Jonny Greenwood encouraged each member of his “Spencer” orchestra to show their individuality.
The Radiohead guitarist composed the soundtrack for the upcoming biopic about Princess Diana, and he turned the traditional baroque ensemble upside down to create something special.
He told Uncut magazine: “One at a time, while they were playing, the idea was to replace the musicians with free-jazz players.
“So the music would slowly mutate, gradually shifting from one world to another. You hear these familiar sounds – harpsichords, trumpets and timpani – but they are played by jazz musicians.
“I have great pictures of [The Smile] drummer Tom Skinner plays those two timpani, hitting each part – it’s pretty excited. “
The one-year-old musician admitted that while his approach might be considered “heavy,” he feels it suited the script.
He explained, “It might be a bit heavy, but I felt like the music was the right combination of things.
“Diana is such a chaotic and colorful person amidst all this dull, oppressive and stilted tradition.”
And while Jonny took the lead as a songwriter, he didn’t want his orchestra to feel limited in their performances.
He added: “Musicians are more than just automatons in front of which you place sheet music. Baroque music contains a lot of improvisation anyway.
“I am obsessed with the players as individuals, and having access to an orchestra of 48 musicians suddenly means you are in a group of 48 people.
“A string player is already a whole universe of possibilities, and it multiplies with each new player who arrives.”
He also opened up about his inspiration in terms of writing and described the film as more of a “horror film”.
He said: “I started out by watching 80s music that Diana would have liked, but it’s a bit of a dead end …
“[It’s] oddly like a horror movie. It’s more claustrophobic and dark; whatever ‘The Crown’ is not. “