Soundtrack Mix #21: Flower of Sound - The Film Music of Alberto Iglesias

A celebration of the musical scores of Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias, including his iconic work for Pedro Almodóvar.
Florence Scott-Anderton

Since the 1980s Alberto Iglesias has created beautiful, thrilling music for the screen working broadly throughout his native Spain and Hollywood and with a versatile array of directors and genres—underpinned by his iconic collaborations with Pedro Almodóvar. Iglesias' film suites are fashioned with lucious jazz and emotive orchestral poetry. He beautifully balances the tension of theatrical melodrama with voyages into memory and the vibrancy of inner-city life, with its sophisticated glamour and debauched underbellies.

This mix provides a healthy dose of Iglesias collaborations with Almodóvar, from their early years with films such as The Flower of My Secret (1995) and Live Flesh (1997) to this year’s Parallel Mothers and The Human Voice (where Igelsias’s key focus was to riff on his Almodóvar themes of the past). Julio Medem’s Sex and Lucia (2001) defines the 2000s moment of contemporary Spanish cinema’s bursts on the global sphere, soundtracked by that early millenium “Igelsias” sound (low rise jeans, sipping cappucinos while typing at the coffee shop, classic twisted with an updated swing). This fruitful collaboration with Medem began in the early 90s with the haunting and delicate Cows (1991). Projects such as the Hollywood scores for John Malkovich’s ‘The Dancer Upstairs (2002), Oliver Stone’s Che Guavara documentary Comandante (2003), and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) appear alongside sexy Spanish time signatures and those austere, elegant piano chords from the Academy Award-nominated Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011).

At just over two hours this mix allows for one to become fully immersed in the breadth of Iglesias’ film work; to hear his effortless ability to create memorable scores by using an eclectic palette of classical, jazz, traditional Spanish elements (sometimes a touch, sometimes a key player, never self-indulgent) with either an ornate or modern approach, depending on the story that needs to be told. It is this mastering of an emotionally rich, singular sound that sets Iglesias' work apart, making him one of the most exciting and original film composers working today.

  1. Preludio Con Agua, The Red Squirrel (Julio Medem, 1993) 00:00
  2. Navidad 1970, Live Flesh (Pedro Almodóvar, 1997) 02:00
  3. Ma ma, Ma (Julio Medem, 2015) 03:20
  4. Yuli, Yuli (Icíar Bollaín, 2019) 05:00
  5. Hable Con Elle, Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002) 07:15
  6. Raquel, Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002) 10:15
  7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011) 14:20
  8. Tributo A Cormac McCarthy, The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002) 20:08
  9. También La Lluvia, Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2010) 21:30
  10. The Dancer Upstairs 1, The Dancer Upstairs (John Malkovich, 2002) 23:12
  11. Vals del Titanic, The Chambermaid on the Titanic (Bigas Luna, 1997) 26:40
  12. Navidad, 1996, Live Flesh (Pedro Almodóvar, 1997) 28:52
  13. Opening + War Room, Exodus: Gods and Kings (Ridley Scott, 2014) 36:00
  14. Quién te Cantará, Pt. 1, Who Will Sing To You (Carlos Vermut, 2018) 38:30
  15. La Piscina, Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004) 43:28
  16.  Opening Titles, The Kite Runner (Marc Forster, 2007) 45:40
  17. El Bello Durmiente, I’m So Excited! (Pedro Almodóvar, 2013) 48:53
  18.  Irene Y Agustina, Volver (Pedro Almodóvar, 2006) 50:20
  19. The Human Voice, The Human Voice (Pedro Almodóvar, 2021) 54:35
  20. Maixabel, Maixabel (Icíar Bollaín, 2021) 61:00
  21. The Two Faces of January, The Two Faces of January (Hossein Amini, 2014) 65:30
  22. La Vaca y la Guerra en el Bosque, Cows (Julio Medem, 1991) 70:08
  23. Madre di Dia, Parallel Mothers (Pedro Almodóvar, 2021) 73:25
  24. me voy a Morir de Tanto Amor, Sex and Lucía (Julio Medem, 2001) 75:30
  25. Lorenzo, Sex and Lucía (Julio Medem, 2001) 78:04
  26. Vacas, Cows (Julio Medem, 1991) 81:18
  27. Día Cero, Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Julio Medem, 1998) 83:46
  28. Las Entrañas de Elisa, The Red Squirrel (Julio Medem, 1993) 86:55
  29. Epilogo, Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar, 2016) 89:51
  30. Claqueta Final, Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019) 94:50
  31. Comandante 1, Comandante (Oliver Stone, 2003) 98:50
  32. Parte 1, Pasajes (Daniel Calparsoro, 1996) 101:06
  33. La Piscina, Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004) 102:56
  34. Justin's Death, The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles, 2005) 105:08
  35. Funeral, The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles, 2005) 108:30
  36. Los Abrazos Rotos, Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar, 2009) 110:30
  37. La Flor de mi Secreto, The Flower of My Secret (Pedro Almodóvar, 1995) 113:15
  38. Negro Cósmico, Earth (Julio Medem, 1996)  116:05
  39. Amanecer (excerpt), Spain in a Day (Isabel Coixet, 2016) 118:41
  40. Fly A Kite, The Kite Runner (Marc Forster, 2007) 119:28
  41. Todo Sobre Mi Madre, All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999) 123:41

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SoundtracksSoundtrack MixesAudioAlberto IglesiasPedro Almodóvar
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