19
February 2021
||
0 Comment
|

“Craving Greatness” festival screening

Craving Greatness, a fictionalized video essay about the creative process, will be featured in the Kapow Intergalactic Film Festival a week from Saturday. I had a very enjoyable time writing the solo piano score for this charming and expressive film. Click here for info or festival tickets!

12
February 2021
||
0 Comment
|

Cue of the Week: “Paris”

We’ve reached the denouement of the Lady Usher film score, a reprise of the opening theme for protagonist Morgan.

As always, it’s tough to describe what’s going on cinematically without spoilers. Suffice to say that the final musical twist suggests an appropriately Poe-like closing.

It’s been a pleasure sharing with you selections from this score, which picked up an award during the course of these posts. A final shoutout to the musicians who made the music come to life: Cosima Luther, Steven Huber, Daniel Adams (violins); Laurann Woods, Brandon Encinas (violas); Simone Vitucci (cello); Tom Strahle (guitars); Jennifer Lin (conductor). And thanks as always to filmmaker George Adams, with whom artistic collaboration is always a pleasure.

05
February 2021
||
0 Comment
|

Cue of the Week: “Welcome to My House”

Every movie about a domineering matriarch needs final confrontation music, or so they taught us in composer school. This week’s music from Lady Usher accompanies the final face-off between the earnest Morgan and her most unaccommodating hostess.

The score’s string quartet is playing rather furiously here. Stick around to the end for some hair-raising effects!

15
January 2021
||
0 Comment
|

Cue of the Week: “The Crossroads”

In a late scene in the film Lady Usher, Morgan desperately tries to persuade the conflicted Roderick to join her in escaping the Usher family estate — and its domineering Lady.

A prior cue from the score introduced the “relationship theme”, which here is mixed with restless accompaniment from the strings. What used to be a reflective and intimate melody has become something more urgent. As elsewhere in the score, you can thank the talented Tom Strahle for the sensitive guitar solo.

18
December 2020
||
0 Comment
|

Cue of the Week: “The Gardener”

Next from the score of the film Lady Usher is this textural theme for the Ushers’ gardener, Gordon. Hiding his face behind a beekeeper’s mask and speaking in halting fragments, the enigmatic figure evokes both nervousness and pity.

The strings here express the character’s gentle response to Morgan, but also the poignance of his broken psyche.

11
December 2020
||
0 Comment
|

Cue of the Week: “The Funeral”

Sometimes a composer’s job is to not write music.

I put a lot of TLC into this cue accompanying Lady Usher‘s funeral scene. (Name of deceased redacted in order to prevent spoilers.) The score attentively follows the motion of the camera and the emotional dynamics of each of the bereaved. Well done, self.

But when I experienced the scene with sound design, including the distant tolling of a bell, I realized that the moment didn’t need music at all. So even though the cue was written, recorded, and edited, I petitioned director George Adams to omit it. The end result is a scene that breathes more naturally, and lets the performers carry the emotion.

The soundtrack, per tradition, will provide a home for rejected cues, as will this blog. Enjoy!

Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  2. Emerald, Texas // Highlights
  3. Mythic Battle // Highlights
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
  5. Investigations // Highlights
  6. Home Room // Highlights
  7. Sands of Arabia // Highlights
  8. Spider Cult // Highlights
  9. Poker Night // Highlights