Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

CD REVIEW - Capote + A Little News

First off, let me take a moment to congratulate John Williams on winning a Golden Globe for his score for Memoirs of a Geisha. It's been a phenomenal year for Williams fans, with the master showing he's still got what it takes, having written diverse and excellent music for three other releases during the year: Star Wars: Episode III, War of the Worlds and Munich. Long may the music of John Williams grace our screens!

Just received the following, which, in view of my recent coverage of the music of Alan Williams, I wanted to share with you:-

From: The Kaufman Agency Specializing in Film and Tv Composers Worldwide since 1986
Jeff H Kaufman Kaufman Agency
AIM: jhk12007
818 506 6013
818 506 7270
818 535 3536

Dear Friends,
In a year filled with many Goliath film scores and budgets, we are fortunate to have a
talented composer who out shines the budget with compositional ability and shows that a
composer can emerge and compete with many of his competitors because of his
understanding of film and quality writing . We would like you to be aware of Alan’s talent as
he is a hidden gem. Please visit his website and you will be able to
see a diversity that is hard to find in film composers today. Please enjoy our abbreviated
article and the websites listed below.
Best Regards,
Jeff H Kaufman
1. CRASH (Mark Isham)
2. MUNICH (John Williams)
3. STAR WARS EPISODE III (John Williams)
4. SIN CITY (Robert Rodriguez, John Debney, Graeme Revell)
6. BATMAN BEGINS (Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard)
8. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (John Williams)
9. WAR OF THE WORLDS (John Williams)
10.KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Harry Gregson-Williams)
11.SERENITY (David Newman)
12.CRAB ORCHARD (Alan Williams, Silverscreen Music SMCD 017)
Alan Williams has provided an eloquently beautiful score for
CRAB ORCHARD, a gentle drama about a family torn apart
by the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. The score’s
instrumentation embodies a kind of American roots music
flavor – lots of nylon and steel acoustic guitars, woodwinds,
and piano. The gentle melodies are heartrending, providing
a subtle Americana background to the film while echoing the
human consequences and connections that lie within the
heart of the film. The music is at once reflective,
melancholy, hopeful, and resolute in its motif delineation of
a family that is determined to whether together the worse that life will bring. Williams
generates a convincing and immediate rapport with the American family, which is
exactly what this film needed) is clearly echoed in the music’s tonality and texture.
To see the top 20 scores of 2005 visit:

My congratulations go to Alan, and I look forward to reviewing more wonderful recordings of his music on this site.

Music by Mychael Danna
Sony Legacy BMK678151 (U.S.)

I should first explain that I am working from a promo disc of Danna's score only, and so have no details of the tracks, my only guide coming from James Southall's review at, a site I would incidentally highly recommend, due to its frequent updating and excellent reviews.
Bennett Miller's film relates the story of Truman Capote's writing of the book In Cold Blood, and features a fine performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, for which he has already been awarded a Golden Globe.
Mychael Danna's music apparently only features on about 17 minutes of the disc's 77-minute playing time, the rest being given over to Capote's own readings of extracts from the novel, recorded in 1966. The promo disc features a little more score, coming in at just over 23 minutes, but, to be honest, 17 minutes is quite sufficient, as the score is pretty understated, featuring a lonely piano theme, with a more flowing secondary theme, and much suspenseful writing for sustained strings. It's also a frustrating listen in that occasionally the music builds as if it's finally going somewhere, only to leave one suspended in mid-air. A wholly appropriate score for the subject matter, but not one I shall be oft returning to.


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