Luis Felber on Creating Music for Spouse Lena Dunham’s Two New Films

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Luis Felber’s life modified in January 2021 when a mutual good friend set him up on a blind date with Lena Dunham. The Winchester, U.Ok.-born son of a North London Jewish businessman father and Peruvian painter mother, Felber was at first hesitant, having been in lockdown for many of the 12 months, writing love songs on his iPhone for his group Atttawalpa.

“I wasn’t in a spot the place I used to be in search of love,” the 36-year-old musician explains, revealing he’d by no means seen an episode of “Women,” although his mother and sister had been massive followers. “Covid wasn’t precisely the sexiest time to satisfy somebody. We texted for 2 days earlier than we frolicked. We’re not one-word varieties… we throw our feelings on the cellphone and our fingertips

“Actually, the second I met Lena I used to be infatuated together with her. I simply needed to speak to her without end. I really feel like she actually noticed me as an artist, who I used to be. I might be very a lot myself together with her. Throughout the first 20 minutes, I spoke about my traumas, my fears, my demons. If somebody loves you for who you might be, even for those who’re a bit eccentric and peculiar, that’s a uncommon factor.”

Inside months, Felber was at work on the rating for “Sharp Stick,” Dunham’s first main undertaking since “Women,” with longtime collaborator Matt Allchin. Fifteen separate, jagged, minor-key instrumentals replicate the inside lifetime of lead character Kristine Froseth’s virginal Sarah Jo as she goes by a fable-like sexual awakening and self-acceptance. The movie co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as her promiscuous mom, together with “Zola” breakout Taylour Paige as her influencer sister and Jon Bernthal as her married lover, the latter two doubling as govt producers. Dunham seems because the pregnant spouse of Bernthal’s philandering husband.

“When Lena advised [executive producers] FilmNation [Entertainment] the boyfriend she simply met could be doing the rating, they had been a bit of skeptical,” admits Felber. “However I do know myself as an artist, and I’d by no means do one thing I didn’t assume I might do.”

Given a minimal indie-film price range, Felber and Allchin assembled a staff — lots of whom had labored with them on Attawalpa — that included pianist Matt Jones, who performs the haunting top-line rating that represents Sarah Jo’s inside voice, “smoky, jazzy” drummer Henry Danowski and a dwell string part, with Hayden Wynn on cello, a pair of violinists (Claudia Lily Tarrant Matthews, Ellie Hill) and a viola (Martha Campbell). The addition of a uncommon, reconstructed Ondes Martenot, a duplicate of an early primitive synthesizer first in-built 1928 which boasts a Theremin-like slide pad “to connect the strings to the piano,” was impressed by its use on Radiohead’s “Child A” and Jonny Greenwood’s rating for “There Will Be Blood.”

“Once I’d convey Lena these songs, there was no dialogue, no argument,” he says of their inventive collaboration. “She simply advised me to go for it. Matt and I had already constructed community of musicians and studios.”

Felber is not any newcomer to the music scene. He was an early promoter of the Younger Turks membership nights, which spawned the XL Recordings/Beggars Group-affiliated label of the identical identify (now simply Younger) dwelling to the xx, FKA twigs, Kamasi Washington and Sampha, amongst others. Felber additionally toured with U.Ok. singer/songwriter/rapper Jamie T, co-wrote a track with Mick Jagger for HBO’s ill-fated “Vinyl,” and performed in Turbogeist, a band fronted by Jagger’s son James (by Jerry Corridor), who additionally was featured within the present.

A fan of all the pieces from ‘70s New York punk-rock to Prince and the Wu-Tang Clan to Tom Waits, Nirvana and Radiohead, Felber launched a pair of EPs as Attawalpa, with Dunham directing the video for “Tucked In Tight,” one of many songs on the second which spoofs relationships captured on iPhone. His full-length debut, “Presence” (out Oct. 6) featured a number of tracks recorded at Electrical Girl in New York with former Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings guitarist Binky Griptite and ex-Charles Bradley drummer Caito Sanchez.

Felber and Allchin have additionally recorded seven cowl songs to be included on the soundtrack of Dunham’s subsequent function, “Catherine Called Birdy,” a medieval story primarily based on Karen Cushman’s 1994 kids’s novel that premieres on the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 23. Amongst them are Mazzy Star’s “Fade into You,” Supergrass’ “Alright,” Elastica’s “Connection” and the Angels’ “My Boyfriend’s Again” in addition to an authentic co-written with the movie’s star, “Sport of Thrones”’ Bella Ramsey.

“Doing ‘Sharp Stick’ was an actual palette-cleanser for me,” says Felber, indicating distributor Utopia is planning a launch for the rating and soundtrack. “It was fairly liberating. All of the character work had been completed beforehand by Lena and the editors. I didn’t should delivery the emotions to those songs.  The feelings got here from my response to the story on movie. It’s such an attractive option to work, so inspiring.  And it’s my girlfriend’s film.”

Felber quotes his collaborator Allchin’s feedback in regards to the movie composing course of. “Writing a pop track is like operating round in a constructing,” his companion mentioned. “Writing a movie rating is like operating round in a area.  Matt and I’ve recognized one another nearly 20 years.  He’s six years older than me, and actually helped me discover my voice as an artist and singer.”

After assembly in January, Felber and Dunham had been married in a Jewish ceremony simply 9 months later in London at Soho’s Union Membership.  As of this dialog, he nonetheless hadn’t watched “Women.”

“I suppose I might see ‘Tiny Furnishings,’” he says of Dunham’s 2010 movie debut as a author/director. “That’s only a film. I don’t should binge-watch six seasons. Lena and I watch loads of TV collectively, and we’re at the moment on ‘The Sandman.’”

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