‘Saltburn’ Composer Anthony Willis On Emerald Fennell’s “Dirty Synth” And Templar Knights – Sound & Screen Film

‘Saltburn’ Composer Anthony Willis On Emerald Fennell’s “Dirty Synth” And Templar Knights – Sound & Screen Film

It wasn’t a tough decision for Anthony Willis when Emerald Fennell asked him to compose Saltburn, the drama that stars Barry Keoghan as a young and nerdy Oxford university student who becomes obsessed with a popular and wealthy student (Jacob Elordi).

Willis had made the music Fennell’s Promising Young Women, and was obsessed himself with the director’s enthusiasm and sense of humor when approaching a project — especially a daring one like Saltburn, which also stars Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Archie Madekwe, Alison Oliver and Promising Young Woman‘s Carey Mulligan.

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The MGM Amazon Studios pic had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and hits U.S. theaters next week.

“She brings out something special in every department,” Willis said of Fennell during a panel for the movie at Deadline’s Sound and Screen: Film event. “She’s such an egalitarian. She has dirty synth. She loves French horns, she likes pompous music, all that wonderful stuff to tell stories with. She’s great, and you’ll see in the film how her mind works.”

Willis’ job was to make the music all about Oliver (Keoghan) and his journey at the upper-crust school. “I don’t want to ruin it, but the score is [for the] audience to navigate what we want to know about Oliver,” Willis explains. “He goes to Oxford, thinks his life going to be perfect, and then he falls desperately in love with Felix [Elordi]. It’s really about managing how you feel about him any given moment.”

The music was recorded at London’s Temple Church, a favored destination because of its unparalleled acoustics. “The Templar knights are buried there!” he said.

Check out the panel video above.

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