Barry Jenkins’ new film, If Beale Street Could Talk, is in theaters on November 30. The original score for the film, which sublimely straddles the world of classical and jazz, and features a sound ranging from lush to uncompromisingly experimental, was composed by Nicholas Britell, who also composed the score for Jenkins’ Academy Award-winning feature Moonlight. The soundtrack is out now digitally via Lakeshore Records, and a vinyl release is forthcoming.
“Together, we explored a sonic landscape filled with brass and strings, while also venturing into some quite extreme experimentation,” Britell said of his new collaboration with Jenkins. “I’m always fascinated by the mysteries of scoring a film. As Barry and I worked together, we discovered certain sounds which we felt deeply resonated with the story. I’m so honored to have been a part of this film and to have had the opportunity to work with Barry again.”
If Beale Street Could Talk was written and directed by Jenkins and stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry and Michael Beach. Based on the James Baldwin novel of the same name, the story is set in early-1970s Harlem and follows an African-American woman who seeks to clear the name of her wrongly convicted husband and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.
“Working with Nick on the score for If Beale Street Could Talk was a wonderful continuation of the process we began on Moonlight,” says Jenkins. “In channeling the voices of James Baldwin, our main character Tish and the rich array of souls she encounters and the moods she themes she charts, we arrived at the sound that I feel truly honors the wonderful text Baldwin gifted us while creating a distinct soundscape for this literary adaptation.”
If Beale Street Could Talk premiered earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. It has since received rapturous reviews and is considered an early favorite for next year’s Academy Awards. Watch the trailer for the film via the player below:
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