Jon Brion has brought a singular musical voice to Paul Thomas Anderson’s films Hard Eight, Magnolia, and Punch-Drunk Love. He has scored some of the past decade’s other unforgettably unorthodox films, such as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, and David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees. He has also written music for the hit comedies The Break-Up and Step Brothers, the gothic animated feature ParaNorman, Judd Apatow’s This is 40, and Pixar’s Blue Umbrella short. Jon Brion’s music is featured in A24’s Oscar-nominated comedy Lady Bird written and directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan, Judd Apatow’s hit comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer, Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Wilson starring Woody Harrelson, and Disney’s Christopher Robin starring Ewan McGregor.
Brion showed musical promise from his beginnings in New Jersey, and formed a band out of high school. He played with artists like Aimee Mann and The Wallflowers before becoming a producer—and sometimes songwriter—for Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, and Kanye West (among others). “When I was eight or nine,” recalls a prescient Brion, “I said to myself, ‘It’s really good that I’m going to spend the rest of my life making music, because it will always be above me. There will always be something else to learn.’”