knives out trailer new

Composer Nathan Johnson’s work spans a wide variety of genres, from low-budget film noir to high-budget sci-fi. He’s played in many different types of media (and with many types of instruments, as when he invented new ones to write the innovative score for Brick), so I was excited to see him try something more conventional by tackling the score for Rian Johnson’s new murder mystery, Knives Out.

True to form, the score for Knives Out is a delight. As with Johnson’s other work, he manages to infuse the old and the new, blending classical orchestral string instrumentation with a jazzy sensibility. Today, we are pleased to be able to bring you an exclusive track from the film. Below, you can listen an exclusive track from the film’s score.

Johnson shared some thoughts with me on this track via email:

When Rian and I talked early on, we knew we wanted to create a big, orchestral score, but at the same time, we didn’t want a blurry wash of sound. He kept talking about precision; something sharp (like a knife:). He wanted to hear every instrument – perhaps in a way that mirrored this incredible ensemble cast… So many amazing voices dancing around each other in this kinetic choreography. In a way, everything kind of flowed from that goal of sharp precision, from the orchestrations to the players. That’s also why I decided to record at Abbey Road – they’ve got a beautiful big scoring room, but the reverb tail isn’t insane so it can be lush, while also being very distinct and in your face. Knives Out! (Pt. II – The Will) was really fun because we got to bring back the string quartet piece from the opening scene, while supporting and supplementing it with the bigger flavors of the entire orchestra. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that this scene is one of my favorites, and thematically, it’s where a lot of Rian’s brilliant writing comes into play.

The soundtrack for Knives Out will be out tomorrow. You can pre-order the score on Apple Music today. Knives Out will be in theaters on Thanksgiving.

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