Like a slowly dissipating fog, melancholy strings and piano particles hover at the outset of Carlos José Alvarez’s score for the 2012 documentary Cubamerican. From the fog there emerges a lone trumpet voice, sad and noble. Sad with the film’s self-exiled Cuban “diaspora,” whose families fled Fidel Castro’s dictatorship to come to the United States and who still feel a deep pang for the relatives and remnants of themselves they left behind. Noble because they are people who never shed their inherent Cuban-ness, and who have provided American culture with uniquely talented athletes, intellectuals, and artists.
I was rooting through the corpse-strewn marshes of the Film Score Monthly message board (you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy) a few weeks back, and I came across a post from esteemed film music journalist Doug Adams (of the Music of the Lord of the Rings book fame). It was in the midst of a 2005 thread in which board members hotly debated whether Film Score Monthly could survive as an online venture (it has, and was my portal into writing about film music).