'The Banshees Of Inisherin' composer Carter Burwell on storytelling through music

ByNzinga Blake, Shako Liu & Rachel Schwartz  OTRC logo
Friday, March 10, 2023
Storytellers Spotlight: Carter Burwell on storytelling through music
Carter Burwell has composed the scores for all of Martin McDonagh's feature films and is now nominated for "The Banshees of Inisherin."

LOS ANGELES -- Carter Burwell has composed the scores for all of Martin McDonagh's feature films. His nomination for "The Banshees of Inisherin" is his third Oscar nod, following 2015's "Carol" and his 2017 collaboration with Martin McDonagh, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

While the movie is very specific to time and place, McDonagh asked Burwell to compose a score that ignored the "Irishness" of the film's setting.

"The score kind of goes somewhere else," Burwell said. "It's not really Irish."

Burwell told On The Red Carpet the choice helps generalize the story, helping make it a fable about human nature.

"The Banshees of Inisherin" also touches on themes of loneliness and the need for connection, which resonate after years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were told for several years to stay apart from each other, where we lost people that we loved."

Ultimately, Burwell sees film and storytelling as a way for people to see the world from other points of view.

"It does maybe help open your heart to what other people go through," he said.

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