” won the European Film Award for original score), characterizes “Skin” as “a typical Pedro production, in that by the time he’s finished shooting, he’s also almost finished editing, and then he focuses completely on the music.”

To capture the film’s operatic persona, Iglesias combined traditional orchestral elements with synthesizers and driving electronic beats, “to create new textures and sounds,” and worked closely with the director at his Madrid studio.

“Pedro explains every single thing about the film and every character, and then wants to be surprised,” he adds, “and I think I did.”

Within just two weeks of completing that score, Iglesias was already at work on “Tinker.”

“At first I wasn’t sure I could do it,” he says, “but I loved Tomas’ last film, ‘Let the Right One In,’ so much that I had to do it.”

In contrast with “Skin,” Iglesias found himself plunged into a far more silent world and the slower tempos of a spy’s patient, secret life.

“So the music starts from that idea of silence, and then it has to grow gradually, like building blocks,” he says. “And the rhythms are far more contemplative than the ones I used in ‘Skin.’ ”

The composer sees a direct correlation between the two films’ very different energies and their directors.

“Pedro’s very Spanish — demanding, nervous and impatient, while Tomas is typically Swedish — laidback and relaxed,” he says. “He was content to wait until I felt inspired.”

That took a while. “First I met Tomas in London, and right away told him I found the script difficult to follow because of my English and the very complicated plot,” Iglesias says. “But he wasn’t concerned. There was no pressure. So I started playing with ideas and themes.”

After working on the score in Madrid, the composer returned to London to record the score (both were done at Air Studios), which features an orchestra without any brass. “It’s a different sound and just seemed to suit the story,” he says.

Lyrics bring pix to life | Stars tune up plots | John goes Gaga over inanimate romance
From rising stars to Oscar winners, seven composers talk about the method to their musicality:
Henry Jackman | Alberto Iglesias | Dario Marianelli | Michael Giacchino | Abel Korzeniowski | Conrad Pope | Thomas Newman

More Film

  • Kristin Cotich Spyglass

    Kristin Cotich Named Communications Chief for Spyglass Media

    Veteran executive Kristin Cotich has been hired as executive vice president of worldwide communications for Gary Barber’s newly formed Spyglass Media Group. The announcement was made Monday by Barber, chairman and chief executive officer of Spyglass, to whom Cotich will report. Spyglass said Cotich is responsible for developing and executing worldwide communications strategies and implementing [...]

  • Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield

    Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield to Star in Stella Meghie's 'The Photograph'

    Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield will star in Universal’s “The Photograph,” sources tell Variety. Stella Meghie will direct and Will Packer will produce for his eponymous production company. The romantic drama centers on intertwining love stories in the past and present. Universal is very high on the pic after Meghie impressed execs with her original [...]

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules about how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content