Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has composed his first full film score for a movie set in Vienna starring Juliet Stevenson which is described as "a story about mothers and daughters; about loss and mistrust; about the ramifications of a World War II crime; about secrets, trauma and lingering ghosts".
The process of conveying such strong themes and emotions in mainly non vocal pieces is a challenging one and Selway explains that “the four women in the script were the starting point, so I wrote for a string quartet, especially since their sound is so warm. The interplay between the instruments was a nice metaphor for the different generations.”.
As well as string arrangements (by Laura Moody), the use of musical saw on Helga Saw and Let Me Go (Rhodes) is chosen to create an eerie, jagged quality in tune with the film's drama.
The other main instruments are piano, guitar, electronics, glockenspiel, bowed vibraphone occasional use of bass and drums.
Alongside eleven instrumentals there are three ballads, with words by Selway. He sings two of them - Wide Open and the title track - while the other, Walk is powerfully interpreted by Lou Rhodes (Lamb) who also appears in the film’s nightclub scene.
Rich, haunting and melodious, this is a highly impressive piece of work that deserves to be ranked alongside the masterly scores of band mate Jonny Greenwood.
It's an album to play to anyone cracking jokes about drummers not being real musicians.
Philip Selway's website