David Lang woke up to some incredible news today (Jan. 14): "Simple Song #3," which he wrote for the Michael Caine film Youth, was nominated for an Academy Award in the best original song category.
Lang, who also composed the score for the Paolo Sorrentino-directed film, described his morning to Billboard. “I poured a big cup of coffee, turned on the Internet and watched the [nominations],” he says. After hearing his name, he admits, “I spilled coffee all over myself.”
The first-time nominee wrote the operatic song before the script was finished. “I would have early copies of the script and dream about the emotional arc of the [Michael Caine] character and what was going on in his life at the end. I would ask Paolo a specific question and he’d go, ‘Oh I need to cry.’ He just wanted to feel at the end as if some emotional barrier had been crossed. I felt like the music was revealing something about this character that the script or acting couldn’t get to. I think all the praise has to go to Paolo. He build this world and he decided that composers are interesting enough to make a movie about.”