Search Results for : The Composer

Jeff Beal’s House of Cards

One of the most striking things about House of Cards is its cinematic touch: the high production value and filmic gloss that gilds everything from the obvious (movie stars playing the leads) to the more subtle—like the score. Episode after episode, I’ve been continually floored by Jeff Beal’s elegant, sophisticated, and richly produced music. So when I walked into his lovely (but far from pretentious) Agoura Hills home last October, I was stunned to discover just what a small, literally do-it-yourself production his contribution to the show is.

Little Women: A 20th Anniversary Conversation with Thomas Newman and Gillian Armstrong – Part II

Read Part I.

Little Women soundtrack“Gillian always had a great sense of music,” says Newman. “Do you remember a movie she did called Mrs. Soffel? Mark Isham did the score, and it was an amazing use of music. It was clear to me that Gillian had developed ears and she was interested in new sounds and all that. I wanted to do Mrs. Soffel back in the day, and Little Women was like 11 years later. Gillian was always a director I had my eye on, just because I loved the way she used music.”

Little Women: A 20th Anniversary Conversation with Thomas Newman and Gillian Armstrong

Little Women is one of those scores that just sounds like liquefied Christmas. You put it on and snow starts falling, the smell of pine and burning wood fill the room, and you’re suddenly transported to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord. The music tells its own story—about growing up, family bonds, painful losses and reunions, the passing of seasons and the unforgiving march of time—all set in the particular period of 19th century New England.

Faith in Abstract Ideas: Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer on the Interstellar score

Interstellar is a culmination project for Christopher Nolan. It’s both the biggest, grandest blockbuster that films like Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy have been promises of…and the most personal, zoomed-in story Nolan has tackled thus far. It’s as much about mind-bending scientific theories and the entire universe as it is about the love between a father and his daughter.

It was also the culmination of Nolan’s fruitful, rule-breaking collaboration with Hans Zimmer, who has increasingly been invited to begin developing the musical layer of Nolan’s films during their earliest stage. They are collaborators in the truest sense of the word, and are blazing a path of creative symbiosis that defies the often stifling norm of temp tracks and eleventh-hour music shellacking.

Disarming Swatches: Trent Reznor on Gone Girl

I wrote a tiny article for Variety on the Gone Girl score, for which I had the pleasure of interviewing Trent Reznor for a fair amount of time. Reznor is a polarizing and even despised figure in the realm of film score geekdom, but it’s been fascinating to see how his music for the screen has been embraced and lauded by critics and mainstream audience members—most of whom pay little to no attention to film music. That visibility and acclaim is certainly aided by his rockstar status, but I think it’s also a testament to how prominently David Fincher presents and mixes Reznor’s music (which he co-writes with Atticus Ross). Say what you will about the music’s efficacy or intricacy, but Fincher clearly gives his composers the spotlight far more than most directors, which I find extremely commendable. If nothing else, Reznor is shaking up the film world and making people talk about the music. And to that I say: bring it on.