tangents / Score Keeper (Vangelis, Golijov, typewriters …)

News on Quiet, Minimal and Otherwise Atmospheric Music on the Big and Small Screens: (1) It isn’t yet listed in imdb.com, but according to Movies That Rock (Condé Nast magazine supplement this winter), Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, The Motorcycle Diaries) is scoring I Come with the Rain by Scent of Green Papaya director Anh Hung Tran. Tran’s three previous feature-length films were all scored by Tôn-Thât Tiêt.

(2) A reviewer of the score to No Country for Old Men suggests that by limiting the amount of music in a film, a composer might do himself, or herself, a disservice: “There is music during the end titles, but it’s not enough to qualify composer Carter Burwell for any serious awards consideration” (soundtrack.net).

(3) Grammy nominees for “Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media” are Babel (Gustavo Santaolalla), Blood Diamond (James Newton Howard), The Departed (Howard Shore), Happy Feet (John Powell), Pan’s Labyrinth (Javier Navarrete), Ratatouille (Michael Giacchino). I don’t take much stock in the Grammys, but I’m still disappointed James Newton Howard’s Michael Clayton, which I’ve listened to endlessly since it was released on CD, was passed over; I’ll have to give his Blood Diamond another listen. In related news, Philip Glass is up for “Best Instrumental Composition” for “I Knew Her” (from the movie Notes on a Scandal). For the additional award info: grammy.com.

(4) BioShock won “Best Original Score” at the 2007 Spike TV Video Game Awards, which is especially interesting because it’s the rare orchestral (largely non-electronic) score for a game (music4games.net). It was featured as a free download in the October 18, 2007, Disquiet Downstream (disquiet.com).

(5) Director Ridley Scott isn’t the only person involved in the recently re-released Blade Runner who fiddled with it after its original release; theplaylist.blogspot.com unpacks the decision-making of Vangelis, who composed its score. … (6) Also in that post, news that Osvaldo Golijov did the music to Francis Ford Coppola‘s forthcoming Youth Without Youth. And according to imdb.com, he’s already at work on Coppola’s next one, Tetro, rumored to star No Country‘s Javier Bardem.

(7) From yesterday’s New York Times review (nytimes.com), by A.O. Scott, of the film Atonement:

Boxy cars rolling up the drive; whispers of scandal and family secrets; coitus interruptus in the library, all set to the implacable rhythm of typewriter keys. Two characters make significant use of a typewriter — one is an aspiring playwright, the other a yearning rural swain — but the sound of the machine is co-opted by Dario Marianelli, who wrote the movie’s score and who conjoins the clack-clacking of mechanical composition with the steady plink of a repeated piano note. At a climactic moment Brenda Blethyn, who can be as subtle an actress as Mr. Marianelli is a composer, leaps screaming from the darkness and begins beating on the hood of a car with an umbrella, a tocsin that joins the plink and the clack in a small symphony of literal-minded irrelevance. That pretty much describes the rest of “Atonement,”…

By coincidence, this is from a review of a new Tan Dun classical work also from yesterday’s New York Times (nytimes.com; the website doesn’t list the author, and I’ve already recycled my print copy):

A typewriter, closely amplified, taps away. A few string players operate from balconies. None of the sounds produced are particularly striking by themselves, but watching them being made, on camera and at close quarters, passes the time pleasantly. “The Gate”glides by in much the same manner.
(8) News on a remix album of music from the video game Lumines (music4games.net). … (9) A completist’s guide, with video accompaniment, to “video clips from classic films featuring tasty electronic music” including Logan’s Run, Suspiria and more (audiolemon.blogspot.com).

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