Featuring Original Score by Nicholas Britell

With Songs by Goodie Mob, Boris Gardiner, and Barbara Lewis

Lakeshore Records will release the MOONLIGHT – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on October 21st and on CD November 25, 2016, with a vinyl date to be announced. The album features the original score by Nicholas Britell (THE BIG SHORT, FREE STATE OF JONES).

Director Barry Jenkins knew that Britell was a fit for the film after the latter sent him an eclectic playlist following their first meeting: The Isley Brothers seguing into Bach, UGK and the Manhattans bleeding into Beethoven.  At that moment, Jenkins knew that Britell had grasped his unspoken mantra for the film – ‘We’re not going to take the hood to the arthouse, we’re going to bring the arthouse to the hood.’  As Jenkins puts it, “Nick’s compositions pulse and rumble, creating a feeling in one’s chest that reminds me of the trunk rattling music of home. When I listen to this music, I picture a ‘74 Impala on 28 inch rims drifting down MLK Boulevard… blasting Bach, chopped and screwed.”

“Working with Barry on MOONLIGHT was a phenomenal experience,” Britell stated. “He has an immediate instinct about how music works with picture. We would sit in my studio, watching scenes from the film, and experimenting with different possibilities.” Britell continued, “This is one of my favorite things to do – exploring musical textures, sounds, and ideas live against picture. When an idea works, you see how it can change perceptions of a scene. You really feel it.”

As Jenkins explained, “[the] biggest breakthrough was when I expressed my love of ‘chopped and screwed’, a version of southern hip hop where the music is slowed and the pitch altered. Rather than counter — chopping and screwing a classical orchestra is just not done — Nick dove headlong down the rabbit hole.” In writing the music for MOONLIGHT, there were two distinct phases of the writing process. Britell would write music that inspired him from the early cuts of the film and his discussions with Jenkins; afterwards, Britell would begin to experiment with ‘chopping and screwing’ his own recordings.

“I would bend tracks, taking cellos and turning them into strange bass-like instruments, taking pianos and violins and altering them into a totally new shape,” Britell described. “After watching the early cuts of the film, the first word that came to my mind was ‘poetry.’ There is a true poetry to the way Barry created this film. There is beauty, intimacy, tenderness, and sensitivity. Chiron’s Theme attempts to capture some of these feelings musically.” This is a feat Britell achieved effortlessly in the score.

The film’s trailer features the tracks End Credits Suite and The Middle of the World, both from Britell’s score.

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, MOONLIGHT chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, MOONLIGHT is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths. Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, Jenkins’s staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are.

Nicholas Britell is an award-winning composer, pianist, and producer. In 2015, Britell wrote the score for Adam McKay’s Oscar-nominated film THE BIG SHORT. His music also featured prominently in director Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning film 12 YEARS A SLAVE, for which he composed and arranged the on-camera music including the violin performances, spiritual songs, work songs, and dances. Recent films he has scored include Gary Ross’ film FREE STATE OF JONES, starring Matthew McConaughey, as well as Natalie Portman’s directorial debut feature film A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS. Britell has also scored Steve McQueen’s film CARIBS’ LEAP which has recently been featured as part of the “Master of Light – Robby Müller” retrospective at the Eye film museum in Amsterdam. In addition, Britell wrote the score for Adam Leon’s film GIMME THE LOOT as well as for Jack Pettibone Riccobono’s documentary THE SEVENTH FIRE. As a producer, Britell produced the short film WHIPLASH, directed by Damien Chazelle, which won the Jury Award for Best US Fiction Short at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. After the initial success of the WHIPLASH short, he subsequently served as co-producer of the Oscar-nominated feature film WHIPLASH.

He was awarded the Henry Mancini Fellowship from the ASCAP Foundation in December 2012 and also won the ASCAP/Doddle Award for Collaborative Achievement. Britell is a Founding Member of L.A. Dance Project and is a Board member of the New York-based ensemble Decoda, the first-ever affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. He is an honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, as well as a piano performance graduate of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. Britell was honored to be the commencement speaker at the Juilliard Pre-College Division’s Commencement Exercises in May 2016.  He was recently nominated for Discovery of the Year by the World Soundtrack Awards.


01. Every N****r Is a Star – Boris Gardiner
02. Little’s Theme
03. Ride Home
04. Vesperae Solennes de Confessore – Laudate Dominum, K. 339 (Excerpt) – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
05. The Middle of The World
06. The Spot
07. Interlude
08. Chiron’s Theme
09. Metrorail Closing
10. Chiron’s Theme Chopped & Screwed (Knock Down Stay Down)
11. You Don’t Even Know
12. Don’t Look at Me
13. Cell Therapy – Goodie Mob
14. Atlanta Ain’t But So Big
15. Sweet Dreams
16. Chef’s Special
17. Hello Stranger – Barbara Lewis
18. Black’s Theme
19. Who Is You?
20. End Credits Suite
21. Bonus Track: The Culmination