11
December 2020
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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!

04
December 2020
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Cue of the Week: “The Shower”

This music from Lady Usher accompanies a reflective moment in the shower which becomes visceral with the arrival of an unwelcome plus one.

The hair-raising effects at the end are entirely acoustic, with no processing other than reverb. One of the reasons I love working with live strings is because they’re capable of creating these kinds of alien sounds for moments of tension.

24
November 2020
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A sneak peak of the “Dice Legacy” score

One of my favorite scoring projects this year has been music for DESTINYbit’s game Dice Legacy. (Follow that link for a sense of this beautiful and visually striking RTS game.)

Two featured instruments on the score are cello and nyckelharpa. You’ve probably heard of the cello; the nyckelharpa is a Swedish folk instrument with a distinctly raw and expressive sound. Plus, it’s visually fascinating to anyone who hasn’t seen one.

Speaking of seeing one, here’s a short video of Mats Wester recording some of the score. With the pandemic shutting down much music recording, I was fortunate to find Mats whose experience as a recording artist allowed him to lay down his tracks in Sweden and send them to me in Los Angeles.

Keep an eye out for Dice Legacy, coming soon to Steam!

20
November 2020
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Cue of the Week: “Night Passions”

This mid-film cue from Lady Usher accompanies a complex scene where tenderness turns to passion, and then… something disturbing.

Thematically, this cue introduces a melody for the main couple’s relationship. This theme will recur as the tension mounts, and Morgan and Roderick start to face tough decisions about their future.

30
October 2020
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Cue of the Week: “To Resting Comfortably”

This week’s music from the score for Lady Usher accompanies a classic “plot thickens” scene. We hear a reprise of the Lady’s theme, then a dark dance which underscores the increasingly-creepy dialogue about the Usher family.

Sorry… I meant to say the award-winning score for Lady Usher. I’m pleased to share that the music won Best Original Score at the New York Cinematography Awards competition. Read the details here!

26
October 2020
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“Lady Usher” wins Best Score award

I’m pleased to announce that my score for Lady Usher won Best Original Score from the New York Cinematography Awards competition. Continued gratitude to writer/director George Adams for the opportunity to collaborate on this feature, and for supporting the use of live musicians in film music.

A soundtrack album release for the score is in the works. In the meantime you can hear excerpts in my Cue of the Week blog.

23
October 2020
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Cue of the Week: “The Lady Arrives”

The centerpiece of the score for Lady Usher is the theme for the film’s titular antagonist, the domineering and manipulative Lady. This cue heralds her arrival with a lyrical but edgy melody, which will serve as her leitmotif for the rest of the story.

In short order the music shifts to an impish tango, echoing the back-and-forth verbal sparring between Morgan and her new prospective mother-in-law.

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