It’s often said that teen-activist Greta Thunberg, who has sparked an enormous amount of extra action towards climate change despite her young age, is a living force of nature. How on Earth would one depict her story and achievements musically? This is what Headliner asked of composer duo Rebekka Karijord and Jon Ekstrand, who were tasked with writing the music for the Thunberg documentary, I Am Greta.
Both based in Stockholm, Sweden and having worked together on films before, it seems that the differing backgrounds of Karijord and Ekstrand complement each other fantastically.
The Norwegian Karijord is also a singer-songwriter and composer for theatre and dance. The very popular 2009 album The Noble Art of Letting Go saw song placements for BBC and ABC, and she shares here that her next release sees her collaborating with The National’s Dessner brothers.
Swedish Ekstrand, on the other hand, comes from a sound design background and brings his modular synth specialisms to his music. He has scored many films, including 2017’s Life which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson. His big upcoming project is the Jared Leto-starring Morbius, the new Marvel vampire flick.
I mention to these composers that having a scoring partnership is becoming increasingly common. For example, the highly successful pairings of Dustin O’ Halloran and Volker Bertelmann, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
“I feel that film scoring is made to be teamwork,” Karijord says. “The biggest film composers always have a team; I think you have to have it that way. For example, we’ve divided up some of the cues between us; some things come easier to me and some things come easier to John and it becomes a synergy. It makes me less self-critical and everything is more efficient!”