The highest grossing film from the Safdie Brothers to date, Uncut Gems has generated considerable buzz since it first hit theaters on December 25, 2019. Gems’ lead actor, Adam Sandler, functions as the face of the production, but beyond Sandler, there are several other inventive entities who contributed to the filmic force of Uncut Gems.
Take, for example, Daniel Lopatin. Better known by the experimental electronic alias under which he’s worked since the mid-2000s, Oneohtrix Point Never, Lopatin stands behind the affective score of Uncut Gems, and his creative process is the subject of a new documentary with Moog Music.
“We were inventing this musical language for the film, I still to this day can’t tell you what the score sounds like because it’s all of these rich, epic, beautiful things that make sense from moment to moment. We ended up making something [that] I think is really original,” says Lopatin
In conjunction with Moog, Lopatin delineates the vision behind several of Uncut Gems’ synth-driven instrumentals, such as “The Ballad Of Howie Bling,” with which the film begins and ends. “I wanted it to feel really powerful and mystical,” Lopatin said of the foundational number.
Crucial to Lopatin’s score scripting approach was the interplay between the film’s frenetic visuals and the sound that floods the speakers.
“[I wanted ‘The Ballad Of Howie Bling’] to also reflect beautiful light shafts almost like optic light that [the Safdie brothers] use to illustrate [the] prismatic colors inside the gem,” Lopatin adds.
Beyond Uncut Gems, Lopatin also wrote the original score for Good Time (2017), which earned him the Best Soundtrack Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. He additionally composed the score for Ariel Kleiman’s 2015 production, Partisan, and contributed to Rick Alverson’s The Mountain (2019) and Sofia Coppola’s 2013 release, The Bling Ring. Uncut Gems – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out now via Warp Records.
Featured image courtesy of Moog Music.