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Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi shares ‘Miquelon’

Ahead of the full release of Anna Calvi’s scores for Peaky Blinders Season 5 and Season 6 on Friday (January 26th) via Domino Soundtracks, she is pleased to share the opening track from Season 6, the simmering “Miquelon”.  Showcasing Calvi’s mastery at creating captivating and atmospheric compositions, “Miquelon” is filled with a sense of apprehension of what is to follow.   
Peaky Blinders: Season 5 & 6 (Original Score) marks the first ever score work by Anna Calvi:  “Composing for Peaky Blinders was about atmosphere and space. There’s so much nuance when it comes to scoring to picture. It’s more about what you leave out than what you leave in. I had to let the voice of the actors do the talking but find ways of bringing out the emotion within that. I became completely obsessed with Tommy Shelby, I dreamt about him every night whilst I was working on the scores, I had to really inhabit the show.”
Having been initially commissioned to write the score for Season 5 in 2019, Calvi’s remarkable arrangements were an impeccable match with Peaky Blinders and led her to being brought back on board to work on the show’s final ever season in 2022 (breaking BBC iPlayer streaming records with nearly 7 million streams for the first episode). Calvi explains further: “There is a duality to the show, of beauty and brutality, which I had been exploring in my own music. I’m fascinated by the manipulation of emotions with sound, it’s so mysterious. I really tried to explore this with Peaky Blinders, sometimes putting the opposite music than you would expect on a scene had the most impact.” 
Peaky Blinders: Season 5 & 6 (Original Score) comprises 37 tracks taking in different members of The Shelby Company Limited as well as newer characters such as Oswald Mosley. The albumalsoincludes the previously released original songs “You’re Not God” and the swaggering “Ain’t No Grave” as well as Calvi’s cover of “Red Right Hand”, the Peaky Blinders theme song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds as well as the previously shared “Black Tuesday”.These all highlight Calvi’s visceral guitar but elsewhere, there are also tender, delicate moments of piano accompanied by her compelling voice as well as shadows of foreboding as the show enters a turbulent time in British history.  
On Season 5, Anna composed everything herself and performed it largely herself including vocals, guitar, violin, piano, percussion and harmonium. Talking about the process, Calvi adds: “For Season 6 I wanted to bring more musicians on board for a fresh take, and I wanted to find a new musical voice for Tommy. I decided to bring in Nick Launay to work with me – he had produced my last album ‘Hunter’.” Alongside Nick Launay, Calvi also worked with Peaky Blinders director Anthony Byrne who acted as music supervisor, executive producer and musical arranger, Imogen Harrison as post-production producer and Nigel Heath as sound mixer on the score Season 6.  
“What I learnt most from writing for Peaky Blinders is to trust my instincts. I realised I shouldn’t be afraid of simplicity, and I shouldn’t assume that if something happens quickly, that the quality is compromised. This whole experience was so wonderful and so intense. I’m so proud of my scores for Peaky Blinders and I would love for this work to be a signpost for future generations of female composers.” The completion of the score marks a tremendous achievement for Calvi and showcases a composer and artist still unlocking and unveiling their full capabilities.  
To learn more about Anna Calvi’s writing process for Peaky Blinders and to see behind-the-scenes photos, visit here

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