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Interview…Amelia Warner Captures Irish Mysticism in the Score to ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’

Breakthrough neo-classical composer Amelia Warner is best known for her stunning soundtrack for the 2018 Irish-American film Mary Shelley. It won Amelia the ‘Breakthrough Composer of The Year’ at the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) Awards in 2019, and a nomination in the ‘Discovery of the Year’ category at the World Soundtrack Awards.

However, before anyone got to hear her musical gift, she had a career in acting as she followed in her mother’s footsteps. Yet the desire to stay out of the spotlight and dabble in composing took root and quickly flourished. Warner’s debut major scoring project was the British short film ‘Mam’ which won several awards on the film-festival circuit and led to her first feature-film composition for 2016’s Mum’s List (starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox). Warner has also released three solo classical albums to date; the most recent EP ‘Haven,’ was released this Summer.

With Wild Mountain Thyme (which was written for the screen and directed by John Patrick Shanley), Amelia’s personal connection to the Emerald Isle, and her strong initial reaction to the love story and the relationships between the characters, the comedic wit of Shanley’s dialogue, and the simplistic beauty of Irish magic inspired her to quickly compose a demo for the main romantic theme.

That main theme was actually written for her husband, Jamie Dornan, who plays Anthony in the film, and resulted in landing the role of composer. Those themes are featured heavily throughout the film and became the backbone of the score.

Warner dug deep and pulled out a sweeping romantic composition that feels like Pride and Prejudice by way of The Lord of the Rings. It’s lush, authentic, and uplifting. All that for a romantic comedy no less. Well, points to Warner for making all that work as well as setting her score between two very important melodies in the film: ‘Swan Lake’ and the titular folk song.

In our interview, we go into the film as well as some of Amelia’s early acting days and how she now finds strength, confidence and her emerging voice at the piano. We even talk about her favorite Christmas films and albums, so enjoy our fun chat with Amelia!

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Wild Mountain Thyme tells the story of Anthony and Rosemary, childhood friends from neighboring Irish farms who are destined for love, but fight it every step of the way. Conflicts arise when Anthony’s father threatens to give their farm over to an American nephew, as opposed to his own son.