Lakeshore Records will release the Moonlight - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on October 21 and on CD November 25, 2016, with a vinyl date to be announced. The album features the original score by Nicholas Britell.
"Working with Barry on Moonlight was a phenomenal experience," Britell stated. "He has an immediate instinct about how music works with picture. We would sit in my studio, watching scenes from the film, and experimenting with different possibilities." Britell continued, "This is one of my favorite things to doexploring musical textures, sounds, and ideas live against picture. When an idea works, you see how it can change perceptions of a scene. You really feel it."
As Jenkins explained, "[the] biggest breakthrough was when I expressed my love of 'chopped and screwed,' a version of southern hip hop where the music is slowed and the pitch altered. Rather than counterchopping and screwing a classical orchestra is just not doneNick dove headlong down the rabbit hole." In writing the music for Moonlight, there were two distinct phases of the writing process. Britell would write music that inspired him from the early cuts of the film and his discussions with Jenkins; afterwards, Britell would begin to experiment with 'chopping and screwing' his own recordings.
"I would bend tracks, taking cellos and turning them into strange bass-like instruments, taking pianos and violins and altering them into a totally new shape," Britell described. "After watching the early cuts of the film, the first word that came to my mind was 'poetry.' There is a true poetry to the way Barry created this film. There is beauty, intimacy, tenderness, and sensitivity. Chiron's Theme attempts to capture some of these feelings musically." This is a feat Britell achieved effortlessly in the score.