Sundance 2021 Composer Spotlight: Owen Pallett
Film: Spaceship Earth
Owen Pallett is a composer, violinist, keyboardist and vocalist. He currently releases albums with Secret City Records and Domino Recording Co., and has performed as a solo performer with orchestras worldwide. He has released a string of critically praised solo recordings, winning the Polaris Prize in 2006 for his album He Poos Clouds. His chamber music work has been commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Bang on a Can, The Barbican and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, among others. He served as curator of the TSO’s New Creations Festival in 2017.
Owen collaborated with choreographer Robert Binet on the ballet Unearth, which premiered as part of Innovation presented by The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre, Toronto. As a soloist, he has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Noord Nederlands Orkest, yMusic and the Britten Sinfonia. He was a member of the original ensemble enlisted to perform David Lang's death speaks at Carnegie Hall.
He has written string, brass and orchestral arrangements for numerous artists, including Frank Ocean, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Christine & The Queens, Sigur Rós, Caribou, The National, Taylor Swift, R.E.M., Pet Shop Boys, Linkin Park, Franz Ferdinand, Duran Duran, Robbie Williams, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Mountain Goats, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Snow Patrol, Titus Andronicus and Arcade Fire.
He most recently acted as producer on In League with Dragons, the most recent studio album by The Mountain Goats as well as scoring recent films such as The Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project and Illusions of Control, both of which premiered in the Toronto Hot Docs Festival in 2019.
He won an Album of the Year Grammy for his work on Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the original score of Spike Jonze’s Her and won an Emmy for his work on Sølve Sundsbø’s Fourteen Actors Acting.