[WATCH] ‘Loving’ composer David Wingo on creating a ‘classic’ score for 1950s drama

During our recent webcam chat (watch above), “Loving” composer David Wingo reveals that he and director Jeff Nichols wanted the score for the film to feel, “like it could have been from any time.” This Focus Features release tells the true story of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who in 1958 are sentenced to prison in Virginia after they are married, leading to a landmark Supreme Court case that ended anti-miscegenation laws. Although set in the past, the composer explains he and Nichols wanted their work, “to have a universal feel.”

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This is the tunesmith’s fourth collaboration with Nichols, following “Take Shelter” (2011), “Mud” (2012), and “Midnight Special” (2016). “We’ve always had orchestral elements in all the scores,” he divulges, yet those melodies were also surrounded by, “more contemporary elements.” In the case of the 1950s setting for “Loving,” the duo “wanted it to feel more classic.”

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He credits the director for his “less is more approach, both in his writing and with his direction,” and believes, “as we’ve worked together more, I think I’m able to translate that better every time through my music, understanding that’s how he tells his story and the music needs to operate in the same way.”

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Wingo was recently nominated by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for his score to “Midnight Special.” Will an Oscar bid for “Loving” be next? Check out our full interview for more about his work.

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