Los Angeles October 31, 2018: Lakeshore Records will release If Beale Street Could Talk – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack composed by Nicholas Britell (Moonlight) worldwide digitally on November 9 with a vinyl version forthcoming. It’s Britell’s second collaboration with writer/director Barry Jenkins and the follow up to his Academy Award-nominated score for Moonlight—the Best Picture Oscar winner directed by Jenkins in 2016 (who took home the Best Writing Adapted Screenplay Oscar). Britell brings his limitless creativity to the themes of love and injustice anchoring the film and creates a score sublimely straddling the worlds of classical and jazz. The sound ranges from lush to uncompromisingly experimental thoroughly inhabiting the film to striking and unforgettable effect. Annapurna Pictures will release the film which stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo and Regina King, in select theaters November 30.
Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected she and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Says Britell: “It was a truly special experience to collaborate with Barry on If Beale Street Could Talk. Together, we explored a sonic landscape filled with brass and strings, while also venturing into some quite extreme experimentation. I’m always fascinated by the mysteries of scoring a film. As Barry and I worked together, we discovered certain sounds which we felt deeply resonated with the story. I’m so honored to have been a part of this film and to have had the opportunity to work with Barry again.”
Says Jenkins: “Working with Nick on the score for If Beale Street Could Talk was a wonderful continuation of the process we began on Moonlight. In channeling the voices of James Baldwin, our main character Tish and the rich array of souls she encounters and the moods and themes she charts, we arrived at a sound that I feel truly honors the wonderful text that Baldwin gifted us while creating a distinct soundscape for this literary adaptation.”
01. Eden (Harlem)
02. The Children of Our Age
06. Mrs. Victoria Rodgers
07. Call Him Fonny / The Tombs / PTSD
09. Eden (LES)
10. Keepers of the Keys and Seals
14. Mama Gets to Puerto Rico
15. Ye Who Enter Here
18. If Beale Street Could Talk (End Credits)
19. Harlem Aria (Bonus Track)
20. This Is Where My Life Is (Bonus Track)
21. New Life (Bonus Track)
22. What Have They Done? (Bonus Track)
23. A Rose in Spanish Harlem (Bonus Track)
ABOUT NICHOLAS BRITELL
Nicholas Britell is an Academy Award-nominated composer, pianist, and producer. He encores with writer/director Barry Jenkins on If Beale Street Could Talk after composing the score for the Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight. Mr. Britell’s score for the latter earned him an Academy Award nomination, as well as Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations, among other honors. In October 2017, Mr. Britell was awarded the Discovery of the Year Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium, as well as the Distinguished Composer Award from the Middleburg Film Festival.
He composed the original score for Adam McKay’s Oscar-winning The Big Short and has since reteamed with Mr. McKay to score Vice, starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, as well as Mr. McKay’s HBO television series Succession. Mr. Britell’s music was also featured in Steve McQueen’s Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave, for which he composed and arranged the on-camera music including the violin performances and spiritual songs.
Other movies for which Mr. Britell has composed the original score include Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s Battle of the Sexes, for which he also wrote and produced, with singer Sara Bareilles, an original song, “If I Dare;” Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love and Darkness as well as the director’s segment of New York, I Love You; Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot and Tramps; Gary Ross’ Free State of Jones; Steve McQueen’s short film Caribs’ Leap; and Jack Pettibone Riccobono’s documentary The Seventh Fire.
Britell is a Steinway Artist and is a Founding Member of L.A. Dance Project. He is also Chairman of the Board of the New York-based ensemble Decoda, the first-ever affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. He was awarded the Henry Mancini Fellowship from the ASCAP Foundation in December 2012 and also won the ASCAP/Doddle Award for Collaborative Achievement. He produced the short film Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle, which won the Jury Award for Best US Fiction Short at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He subsequently served as co-producer on the Best Picture Oscar-nominated feature version that Mr. Chazelle directed, which won three Academy Awards and many other accolades.
As a pianist, he has performed for over six years as part of the critically acclaimed “Portals” project with violinist Tim Fain. Mr. Britell gave his first public piano recital at the age of 10 and was a student of the late Jane Carlson at The Juilliard School. His recent public performances have included concerts at London’s Barbican Hall, at the Million Dollar Theatre in Los Angeles, and at Chicago’s Ravinia.
Mr. Britell is an honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, as well as a piano performance graduate of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. He was honored to be the commencement speaker at the Juilliard Pre-College Division’s Commencement Exercises in May 2016.