- Golden Coreopsis
- Driving Away
- Emerald, Texas (Main Theme)
- Dee and T
An update of The Wizard of Oz set in present-day Texas, Emerald, Texas recasts L. Frank Baum’s characters in contemporary terms: Dorothy as a petty-criminal runaway, Toto as her silent best friend, the Tin Man as a lovesick auto mechanic, and so forth. The group travels across the American Midwest and South in search of a dubious TV pastor who claims to be able to grant miracles.
The magical realism of the story and its rural settings called for a hybridized musical approach: part traditional symphonic, part folk Americana. The budget didn’t allow for a full orchestra, but I wanted an organic-sounding score: the grit of violin bowing and the intimate expressiveness of human beings, and the personality of real instruments. For the character of Leo (the film’s analogue of the Cowardly Lion) I had in mind a crazed scherzo for acoustic bass, which simply couldn’t be accomplished digitally.
Through generous overdubbing of a small ensemble of musicians we were able to give key scenes the lush and expansive score they needed. The folk Americana came courtesy of talented multi-instrumentalist Kyle Johnson, who alternately played electric guitar, six and twelve string guitar, dulcimer and mandolin. Finally a modicum of electronics and processed acoustic timbres were brought in to reflect the more surreal and supernatural moments of the story.