Four Film Cues by Kent Sparling (MP3s)

The sound designer and musician Kent Sparling may make some of the best music about which I have the opportunity to read the least often. Albums like Route Canal Diary and Under New Manna, their punny titles aside, are some of the richest contemporary explorations of electro-environmental ambience, close in spirit to Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, yet with their own inner coherence and language.

Sparling composes film music, as well, and there are up on his website, among the many tracks, four cues from the 2007 film The Princess of Nebraska (from director Wayne Wang), including “Mother of X,” a Morricone-esque combination of plain-winds and whistling (MP3); “Prostitute and Princess,” a super slomo melody caught inside a drone like a bug in amber (MP3); “Still Letting Go,” which brings the melody slightly more into the foreground, looping in a fugue-like manner amid a thick cloud of lushness (MP3); and, the real outlier, “Saint Stupid,” the sole piece among them with a prominent vocal element, first heard amid ringing come-to-prayer/dinner bells and gamelan-like percussion as a distant chorus, but holding out at the end as a single dramatic element (MP3).

Combined, the cues total just under 12 minutes of music:

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More on Sparling at and

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