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

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Hangman's House
Music by Tim Curran
20th Century Fox Promo TCP1107 (US)
22 Tracks 58:47 mins

I was fortunate to be sent this promotional disc featuring a new score composed by Tim Curran for John Ford's 1928 silent film Hangman's House, which is featured as part of 20th Century Fox's critically acclaimed DVD box set "Ford at Fox."
Curran comes from a jazz and classical background, having taken up the saxophone at the early age of 11. He later studied guitar and has been an instrumentalist in a number of varying musical groups. He has been composing for more than a decade now, writing everything from big-band charts to country music jingles, as well as orchestral music of all kinds, though this is, I have to confess, the first time I have heard anything he has written for film.
His most recent assignments include the music for four documentaries featured on the 20th Century Fox Collector's Edition of the old Gregory Peck classic Twelve O'Clock High, plus music for various Disney projects, including Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disney Wide World of Sports. He has also recently composed Music for Six Guitars and Percussion, which was recorded with six of LA's finest guitarists and mixed by the legendary Dan Wallin.
Curran's music for Hangman's House is composed for piano, flutes and cello and covers a wide variety of moods and emotions. There are beautiful pastoral moments to be found, with Sheridan Stokes' flute often to the fore, as well as more melancholy moments, where Sebastian Toettcher's cello comes into its own. The two also combine with Bryan Pezzone's ever-present piano to provide some fine dramatic scoring, with an Irish flavour emerging here and there, reminding one of future Ford scores for the likes of The Quiet Man.
We are often used to silent film revivals featuring big new orchestral scores, but here Curran achieves what I consider a more authentic sound. After all, these films were often originally accompanied musically by either a pianist or small group of musicians, so this kind of score is something of an echo of those times.
Tim Curran was recently named in iF Magazine's list of "Composers to Watch." Visit his website at


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