Amelia Warner is a fresh—and refreshing—new voice in film music. In 2016, she provided a reflective, elegant score for her feature debut, Mum’s List, starring Rafe Spall. She helped bring an old story to modern life with Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning as the famous Frankenstein author, with otherworldly music for an orchestra haunted by ethereal female vocals. Most recently she took on a comedic tone, scoring a series of short films about female empowerment in the Time’s Up vein. Offscreen, Warner has scored hits with her narrative, neoclassical albums Arms (under the altar ego Slow Moving Millie) and Visitors, both of which conquered the classical charts on iTunes.
Warner shapeshifted from acting in high-profile British TV and films to becoming a composer—but even before her life on camera (in projects like Lorna Doone and Quills), her heart always beat for music. She played the piano from the time she was little, growing up in northwest England in a family of actors, and was telling stories with her music from the start. As an actor, she often composed on set between takes, and it was only a matter of time before she turned her talents toward giving emotional soul to screen stories. After she scored a few commercials and a short film, Mum’s List director Niall Johnson heard her second EP and asked if he could use a piece in the film. Warner said yes, and added: “who’s scoring it?”
“I really enjoy the boundaries that you’re given as a film composer,” she says. “I find it really satisfying to try and make something work for a cue. It feels like a big puzzle, or a big tapestry, and just finding moments and themes and weaving them in and bringing them back—I really enjoy that side of it.”