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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


In My Sleep
Music by Conrad Pope
MoveiScore Media MMS10007
30 Tracks 63:43 mins

The last time we heard from Conrad Pope, the composer, who is best known for his fine work as an orchestrator for the likes of John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, John Powell, Mark Isham and Alan Silvestri, was his fine score for 2001's Pavilion of Women. So, it's nice to welcome him back with this MovieScore Media release of his music for the indie thriller, In My Sleep.
Pope's "Main Title" music opens tentatively on piano and strings, before rushing to a thunderous crescendo, followed by fluttering woodwinds and flirtatious piano. The furious, propulsive "Finding Gwen" follows, and then, by complete contrast, "Night Music," a haunting piano solo, reprised in the later "Distant Dream."
The score is likened to that of Jerry Goldsmith's Basic Instinct and there are certainly stylistic echoes, as in the opening of "The Nightmare begins," before the track takes a more Herrmannesque turn in the suspenseful string writing. George Fenton's Final Analysis might also be seen as an influence; but of course, at the end of the day, both scores owe much to the great Bernard Herrmann's Hitchcockian writing and there's much of his kind of suspenseful string writing throughout, as well as propulsive, Psycho-like moments. However, Pope also employs more modern rhythmic, nervy electronic underpinning for some of the tenser episodes.The haunting, fragile piano solos do provide some relief from all this and the composer also reprises the fluttering woodwinds to good effect.
Although most tracks have something to offer, subsequent highlights, for me, include "Visions of Father, which, surprisingly, but effectively mixes those fluttering woodwinds with strident strings; the purposeful "Triangle Park;" the delicate beauty of "Going Home," with its piano and woodwind solos, and more fluttering woodwinds; the passionate "Confession;" the powerful horns-lead opening of "Home to the Truth;" the flowing, elegant strings of "Remembering Father;" the savage Herrmannesque horns that open "Showdown;" the frantic strings and horns of "Underwater;" the ethereal sampled voices of "Desperate Resolution;" and "A New Beginning," with its ascending spiritual strings.
"Reconciliation (Finale)" concludes the score in happy fashion, with the elegant strings playing us out and leading to the album's final track, the rocking theme song by Damesviolet, which is best ignored, especially as, following the peaceful strings preceding it, the opening violent guitar chords fairly knock you out of your chair.
In conclusion,whilst maybe not the most original score you'll hear, it's nevertheless a good deal classier than most thriller scores these days, and, despite all the great work he does as an orchestrator, I hope I don't have to wait another 9 years to review a new Conrad Pope score.
Go to for samples, a trailer for the film, and ordering recommendations for both Cd and digital download version of this album.


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