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Jonny Greenwood Talks to NPR's "Weekend Edition" About Writing for Orchestra, As in New Film Score for "The Master"

Jonny Greenwood: "The Master" soundtrack [cover]

Jonny Greenwood, whose soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master was released last week on Nonesuch Records, spoke with NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, hosted by Scott Simon, about his career in music, both as the guitarist for Radiohead and as a highly respected composer.

"What I really enjoy about writing for orchestras is realizing that it's kind of self-evident, but the fact that they are 48 individuals and it's not, you know, a preset on a keyboard," Greenwood tells NPR. "It's all these people that have opinions and they're making decisions about how to play."

Listen to the interview and hear the album track "Application 45 Version 1" from The Master at

The Master is the second Anderson film that Greenwood has scored. Their previous collaboration, the critically praised soundtrack for 2007’s Academy Award–winning There Will Be Blood, also was released by Nonesuch. Additionally, Nonesuch released his score for Norwegian Wood in 2011 and his collaboration with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki earlier this year.

The Master, which Anderson also co-produced, features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Laura Dern. Released by The Weinstein Company, The Master opened in select US theaters over the weekend and will be in theaters across the country starting this coming Friday, September 21. "While Anderson paints with light," writes New York magazine's David Edelstein, in his review of the film, "composer Jonny Greenwood is painting with sound."

The soundtrack "is positively marvelous," exclaims MTV's James Montgomery. "I have listened to it repeatedly, have been enveloped by its scope and enthralled by its intimacy," Montgomery explains, commending "the soundtrack's chill-inducing powers."

He concludes that Greenwood's "score is as much a character as any of the actors, plays just as vital a role in creating the film's surreal, psychological edge. It just may be the best score you'll hear all year (or, more probably, the only one), as mercurial and multilayered as The Master itself. It works on a level that goes beyond mere accompaniment ..." Read the complete article at

To pick up a copy of the soundtrack on CD, MP3, or FLAC, head to the Nonesuch Store today, where CD orders include instant downloads of the album at checkout.


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