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Sounding out technology.
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tangents / Score Keeper (Martinez, Winterbottom, planetarium …)

News on Quiet, Minimal and Otherwise Atmospheric Music on the Big and Small Screens: (1) The good news: ambient-minded composer Cliff Martinez (Traffic, Solaris, Narc) scored Wonderland, the new film about porn star John Holmes. The bad news: there are no Martinez tracks on the film’s soundtrack CD, which instead features period hits and a couple of dialog excerpts. … (2) Among the few films directed by Steven Soderbergh that Martinez didn’t score was Out of Sight, based on an Elmore Leonard crime novel. David Holmes scored that film (he also scored Soderbergh’s later Ocean’s Eleven) and it’s good to be able to report that a TV adaptation of Out of Sight, titled Karen Sisco (Wednesday nights on ABC), is maintaining the Holmesian funk that made the original film so memorable. The TV series features soulful pop nuggets plus incidental cues credited to composer John Ehrlich. The title song is the Isley Brothers‘s “It’s Your Thing,” also featured in the movie. … (3) Looking ahead, the next features to be scored by both Martinez and Holmes are helmed by directors with a previous affiliation with electronic music. Martinez is next attached to Wicker Park (previously titled Obsessed), scheduled for release in 2004 and directed by Paul McGuigan, whose first film was 1998’s The Acid House, based on stories by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting). (4) And Holmes (David, not John) has signed to score the next film by Michael Winterbottom, a sci-fi feature called Code 46, due for release in 2004; Winterbottom previously directed 24 Hour Party People, the 2002 dramatization of life at Factory Records, home to Joy Division and Happy Mondays. … (5) Finally, the Hayden Planeterium in Manhattan (full name: Hayden Planetarium Theater at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space) has recently updated its fabled laser-rock shows with a soundtrack compiled and mixed by celebrity DJ Moby. The show is called SonicVision and the songs are by Radiohead, Prodigy, Stereolab, Boards of Canada, David Byrne and Brian Eno, White Zombie, Moby and others. There’s more information on the museum’s site (amnh.org). One odd thing about the event, as pointed out by the New York Times in its review (“A Spacey Half-Hour at the Planetarium,” October 3) : “Surprisingly, every band is white, as if Moby couldn’t find appropriately astral material from Prince, Sun Ra, P.M. Dawn, Erykah Badu or John Coltrane.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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