We are thrilled to announce that the composer and conductor Carl Davis has written the music for Ethel and Ernest.
As you will see from his biographical notes Carl’s range of work is immense. His film compositions include The French Lieutenant’s Woman for which he won a BAFTA and Ivor Novello awards. But perhaps more significantly for our film, which starts in the silent cinema era of the 1920s, are the compositions he has done to accompany silent films.
Earlier this year producer Camilla Deakin, editor Richard Overall, and myself made several trips to Carl’s house in Windsor to hear the progression of the compositions. We were bowled over by the beautifully haunting music that we heard on our very first trip, and that piece became the main theme that you will hear at various key moments throughout the film.
The recording took place in May at Angel studios in north London under the musical direction of Chris Egan. It was conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London. As well as a classical ensemble Carl also employed jazz musicians who were versed in recreating the authentic sound of bands from the 1920s and 1930s. A piano solo of the main Ethel and Ernest theme was performed by Huw Watkins.
Music by Carl Davis is published by Faber Music Ltd., and a soundtrack album of music from the film will become available on Decca Records.
An American who has lived in London since the 1960s Carl is no stranger to composing music that sums up the life of the city he has adopted. Here, in a trip down memory lane, is Carl from 1983…
Ethel and Ernest also uses original recorded music from the periods depicted in the film. A vast range of popular tunes from four decades are woven into the soundtrack, from Al Bowlly’s 1934 recording of ‘What a Little Moonlight Can Do’ through to The Shadows 1963 hit ‘Foot Tapper’ The guiding light on getting clearance on all these tracks was the indomitable Gary Welch and his team at Eyehear music.
Listen out also for a wonderful end credit song written and performed by someone you will all have heard of ! But more on that in a later post….