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The Music of ‘Uncut Gems’: How Moogs and Moods Combined for the Movie’s Score

Underscore? Try overscore. The co-star of “Uncut Gems” is undoubtedly the film’s music. The result of a second collaboration between composer Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, and director Josh Safdie, the cosmically synthesized score blends multiple Moog tones for a sonic identity to accompany Adam Sandler’s role as Manny.

As the featurette below reveals, Lopatin’s audio foraging centered around his Moog One synthesizer, providing just the right psychedelic drones to journey through the interior of the raw Opal at the heart of the movie. Maximal New Age vibes play homage to the creators’ love of artists like Isao Tomita, Tangerine Dream and the mighty Vangelis. The mini-doc follows the creative process in Lopatin’s Brooklyn synth cave — beautifully flooded with natural light, plants and shelves of books (notably a copy of iconic San Francisco poet Clark Coolidge’s “A Beginning What and Ending Away”).

Interviews with Lopatin and Safdie reveal both the tranquil explorations of the movie’s early weeks through to the frenzied push to finish on time, the calm building to mesh perfectly with the ensuing chaos and struggles of Sandler’s character, a jeweler with a raw Opal that may give him a chance to make things right in a life that’s beaten him down.

“Uncut Gems,” which is currently in theaters in the U.S. (Jan. 10 in the U.K.) and Netflix on Jan. 31, also stars Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel and The Weeknd. Its soundtrack was released in December on Warp Records.

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