“In making Oppenheimer, we were trying to find the tone of the movie— and I wanted to do that by finding the emotional core of the music. I always try to have a different way of starting a project. I always want to feel like I’m doing something for the first time.”
-Ludwig Göransson, episode 343 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
For over a decade, composer and record producer Ludwig Göransson has created some of the defining music of our time. This week, he sits with Sam to discuss his latest work in Oppenheimer.
At the top, Göransson describes the collaborative process with director Christopher Nolan (6:48), the instrument at the heart of the film (9:30) and its hauntingly beautiful theme (11:06). Then, we walk through Ludwig’s instinctive approach to making music (13:07), his coming of age in Sweden (15:20), and the influence of Metallica and Danny Elfman (18:51).
On the back-half, Ludwig reflects on his early years in Los Angeles (24:56), finding kinship with director Ryan Coogler (27:55) and polymath Donald Glover (34:53), and how he slowly began to understand his voice (38:21). To close, he shares how his process has evolved from Black Panther to Oppenheimer (42:30), the potential impact of AI on the music industry (44:58), and what he hopes for in the years ahead (49:15).
- Purchase tickets to see Oppenheimer in theaters, and listen to the pieces in this talk: Oppenheimer and Can You Hear The Music.
- Find Ludwig Göransson’s previous scores in The Mandalorian, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Tenet, Black Panther, and Creed.
- Hear his early short film work in Ryan Coogler’s Locks and Hiro Murai’s Clapping for the Wrong Reasons.
- Stream his collaborations with Childish Gambino, including Awaken, My Love!, Because the Internet, and Camp.
- Follow Ludwig on Instagram and Twitter.
- For more talks, hear our conversations with Pedro Pascal, Hiro Murai, Tessa Thompson, Alana Haim, Dev Hynes, and Ruth E. Carter.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.