Mica Levi and Oneohtrix Point Never talk film soundtracks and method scoring on A24 podcast

Mica Levi and Daniel Lopatin are the first musicians to appear on the film podcast from entertainment company A24.

The two award-winning composers come together to discuss their initial meeting via MySpace, scoring the urban nightmare, and drawing influence from L.A. Confidential composer Jerry Goldsmith.

To begin their over-air encounter, the musicians discuss how Levi reached out to Lopatin over MySpace in 2009, some time before they met in real life. The discussion turns to the musicians’ differing methods, delving into the specificities of their musical processes, and the idea of method scoring. Lopatin classifies himself as an “instinctual” composer, describing the scoring process as: “[being] in the dark: searching, not thinking about any points I’ve got to hit.” He likens this spontaneous method to the musical process of the late composer Jerry Goldsmith, who created scores for Star Trek, The Omen and Alien

Levi, on the other hand, discusses the serendipitous experience of finding the right inspiration for a particular scene: “It’ll be the weirdest timing of some random frequency or percussive hit, anything that goes with the swing of the guy in the crowd 50 yards away from the image you’re looking at.” 

Lopatin then goes on to talk specifically about his experience working on the score for the Safie Brothers’ 2017 crime thriller Good Time, discussing how the film captures the bureaucratic violence and day-to-day struggles of New York’s urban poor, a side to the city rarely depicted on the silver screen.

Last month (23 November), Lopatin released the EP Love in the Time of Lexapro, featuring a remix by Ryuichi Sakamoto and a guest appearance from (Sandy) Alex G. Levi recently teamed up with Eliza McCarthy for the EP Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall.

24 is the indie film studio behind some of the most exciting cinematic releases of recent years: from Oscar-winning drama Moonlight to Greta Gerwig’s much-fêted coming-of-age tale Ladybird. The A24 podcast is an extension of the entertainment company’s independent spirit, with no ads, no fees, and no rules. Bringing together movie lovers and industry insiders, previous episodes have hosted conversations with director Barry Jenkins, actor Toni Collete and filmmaker Paul Schrader.

Listen to the full podcast featuring Lopatin and Levi in conversation below.