Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless ‘Roma’ Prompted an ‘Inspired’ Companion Album

Variety | 2/16/2019 | Chris Willman
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Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity in the idea of a companion album that was created independently from a film’s soundtrack… and to actually have there be some truth in advertising in that “inspired by” tag.

Not one of the 15 songs on the newly released album “Music Inspired by the Film ‘Roma’” appears in or was intended for the Oscar-nominated movie. The closest any of the choices come is a fresh recording by English singer Laura Marling of Mary Hopkins’ 1968 hit “Those Were the Days,” a version of which does pop up in “Roma” — albeit not Hopkins’ version, but an easy-listening cover by Ray Conniff. But if there is none of this music in the movie, there is a lot of the movie in the music, both thematically and aurally.

Conversation - Variety - Cuarón - Thinking - Collection

In a conversation with Variety, Cuarón explained the thinking behind the collection, which brings together a trans-generational and international cast of musicians that includes Billie Eilish, Beck, T Bone Burnett, Patti Smith, R&B’s Jessie Reyez, EDM’s UNKLE and DJ Shadow, France’s Ibeyi, hip-hop’s El-P, Mexico’s Quinque Rangel and Sonido Gallo Negro — and even the debut track from the filmmaker’s daughter, Bu Cuarón, 16, who also participated in the interview.

During the film’s production, Cuarón says, “Lynn Fainchtein, my music supervisor, was also part of my conversations about gathering all the sounds of Mexico City — you know, the knife sharpener and the sweet potatoes cart and the rubbish collector and so on. At some point, we thought it would be...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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