24
May 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Investigations”

This week’s score track from Secrets Beneath the Floorboards accompanies a classic “heroine ferreting out increasingly dire secrets” scene. These moments often involve lead actors peering at computer monitors with growing concern, presenting an opportunity for music to amp up the energy.

This being a big “a-ha!” moment in the story, it’s the first time we hear the score’s main theme in full. Previously, said theme peeped up in the form of a four-note ascending motive, sometimes leading into other melodies. (Here’s the theme’s more rustic cousin earlier in the film.) Elaborated here, a piano repeats and transforms that four-note sequence, turning it into a proper melody.

10
May 2024
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Cue of the Week: “A Bitter Funeral”

This week’s music selection from Secrets Beneath the Floorboards accompanies a moment near the start of the film, where our heroine is attending the funeral of her abusive husband. Though her mental state is fairly dark, she’s surrounded by supportive people. (Well, supportive people and a nosy cop; this is a thriller, after all.) I thus made the score lean towards being empathetic, as if it were also a loved one providing comfort.

03
May 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Kiss Me”

As you probably figured out from the title, this week’s music selection has something of a romantic tone. In the accompanying scene in Lifetime’s “Secrets Beneath the Floorboards”, a dinner for two takes a turn for the amorous.

In this blog I like to reference how composers recycle ideas. Here, the repeating four-note piano motive is just the film’s main theme wearing nice evening clothes.

26
April 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Holden Investigates”

A relatively subtle suspense cue, this week’s selection shows my belief that tense music ought to feature more kalimba.

19
April 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Holden on the Range”

An interlude of romance in a rustic setting inspires this week’s music selection from Lifetime’s Secrets Beneath the Floorboards. I particularly love scoring these kinds of moments, which provide rich opportunities for musical themes to breathe and develop.

Here I introduce a four-note theme that’s a leitmotif for romance in the film. Drawn from the pentatonic scale (a.k.a. the “all white notes on the piano” scale) it has a peaceful and faintly folksy sound. As the conversation turns to the protagonist’s troubled Oma (grandmother), that character’s theme briefly emerges on cello before the romantic mood returns. Props to Tom Strahle for the lovely acoustic guitar accompaniment.

05
April 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Contemplating the Discovery”

A question we film composers often face is how to musically support small, incidental moments — those connective mini-scenes that give us vital information at a glance. These moments need to be emotionally connected to the overall tone of the film, but are often too fleeting to warrant a big musical theme.

A handy technique for these situations is to repurpose an earlier melodic idea into a more subtle, supporting form. In this selection from the score of Secrets Beneath the Floorboards I compressed the film’s main theme into a repeating accompaniment for chimes. Set it against some moody ambience, and voila: the perfect accompaniment for the heroine peering at a mysterious drive she’s unearthed from the (titular) floorboards.

15
March 2024
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Cue of the Week: “Not Steve Jobs”

This music from Secrets Beneath the Floorboards walks a fine line with respect to tone. In the corresponding scene, a would-be entrepreneur confesses his failures and opens up to our protagonist. It’s a moment of bonding — but at the same time we’re not entirely sure how we feel about this guy.

My approach was a piece for the lower string instruments, small-scale rather than cushily symphonic, blending pathos with a bit of darkness and ambiguity.

Apart from the music below, there’s a bit of bonus content this week: a short blog post with my thoughts about new AI technologies and music.

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Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - Highlights
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  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