Interview by Paul Salfen
Horror fantasy “Nightbooks” starring Krysten Ritter, directed by David Yarovesky, produced by Sam Raimi, based on the book by J.A. White, is releasing globally on Netflix on September 15. With a score by Emmy nominated composer Michael Abels, best known for his collaborations with Jordan Peele, for Get Out, US, and Peele’s forthcoming Nope which is set for release next year.Most recently, Abels was double Emmy nominated for his score and main title theme for the HBO documentary series Allen v. Farrow.
NIGHTBOOKS Synopsis: When Alex (Winslow Fegley), a boy obsessed with scary stories, is trapped by an evil witch (Krysten Ritter) in her magical apartment, and must tell a scary story every night to stay alive, he teams up with another prisoner, Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), to find a way to escape.
About Michael Abels:
Two-time Emmy-nominated composer MICHAEL ABELS is best-known for his scores for the Oscar-winning film GET OUT, and for Jordan Peele’s US, for which Abels won the World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, an Image Award nomination, and multiple critics awards. The hip-hop influenced score for US was short-tlisted for the Oscar, and was even named “Score of the Decade” by online publication The Wrap. Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film, game and streaming media.
As a concert composer, Abels has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Meet The Composer, and his orchestral works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many others. As guest conductor of GET OUT IN CONCERT, Abels has led orchestras like the National Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. Several of his orchestral works have been recorded by the Chicago Sinfonietta on the Cedille label, including “Delights & Dances,” a work commissioned and premiered by the Sphinx Organization.
Recent premieres include the docu-series ALLEN v. FARROW for HBO, the film NIGHTBOOKS for Netflix, and AT WAR WITH OURSELVES with Nikky Finney for the Kronos Quartet. Upcoming projects include CHEVALIER for Searchlight, Jordan Peele’s NOPE for Universal.
Abels is a graduate of USC Thornton School of Music.