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

Monday, March 30, 2009


I was fortunate, thanks to the composer's publicists, Costa Communications, to be able to sample some of relative newcomer Austin Wintory's music for Captain Abu Raed recently and was, if you read the review, obviously quite impressed. He has now followed up that award-winning score with another, very different score, for the psychological thriller Grace, which won the Jury Prize at France's Gerardmer International Fantasy Film Festival last month.
Again, Costa Communications kindly sent me a promotional disc of Wintory's score, and I just wish I could be as enthusiastic about it as Abu Raed, but this is indeed a very different animal. The film's writer/director Paul Solet, being already a friend of the composer, involved him in the project early on and in fact Wintory wrote some 2o minutes of music solely based on the script. He then played it to the actors on set and discussed their characters with them, getting a unique perspective. The music wasn't ever intended to be used in the score for the finished film, for which he wrote a new score.
A film music fan from a young age, whose idol was the much-missed Jerry Goldsmith, Wintory wrote an experimental score for the film, something his hero wasn't slow to do on numerous scores himself, basing his music on manipulated sounds, like sampled baby cries and the buzzing of flies, together with using traditional instruments in unusual ways, something Goldsmith had done most notably on Planet of the Apes. Recording at London's famous Abbey Road Studios, the score also features contributions by Lisbeth Scott, who sung on Abu Raed and here contributed the lyrics to the lullaby, sung by Jordan Ladd, playing the mother, over the "End Titles" track presented on the disc.
Like most experimental scores, I have to say that this is not an easy listen away from the film, where it may well work very effectively, and is at times barely recognisable as music. Obviously as a fan of melody, I would prefer to be listening to more scores like Captain Abu Raed from the composer. If, however, you are a fan of the genre, you may well appreciate Wintory's efforts for Grace.
Neither Abu Raed, nor Grace has yet been commercially recorded, but Wintory, in a fascinating interview that you can hear at, appears hopeful that a deal may be done at some stage. Maybe the two can be paired on one disc, which would certainly illustrate the versatility of their composer.

Whilst mentioning Austin Wintory's publicists, Costa Communications, you might like to check out their blog at, where you can keep up with the latest news on their clients' activities.


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