“Listen Up Phillip” stars Jason Schwartzman as a struggling novelist and Elizabeth Moss as his photographer girlfriend. The film’s synopsis details that, “anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his sure-to-succeed second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman, offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject—himself.”
Film composer Keegan DeWitt revealed how the “raw” “Listen Up Philip” rough cut challenged him to produce a score that would characterize New York City, and allude to some of Miles Davis’ greatest hits.
“I vividly remember first time I sat down to watch a rough cut of ‘Listen Up Philip,'” DeWitt said. “It was raw and electric and virtuosic. The writing, the performances, it’s essence spoke to me immediately. The original cut featured a career-spanning selection of Miles Davis’ greatest work, from minimal to orchestral. Immediately, I felt two things: I have to score this film and…. how the hell am I going to do it?”
DeWitt worked with music arranger Alex Hills and highly skilled Nashville musicians who improvised on the pieces to get the job done.
“I knew it was going to take me throwing computers and samples out the window and finding the best jazz musicians I could get my hands on,” DeWitt said.
Take a listen below: