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Jonny Greenwood shares new song ‘Crucifix’ from ‘Spencer’ soundtrack

It's the first song to be released from his soundtrack for the new Pablo Larraín film about Princess Diana

By Hollie Geraghty

Jonny Greenwood poses
Greenwood's 'Spencer' soundtrack is one of two 2021 film scores from the Radiohead guitarist. (Photo: Press)

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has shared the first song from his score for the upcoming ‘Spencer’ film.

The musician, who has composed scores for films including ‘Inherent Vice’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’, soundtracks director Pablo Larraín’s new film about Princess Diana.

‘Spencer’, which premiered at Venice Film Festival in September and had its UK premiere during this month’s London Film Festival, reimagines an alternative Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham.

Listen to ‘Crucifix’ below.

In a recent interview with NME, Greenwood spoke about how he and the Larraín went about discovering the sound for the reimagined historical drama.

“I explained to Pablo that there’s lots of baggage attached to classical music in films about the royals,” he said.

“I watched a few royal films, which were full of sweeping shots of Buckingham Palace, with fanfare horns and tinkling harpsichords on top. I wanted instead to emphasise how chaotic and colourful Princess Diana was, in amongst all that baroque tradition. It’s what the film does too.”

The soundtrack is a modern fusion of baroque and jazz, but Greenwood also spoke about how the “amazing” jazz players were too restricted by the chords. “It was like they were trying to improvise to the theme from ‘Antiques Roadshow,’” he said. “The key was to still sound vaguely baroque, while leaving enough space for true anarchy and chaos.”

The composer also shared his views on the royal family, saying that they are an “absurd institution”. He added: “but getting rid of them wouldn’t change anything.”

Despite having composed nine film soundtracks at this point, Greenwood said he still feels he is “doing it wrong, really.”

“I haven’t done a car chase, and I rarely have to make music that ducks out of the way for dialogue. That’s real composing.”

Greenwood also recently formed a second band, The Smile, with fellow Radiohead member Thom Yorke and Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner.

The group made their live performance debut on May 22 during Glastonbury’s Live At Worthy Farm livestream event.