Take Two for November 6, 2013

Music supervisor Randall Poster talks 'Love To Love You Donna'

Love To Love You Donna

Cover image for the album "Love To Love You Donna."

If you've like a soundtrack well enough to buy it after seeing the movie, there is a very good chance that soundtrack was put together by Randall Poster.

He's got 99 music department credits on IMDB ranging from the "Hangover" trilogy to "Boardwalk Empire" to every Wes Anderson film ever made.

But he doesn't just work on movie music, he also keeps busy producing records, the latest is a tribute to Donna Summer called "Love to Love You Donna". For more on this remix version of one of disco's heroines, Randall Poster  joins host Alex Cohen from New York.

 
Interview Highlights:

I am curious what the draw is for you to disco?
"Growing up in New York City, as a teenager I was really sort of caught in those twin worlds of punk rock and disco. I spent some of my adolescence on a dance floor. So to me it was sort of a magnet that I could not avoid the draw to Donna Summer and her legacy."

You went more for the dance strain?
"We decided we did not want to do covers of the songs. That we wanted to basically remix the original Donna Summer tracks and just feeling that that was really the most current way to pay tribute to the living values of the music and to keep it alive." So put together the trilogy here of "I feel loved," (the original by Donna Summer, the remix by Afrojack and the remix by Benga) what do you hear?

"I think that what has happened is that this digital revolution has happened. There is more for these producers and artist to do with computers to sort of provoke and massage these original recordings. Time has marched on in terms of what is available to a remixer and I think that the fruit of that is on this record."

In doing these remixes did you learn something new about Donna Summer?
"I think really what I was constantly reminded of when these remixes would come in is how timeless the Donna Summer spirit is and why she captivated so many people over the course of her career. It really is music that you surrender to and she invites a certain kind of rhapsody and revelry that we as urbanites kind of yearn for. "I was reminded constantly in the course of making this record, and talking to the artists about it, just how she somehow trumped time and transcended an era. What made this more relevant is that there has been such an incredible explosion in dance music over the last number of years and she manages to be still be the first lady of the dance floor."

Can you talk to us about your approach in how you put together the perfect playlist for a project?
"Every movie is different in that it has different musical requirements either at the outset or the course of the process. Obviously, you read a script and if it calls for a big band to be playing in a scene you have to sort of gather material in get that altogether before production starts or otherwise you find the music mood as the picture comes together.

"One of the benefits of the working relationships I have with certain directors is that there is a lot of musical back-and-forth between the movies. And that is most notable in my working relationship with Wes Anderson. Once we started working together on the music for "Rushmore," I don't think we have ever stopped working and often times we have a pretty good sense of what we want to draw from the music as we go into making these movies by virtue of the work that we have done before there is even a script."

There is a lot of music out there in the world, how do you stay on top of it all. How do you pick the right one?
"I work very hard at it. There is a lot of detective work that goes on in terms of, not only finding the song, but at certain points finding out who owns the songs and how you are able to do all that needs to be done to use the music in a film. Whether it is researching, archives at a university to find what were the great broadway show tunes of 1920 or tracing through the markets of Kolkata looking for old vinyl recordings of Indian film scores, it is a bit of an archeological exploration that goes on."


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