London’s Roundhouse has always prided itself on its eclectic programming, and this summer’s line-up is no exception. Planted amongst the more obvious musical acts is the kind of cross-over event which has grown in increasing popularity of late, and is something of a real treat for both cinephiles and serious music fans – the live score.

While that opportunity to witness a key aspect of a film outside of the constraints of the screen is largely welcoming, this type of experience can also run the risk of having one element cancelling the other out – the sound potentially undermining the visuals, or the visuals taking away from the actual live performance. Luckily that wasn’t the case here, and the film in question was undoubtedly the reason behind a glorious and harmonious balance being struck.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s celebrated oil odyssey There Will Be Blood has already joined the pantheon of Hollywood all-time greats in the seven short years since its initial release, and a contributing factor to its success is the extraordinary score from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. With over 50 musicians from the London Contemporary Orchestra, including the composer himself (who was sat, delicately and unassumingly, amongst his fellow musicians) breathed life into the film from the very first frame. The film’s sparse dialogue really lent itself to the sometimes delicate and probing compositions being created below. This was especially effective during the first half hour where, to anyone familiar with the film will be aware, the film’s central character (the dogged silver miner-turned-oilman, Daniel Plainview) fails to utter a single word during his increasingly treacherous quest.

There will be Blood

Greenwood’s striking, sometimes dissident chords, chimed in a live atmosphere, adding further resonance to what was on screen. The bolder, more unusual aspects of the score were wonderfully encapsulated during the strange montage where Plainview and his bogus brother are prospecting for oil across green pastures. Seeing members of the percussion family begin using unconventional parts of their instruments to achieve the requisite beats was a fascinating and intuitive glimpse at the scoring process.

Like Plainview’s frenzied bowling alley attack at the end of the film, there was also the feeling that the orchestra were really given the chance to fully unleash their power and command during the end credits, where the magnificent Violin Concerto in D Major (Movement III) by Johannes Brahms came to thunderous life. This was greeted with a rapturous reception from the clearly captivated audience who, as the last credit faded from screen, had just witnessed another, altogether thrilling accoutrement to an already dazzlingly audacious film.

Take a look at some of the other events during The Roundhouse Summer Sessions