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

Friday, January 16, 2009


The Reader
Music by Nico Muhly
For Your Consideration Promo (US)
17 Tracks 48:28 mins

This Stephen Daldry film stars Kate Winslet, who has already won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of a mysterious older woman who has a post-war affair with a young man, who encounters her again much later during the holocaust trials. With a BAFTA nomination also under her belt, what's the betting she will make it a hat-trick when the Academy Award nominations are also announced.
The music for the film is by a newcomer to me, Nico Muhly, a product of the famed Juilliard School, where he studied under John Corigliano. His orchestral works have been premiered by many world famous orchestras, and he has also worked as performer, arranger and conductor in the pop and folk music fields. In 2006, he took his first steps into the film scoring world with Choking Man, followed by Joshua in 2007.
I am working from a "For Your Consideration Promo," sent to me by the composer's publicists, Costa Communications, but I am pleased to say the score has been released commercially by Lakeshore Records in the States and actually features two extra tracks.
Muhly's music for the film is very much piano-based and often quite understated. Early on, it has an air of innocence about it, but with an off-kilter edge to it, and a certain coldness, perfectly underlying the complicated relationship between boy and woman, and hinting at the latter's dark secrets. Eventually, more positive emotions rise to the surface in "Reading" and "Cycling Holiday; but things immediately turn darker in "Sophie/The Lady with the Little Dog;" the turmoil of "Go Back to your Friends;" "The Failed Visit" and so forth. But before the score concludes, we are reminded of lighter, more innocent times with "I Have No One Else to Ask," "Piles of Books" and the bittersweet "Who Was She?"
It wouldn't surprise me if Muhly receives Academy Award recognition for his work on this film. It's not a showy score, with no hummable themes to take away with you, but is a serious work that is bound to lead to more offers in the future, should this versatile composer/musician choose to take that path.

From Costa Communications:-






(Los Angeles, CA) Award-winning composer CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ scores ADAM, the romantic dramedy, directed and written by Max Mayer (BETTER LIVING). The film is a unique love story about a young man named Adam who is affected by Asperger’s, a high functioning form of autism. ADAM will debut as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance on Monday, January 19 at 12:15p.m. in the Eccles Theatre, Park City.

For this film, Lennertz creates a simple theme reflective of Adam’s life; as Adam’s life becomes more complex so does the music. Lennertz wanted to use a record-like ensemble, with a Beatles influence, rather than a large, score-like orchestra. The ensemble consists of a guitar, upright piano, cello, bass, drums, mellotron, marimba, celeste, and a bansuri (eastern wind instrument). A small six piece string section is added on a few cues to enhance the romantic scenes. Lennertz uses some unusual techniques, like reversing harmonic guitar notes and lowering the pitch of the bansuri, to create some otherworldly textures (to underscore Adams love of astronomy). He uses affected, organic sounds, such as looped heavy breathing, scraped detuned dulcimers, bowed copper bowls, and backwards finger cymbals, to create atmospheres when Adam experiences moments of terror and panic due to his condition. Lennertz plays some guitar, all of the electronic, and odd processed instruments on the score.

Lennertz’s musical talents transcend from film to TV to videogames. His score for the CW’s SUPERNATURAL earned him an Emmy nomination, and he received the Interactive Achievement Award for his score to MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN. Additional film, TV and videogame credits include: SOUL PLANE in which he collaborated with RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Fox’s ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, TORTILLA HEAVEN (collaborating with Ozomatli), Fox’s BRIMSTONE, THE SIMPSONS GAME (nominated for Best Action Game at the 1UP Awards); and MTV’s TOUGH ENOUGH which appeared on the Billboard’s top 100 charts for weeks. Lennertz’s powerful, full orchestral score for the Stephen Spielberg-created videogame, MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN, led him to score more MEDAL OF HONOR games as well as the popular JAMES BOND videogame. Christopher Lennertz’s upcoming projects include THE OPEN ROAD starring Justin Timberlake and Jeff Bridges, and Warner Bros.’ CATS AND DOGS.


Post a Comment

<< Home