Music from Paul Thomas Anderson films – Mixed by Photay
Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematic depictions of vulnerability and tension are made all the more potent through music.
Works like There Will Be Blood, Inherent Vice, Boogie Nights and The Master all have music inextricably tied to some of their most iconic and memorable moments. Of course, PTA’s canon is perhaps best associated musically with the meticulously composed scores by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood who recently picked up an Academy Award nomination for his Phantom Thread soundtrack. The plucking strings, anxious throbs and spacious phrasing are integral to some of PTA’s most dramatic moments.
To celebrate the release of Phantom Thread, Brooklyn DJ and producer Photay has delivered a gorgeous, feature-length celebration of Thomas Anderson’s musical universe – one of his all-time favourite directors.
Opening with the ominous overtones of The Master, Photay’s epic mix draws upon some of Greenwood’s most hypnotising works while lacing in other tracks synonymous with Thomas Anderson movies.
“For me, PTA film soundtracks typically foreshadow a certain danger or darkness,” Photay told us over email. “After sorting through every PTA soundtrack, I selected the tunes I resonated with the most. Throughout the mix I tried to match extremes. Finding the acoustic orchestral tunes that share the same key signature as the disco tunes. In addition, I wanted some of the transitions to mimic the way a film’s scene change can rapidly cut across emotions, time and space.”
Photay released the quietly spellbinding Onism last year – a record which deals in a similarly cinematic kind of atmosphere-building. “I’m very sensitive to my surroundings and I try to integrate different spaces and lighting into my music,” he says. “I’ve always been inspired by film and it’s complete aesthetic control of your perception. When I was younger I filmed a lot of landscapes, textures and strange lighting. I’ve always been taken by the amplifications of sensations like dust in the air, lighting at golden hour or maybe water captured at fast frame rate.”
When emailing us about the mix, Photay had just returned from the cinema watching Phantom Thread, with a soundtrack which he described as “remarkable”. “Most specifically the intimate timbre of the piano work. It lived in the same world as the film’s lighting and the many shots of rich fabric.”
Listen to the mix in the player above and check out the full tracklist below.
Jonny Greenwood – Overtones (The Master)
Jonny Greenwood – Sandalwood I (Phantom Thread)
Jonny Greenwood – Open Spaces (There Wil Be Blood)
Jon Brion – Hands & Feet (Punch Drunk Love)
Jon Brion – Alleyway (Punch Drunk Love)
Jo Stafford – No Other Love (The Master)
Bob Irwin and the Pluto Walkers – The Throwaway Age (Inherent Vice)
Les Baxter – Simba (Inherent Vice)
Jonny Greenwood – That’s As My Be (Phantom Thread)
Jonny Greenwood – Proven Lands (There Will Be Blood)
Junun – Hu (Junun Documentary)
Jonny Greenwood – Application 45 Version 1 (The Master)
Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Do Your Thing (Boogie Nights)
Jethro Tull – Fat Man (Boogie Nights)
Jonny Greenwood Henry Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
Sunny – Boney M. (Boogie Nights)
Jonny Greenwood – Sandalwood II (Phantom Thread)
The Chakachas – Jungle Fever (Boogie Nights)
Sound Experience – J.P. Walk (Boogie Nights)
Apollo 100 – Joy (Boogie Nights)
Kyo Sakamoto – Sukiyaki (Inherent Vice)
Jonny Greenwood – I’ll Follow Tomorrow (Phantom Thread)
Jonny Greenwood – Mata Aini Kuru kara Ne (Norwegian Wood)
Jonny Greenwood – Iiko Dakara Damattete (Norwegian Wood)
Chico Hamilton – The Sage (Boogie Nights)
Jonny Greenwood – Toki no Senrei wo Uketeinai mono wo Yomuna (Norwegian Wood)
Jon Brion – Tabla (Punch Drunk Love)
Jonny Greenwood – Atomic Healer (The Master)
Jonny Greenwood – Baton Sparks (The Master)
Any Day Now – Chuck Jackson (Inherent Vice)
Junun – Modeh (Junun Documentary)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is in cinemas now