Composer Alberto Iglesias Finds Inspiration in Breathing for Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers”


Alberto Iglesias | Photo by Cristina Hortiguela

Hit play below to listen to our interview with Alberto Iglesias.

Composer Alberto Iglesias has collaborated frequently with director Pedro Almodóvar, with an approach that these days is rather unusual. They’ll work quite closely from the time Iglesias receives a script, screening the film together and discussing ideas and approaches, trying them to see if they work, as he puts it, keeping close to “a world very close to the craft, to things made by hand. ”

For his score to Parallel Mothers, his starting point was the breathing of actress Penélope Cruz during a pivotal scene. She plays Janice, a photographer intent on uncovering the truth about the death of her ancestors during the Spanish Civil War, when they were killed by the government. As she is about to have a baby, she meets Ana in the hospital, and they deliver on the same day. Their lives intertwine in a story about love, secrets, and the responsibility to tell the truth.

Iglesias says although it’s not a thriller, there’s a good amount of suspense in the story, and he contrasts a string quintet with a larger ensemble to represent the intimacy of the skin versus the larger world of the mind.

In the same way that Janice is focused on finding the truth, Iglesias says his mantra is to “put the music at the core of the film” – always keeping it consistent with the goals and intent of the filmmaker.

Check back at 6PM each day this week for more interviews with Oscar-nominated composers! Click here to listen to our interview with “Encanto” composer Germaine Franco.

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Brian Lauritzen

Brian Lauritzen is the weekday afternoon drive host for Classical KUSC and host of the nationally-syndicated radio broadcasts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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Jeffrey Freymann

Jeffrey is an arts producer for KUSC and our sister station, Classical KDFC, in San Francisco.