The Scores: Iglesias searches for the sound of loyalty in 'Tinker'

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Alberto Iglesias | "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

For a spy movie that isn't really a spy movie, the key to unlocking the musical mystery behind "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" came from a conversation between director Tomas Alfredson and composer Alberto Iglesias.

"He explained to me very well what this film is about," Iglesias said. "It's a film about loyalties and human relationships. Their spies are victims of this moment. That was the most important thing he told me. The film and the music show the more human side."

"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" begins with something of an overture, a jazzy-like composition that lets viewers into the mind of main character George Smiley (Gary Oldman) -- sort of. "There is a silent side of the characters, and the music in this film is trying to connect with the silence," Iglesias said.

The Spanish composer kept the mood relatively downbeat through much of the film, bringing in slight electronic touches when characters speak in code, but a wayward horn or a tip-tapping piano note keep things on the unsettling side. "The music is about the means behind the emotions and so not much about creating something beautiful," Iglesias said.

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