|Also known as||Moviola|
|Born||19 August 1951|
Ciudad Jardín Lomas del Palomar, Argentina
Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla (born 19 August 1951) is an Argentine musician, composer, and record producer. He is known for composing his film scores with his collaborator and acclaimed director Alejandro González Iñárritu, which composed the first four psychological drama films Iñárritu directed. He also composed the original scores for the video games The Last of Us (2013) and The Last of Us Part II (2020), as well as the themes for television series such as Jane the Virgin (2014–2019) and Making a Murderer (2015–present). He won Academy Awards for Best Original Score in two consecutive years, first for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and then Babel (2006).
Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla was born in Ciudad Jardín Lomas del Palomar on 19 August 1951.
Santaolalla's music career began in 1967 when he co-founded the group Arco Iris, a rock band that pioneered the fusion of rock and Latin American folk known as rock nacional. The band adopted the lifestyle of a yoga commune guided by former model Danais "Dana" Winnycka and her partner, musician Ara Tokatlian. The band had a few hits, such as "Mañanas Campestres" ("Country Mornings"), and made inroads into different forms of musical expression (notably a ballet piece for Oscar Aráiz). However, Santaolalla felt constricted by the strict requirements of Dana's teachings, which prohibited the consumption of meat, alcohol, and drugs; he left the group in 1975.
In 1976, Santaolalla assembled Soluna, a band in which he played alongside teenage pianist and singer Alejandro Lerner and his then-girlfriend Monica Campins. Together they recorded just one album (Energía Natural in 1977). He then left for Los Angeles, where he adopted a rock and roll sound and formed the band Wet Picnic with ex-Crucis member Aníbal Kerpel. He briefly returned to Argentina in 1981 to produce Leon Gieco's Pensar en Nada and record his first solo album. As a solo artist, he has recorded three albums. His first self-titled album, Santaolalla (1981), broke new ground by incorporating the 1980s sound into rock in Argentina for the first time. He was joined by Lerner and the Willy Iturry-Alfredo Toth rhythm section, who were two-thirds of the band GIT. His second album, titled Gas, was released in 1995.
Santaolalla's most recent solo album, Ronroco (1998), contained several tracks with the characteristic sound of the folk string instrument of the same name, which later became a defining instrument in his soundtrack work. Ronroco also contains his solo piece for Iguazu Falls, which was later used in films such as The Insider, Collateral and Babel, as well as a 2007 Vodafone TV commercial and TV series such as Deadwood, 24, and Top Gear. It also contains the track "De Ushuaia a La Quiaca" used by Walter Salles in his The Motorcycle Diaries. Santaolalla aided the development of rock en español by acting as producer for the Mexican acts Neón, Maldita Vecindad, Fobia, Molotov, Café Tacuba, and Julieta Venegas; the Colombian singer Juanes; the Chilean rock trio Los Prisioneros; fellow Argentine rock musicians Divididos, Bersuit Vergarabat, Érica García, and León Gieco, among many others.
Santaolalla began working on film soundtracks in the late 1990s, producing albums for the films Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and The Motorcycle Diaries. He provided the instrumental music for the soundtrack to the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, from which "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" won the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Santaolalla received the 2006 Academy Award for Original Music Score for Brokeback Mountain. In 2007, he received his second Academy Award for the film score to Babel, and dedicated the award to his father and his home country Argentina.
Santaolalla acted as the producer of Gaby Kerpel's Carnabailito and co-produced the Kronos Quartet's Nuevo, an album which renders homage to the musical heritage of Mexico. He has also been part of the resurgent neo-tango movement, as the prime mover behind the Bajofondo Tango Club collective. He is mentioned as the co-producer of Calle 13's song "Tango del Pecado", a song from their album Residente o Visitante. In 2005, he received the Platinum Konex Award as best Argentine artistic producer of the 1995-2005 decade. In 2008, he composed the soundtrack for the Louis Vuitton film Where Will Life Take You? directed by Bruno Aveillan. Later that year, he recorded two songs on "All You Need Is Me", a single by English singer Morrissey. The tracks, "Children In Pieces" and "My Dearest Love", were recorded in Los Angeles.
Santaolalla directed music for Aamir Khan's movie Dhobi Ghat, which was released on 21 January 2011. He also collaborated with Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov on several projects commissioned by soprano Dawn Upshaw. These include the opera Ainadamar, based on the murder of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, and Ayre, a collection of folk songs, in which Santaolalla plays with a group that calls itself The Andalucian Dogs. He provided the score for the 2012 film On the Road, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Walter Salles. That same year, he was nominated for Producer of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards for his work on De Noche (Antonio Carmona), Entre la Ciudad y el Mar (Gustavo Galindo), and Rêverie (Luciano Supervielle), co-produced with Juan Campodónico from Bajofondo.
Santaolalla received critical acclaim for composing the score to the 2013 action-adventure video game The Last of Us, which was his first experience in the video game industry. In 2020, he returned to compose the music for its sequel, The Last of Us Part II.
In 2015, Santaolalla was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
On 20 and 21 September 2019, Eric Clapton invited Santaolalla to participate at his Crossroads event at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. He performed the song "De Ushuaia a la Quiaca" and a version of "Ando Rodando". He also played in the last song of the event on with Clapton, Gary Clark Jr, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Jimmie Vaughan, James Bay and others.
Santaolalla does not know how to read or write musical notation, nor does he use an orchestra for his soundtracks. He said, "I don't see myself as a film composer. I see myself as more of an artist that uses different forms to express myself. I love it all."
Santaolalla lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Alejandra Palacios, and their daughter Luna (born 1994) and son Don Juan Nahuel (born 1999). He has a daughter named Ana (born 1980) from a previous relationship with Monica Campins.
|1981||She Dances Alone|
|1998||Ronroco||Solo work, first release of "Iguazu"|
|1999||The Insider||Features his song, "Iguazu"|
|2004||The Motorcycle Diaries||BAFTA Award for Original Music Score. See also the soundtrack|
|2005||North Country||See also North Country soundtrack|
|2005||Yes||Features his song "Iguazu"|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Academy Award for Original Music Score. See also the soundtrack|
|2006||Fast Food Nation||Features his song "Iguazu"|
|2006||Babel||Academy and BAFTA Award for Original Music Score. See also the soundtrack|
|2007||Into the Wild||Features his song "Picking Berries"|
|2007||My Blueberry Nights||Features his song "Pájaros"|
|2009||I Come With The Rain|
|2010||The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet's Struggle for Freedom|
|2012||On the Road|
|2013||The Last of Us||Video game|
|2013||August: Osage County|||
|2014||The Book of Life|
|2014||Wild Tales||Goya Award for Best Original Score|
|2014||Camino||Solo work |
|2015||Making a Murderer|
|2016||Before the Flood|||
|2016||Qhapaq Ñan: Desandando El Camino|
|2017||A Life in 12 Bars|
|2017||To End a War|
|2017||All That Divides Us|
|2020||The Last of Us Part II||Video game. Likeness also used in the game for a banjo player in Jackson.|
|2021||Maya and the Three||Netflix miniseries|
|2022||The House||Netflix anthology film|
|2023||The Last of Us||HBO series|