‘Sophie Jones’ Soundtrack Illustrates Role of Music in Indie Film


From this first glimpse of the world of Sophie Jones, it is impossible not to be carried away by “SophieJones” and the painfully authentic story of a teenage girl grappling with the death of her mother. The film’s depiction of grief, along with its depiction of the awkwardness and excitement of high school relationships, makes it clear that “Sophie Jones” isn’t your typical coming-of-age movie. Instead, jessie barr and his cousin Jessica Barre — the film’s two producers — manage to highlight those slice-of-life moments that many teen movies tend to gloss over. While the cast’s courage to portray both heartbreaking and comedic scenes is evident, there seems to be an unspoken character hesitating between and behind the scenes – the music.

In an interview with The Eagle, director Jessie Barr explained how her artistic training inspired her love for music in movies.

“I’ve always loved music that relates to the story,” said Jessie Barr. “I love how immersive it is and how intimate it is.”

Although his professional background has focused primarily on independent film and theatre, Barr’s childhood was filled with all things fine art, everything from opera to Shakespeare.

Jessie Barr, a self-proclaimed “Shakespeare nerd”, says her introduction to literature was what led her to fall in love with storytelling in all its forms.

“I’m obsessed with Shakespeare,” said Jessie Barr. “There is such a rhythm in poetry, in plays because you don’t have the image like you have in the cinema. You have to create a world with rhythm and sound.

Fascinated by how sound can carve stories into prose, Jessie Barr explored her childhood interest in music through opera singing. As a filmmaker, having the right songs to accompany her narration was a priority in making “Sophie Jones.” After shooting a rough cut of the film, Jessie Barr began her search for a composer. As a lover of “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” which features a soundtrack composed by a Grammy-nominated composer Nate Hellershe decided to contact Heller himself.

“I just sent her a cold email,” Jessie Barr said. “I reached out and said what I was looking for and what a huge fan of his I am. I sent him a rough cut of the movie and kind of poured my heart out in the email And then he looked at it and really reacted. From there, we started collaborating together.

The combined musical influences of Jessie Barr and Heller are evident in the vibrant film soundtrack. With the first half comprised of tracks inspired by Needledrop, Riot Grrrl, and the second half featuring Heller’s original score, music plays a prominent role in portraying life, grief, sexuality, and thoughts. inner Jones throughout the film. The soundtrack’s fusion of indie tracks and genre-bending instrumental compositions was integral to Jones’ humanistic construction of identity as a flawed yet reflective and introspective teenager.

“I felt [the songs] necessary to represent the kind of anger and rage and the kind of desire to annihilate yourself that you feel at any age, but most vividly when you are a teenager and also experience tremendous grief and groundlessness. And it was important to me that a lot of the voices were female voices,” Jessie Barr said in reference to the first half of the soundtrack, which features artists like Ezza Rose, Pooch and beverly.

Jessie Barr explained that she wanted three different musical worlds to exist sonically in the film – the female-headed indie music at the start, the use of atmospheric and textured sounds like water and breath throughout the film. , and Heller’s original compositions. during the last half.

“My editor and I had found specific places where we thought the score could live and felt needed,” Jessie Barr said. “So when I spoke with Nate, a lot of our conversations were about what those moments are and what we need them to do in a narrative way. It had a lot to do with expressing the kind of inner world that Sophie is fighting against. It had a lot to do with her calmer, more introspective self and also the part of her that is connected to her mother and her mother’s presence.

About halfway through the film, there’s a clear transition not only in the soundtrack, but also in Sophie as the personification of the timeless tale of being young and grieving. Heller’s parts, named for specific scenes in the film, act almost like a character in their own right, interacting with Jones’ emotions and also providing insight for the audience to interpret his emotional journey. With titles titled “Expired Pills” “Hickey”‘ and “I have your eyes” “Sophie Jones” fans will quickly notice how listening to the score brings them back to specific and memorable scenes from the films. Perhaps one of the most notable scenes is of Sophie, Lucy and their father standing on the shore. “Ashes in the Sea” de Heller with King Isis plays at the end of the film. When she first heard the song, Jessie Barr said she “started crying” in Nate’s home studio.

“When I talked to Nate, I was like, ‘Oh, we’ll just have something instrumental here for that last bit.’ So when I heard the voice of King Isis coming out, it was so unexpected because I wasn’t ready to hear a voice. It was so moving and really different from anything I thought I could do for this piece. This song really uplifted and captured the moment in a way that I honestly couldn’t even imagine,” she said.

While independent film critics and enthusiasts generally find pleasure in primarily analyzing videography and performing in films, the “Sophie Jones: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is proof that music can be transformed into an extension of storytelling. itself and should not be overlooked.

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