IF YOU were to think about your favourite film, chances are its soundtrack would be vivid in your memory. Whether it’s the epic pomp of the Star Wars or Lord of the Rings theme tunes, a subtle arthouse score or anything in between, music plays a major role in how we perceive and assess a film.

One of the best recent examples of soundtrack writing is Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s masterpiece of dramatic tension for There Will Be Blood, the 2007 historical drama. Based around Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil!, Paul Thomas Anderson’s rapturously-received movie tells the story of a miner, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who seeks personal affluence during the Californian oil boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The quest for wealth builds to a violent and haunting climactic scene, in which, needless to say, Greenwood’s score reaches a stirring peak. The London Contemporary Orchestra saw the potential of performing the soundtrack with a full 52-piece orchestra soon after watching the film for the first time.

Having performed Greenwood’s music since 2008, they came into contact with him in 2012, helping him record the soundtrack for a more recent link-up with Thomas Anderson in his film The Master. “There are a few improvisational touches and cues that Jonny put into the score which can be hard to keep track of,” says LCO’s conductor Hugh Brunt. “He helped us with all of that.”

For There Will Be Blood: Live, Greenwood joined the group’s rehearsals and played the obscure instrument ondes martenon at the first staging of the score at London’s The Roundhouse in 2014. The ondes martenon is a cross between an organ and a theremin, and will be played in Brighton by Cynthia Miller – one of the only people in the world who knows how to operate the instrument. In general, Brunt says the experience for the audience is somewhere between the cinema and the concert hall.

“The audience will be experiencing effectively what they would expect to see in the cinema, but the atmosphere is heightened due to the 50-odd people on the stage. Audiences want a little bit more from watching a film than sitting down with overpriced popcorn in a multiplex.”

The LCO perform in front of a large screen, meaning they can’t see much of the film – that and the fact they are, you know, concentrating on their instruments. Brunt says it’s important for the orchestra to feel immersed in the movie in every performance, though.

“We try to inhabit the film as much as possible. There are plenty of times when the music needs to sit back and allow for important dialogue or sound effects to come through, so it’s a case of judging it as it happens.” While the orchestra have worked with highprofile musicians like Arcade Fire and Beck, Brunt says that his true passion is film. He is happy to observe the renewed interest in what he calls “event cinema”.

“There are blockbusters being performed in huge spaces in London and more arthouse soundtracks being performed, too. There Will Be Blood sits between those two.

“Some people might not have heard an orchestra before – it’s a good way of introducing them to it.”

There Will Be Blood: Live, Brighton Dome, Church Street, Monday, February 6, 7.30pm, from £10, call 01273 709709 or visit brightondome.org