The girl who composed the Jackie soundtrack: “It’s all a bit of a fantasy!”

A person of exceptional talent or intellect is, by definition, a genius. It was clear to me that Mica Levi was one of the people before I had even watched the movie. I was frantically looking for trailers and clips of Natalie Portman on Youtube when I came across an interview with the composer of Jackie’s soundtrack. I listened to the music and, come Oscar night- forgot all about the famous musical and cheered on for Mica. We all know the favorite won, but Mica became a star in her own light.

Mica Levi, also known as Micachu, grew up in the suburbs of London. Mica is a classically-trained composer, and while finishing her studies she formed an experimental pop group with two of her friends- Micachu and the Shapes. She used various instruments while performing with the band, while also performing with renowned classical orchestras. She even made some of her own instruments.
Having caught the attention of director Jonathan Glazer, she was hired to compose a soundtrack for his movie “Under the Skin”. She was only 26 when this got her a BAFTA nomination for Best Film Music, and an European Film Award for Best Composer.

Then, director Pablo Loren hired her for his movie about Jackie Kennedy, and she got an Oscar nomination. She wrote the music thinking about those times, about Jackie, about the whole American myth that didn’t really belong to her. Mica approached the task intuitively- by fantasizing, she says. The film itself is a fantasy about Jackie’s thoughts and feelings at the time of her husband’s death. So she fantasized too. She mentions in an interview how se composed on her computer, looking through the window, transferred it to a notation software and let the musicians do their work.


“I just sat there and listened”, she says, lost in thought and with her modest, pervasive smile.


New Yorker
The Gentlewoman