Luis Felber on Creating Music for Wife Lena Dunham’s Two New Movies

Louis Felber’s life changed in January 2021 when a mutual friend arranged for him to go on a blind date with Lena Dunham. Born in Winchester, England, son of a north London Jewish businessman father and a Peruvian painter mother, Ferber was hesitant at first and in lockdown for most of the year, he wrote on his iPhone for His group Atttawalpa writes love songs.

“I’m not in a place to find love,” explained the 36-year-old musician, who has never seen an episode of “Girls” despite his mom and sister being big fans. “Covid isn’t the sexiest time to meet someone. We texted for two days before hanging out. We’re not monograms…we put our emotions on the phone and at our fingertips

“Literally, the moment I met Lena, I fell in love with her. I just wanted to talk to her for the rest of my life. I felt like she really saw me as an artist, who I am. I can relate to She was together. In the first 20 minutes, I talked about my trauma, my fears, my demons. It’s a rare thing if someone loves you the way you are, even if you’re a little eccentric and eccentric.”

A few months later, Felber joined longtime collaborator Matt Allchin on the score for “Sharp Stick,” Dunham’s first major project since “Girls.” Fifteen separate, jagged minor instruments reflect the inner life of protagonist Kristine Froseth’s virgin Sarah Jo as she experiences an allegorical sexual awakening and self-acceptance . The film stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as her promiscuous mother, and “Zola” breakout Taylor Paige as her influential sister, Jon · Jon Bernthal as her married lover, the latter two also serve as executive producers. Dunham appears as the pregnant wife of Bernthal’s philandering husband.

“When Lena told [executive producers] movie country [Entertainment] The boyfriend she just met would do the soundtrack, and they were a little skeptical,” Felber admits. “But I know I’m an artist, and I’ll never do what I don’t think I can do. “

Given the minimum budget for independent films, Felber and Olchin formed a team—many of whom had worked with them at Attawalpa—including pianist Matt Jones, who played on behalf of Sarah A haunting top-notch soundtrack by Sarah Jo’s inner voice, “Smoky, Jazz” with drummer Henry Danowski and a live string section with Hayden Wynn ) playing the cello together, a pair of violinists (Claudia Lilly Tarrant Matthews, Ellie Hill) and a viola (Martha Campbell). Added a rare reconstruction of the Ondes Martenot, a copy of an early original synth originally built in 1928, which had a Theremin-like sliding pad that “glued the strings to the piano” inspired by it in Radiohead’s Also used in “Kid A” is Jonny Greenwood’s score for “There Will Be Blood”.

“When I brought these songs to Lena, there was no discussion, no argument,” he said of their creative collaboration. “She just told me to do it. Matt and I have built a great network of musicians and studios.”

Felber is no newbie in the music world. He was an early promoter of Young Turks club nights, which spawned the eponymous label (now just Young) of the XL Recordings/Beggars Group, which included xx, FKA twigs, Kamasi Washington, and Sampha, among others. Felber also toured with British singer/songwriter/rapper Jamie T, co-wrote a song with Mick Jagger for HBO’s ill-fated “Vinyl”, and performed with Jagger’s son James (conducted by Jerry Hall). ) played in the band Turbogeist led by him, and he also appeared on the show.

Felber, a fan of everything from ’70s New York punk rock to Prince and Wu-Tang Clan to Tom Waits, Nirvana and Radiohead, released two EPs as Attawalpa, Dunham directed the “Tucked In Tight” video, one of Those in the second song cheat the relationship captured on the iPhone. His full-length debut “Presence” (released October 6) features several tracks recorded at Electric Lady in New York by former Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings guitarist Binky Griptite and former Charles Bradley drummer Caito Sanchez.

Felber and Allchin have also recorded seven cover songs that will be included on the soundtrack to Dunham’s next film, “Catherine Called Birdy,” a medieval tale based on Karen Cushman’s 1994 children’s novel, released on September 23 at Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Among them are “Fade into You” by Mazzy Star, “Alright” by Supergrass, “Connection” by Elastica and “My Boyfriend’s Back” by the Angels, as well as an original co-created with movie star “Game of Thrones” Bella Ramsey.

“Doing ‘Sharp Stick’ was a real palette cleanser for me,” said Feilber, who said publisher Utopia is planning to release the score and soundtrack. “It was liberating. All the character work was done up front by Lena and the editor. I didn’t have to have emotions for the songs. Those emotions came from my reactions to the film’s story. It’s such a beautiful way of working, so inspiring . This is my girlfriend’s movie.”

Luis Felber on Creating Music for Wife Lena Dunham’s Two New Movies Matt Allchin Luis Felber Bella Ramsey

Felber cites his collaborator Olchin’s comments on the film’s creative process. “Writing a pop song is like running around the building,” his partner said. “Writing soundtracks is like running around the fields. Matt and I have known each other for almost 20 years. He is six years older than me, and he really helped me find my voice as an artist and singer.”

After meeting in January, Felber and Dunham were married nine months later in a Jewish ceremony at the United Club in London’s Soho. Up until this conversation, he had not seen The Girl.

“I think I can see ‘Little Furniture,’” he said of Dunham’s 2010 film debut as a writer/director. “It was just one movie. I didn’t have to binge watch six seasons. Lena and I watched a lot of TV together, and we’re watching Sandman right now.”

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