Stories » 'Youth' composer David Lang helped inform the creation of Michael Caine's character / Q&A with Los Angeles Times

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'Youth' composer David Lang helped inform the creation of Michael Caine's character / Q&A with Los Angeles Times

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One of this year's Oscar nominees for original song stands in stark contrast to the others, which include a Lady Gaga anthem, a sexy soul groove and a Bond song. Pulitzer-winning concert composer David Lang wrote a classical aria that plays a crucial role in "Youth," Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's film about an aging composer, played by Michael Caine, which frequently refers to and culminates in an onscreen performance of the fictional character's "Simple Song #3."

"I had very little to go on," says Lang, 59, who wrote the song before the script was even finished. "All I had were these deep philosophical conversations with Paolo." But the song was only part of Lang's outsized influence on Sorrentino's film (which he also scored). READ THE Q&A