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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Art of Background Sounds: Writing Music for Movies

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

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Elfman's score for Edward Scissorhands was the first movie music I fell in love with, or probably even paid attention to. Mothersbaugh's ability to match the vibes of The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums with sound is unbelievable. Plus, the common thread of Elfman and Mothersbaugh formerly playing in weirdo new-wave leaning art rock bands makes them feel like kindred spirits.

Philosophically, though, I keep coming back to Brian Eno's concept of ambient music, of music that breathes and allows the people listening to insert their experiences in its spaces. This is fascinating because it does not view function and art as separate traits, but capitalizes on the ability for each to further the other. I can't imagine how many film composers heard Music For Airports and simply thought, "Damn..."

So next time you watch a movie, even a TV commercial, pay attention to the sounds in the background. If you have never paid attention to this music before, chances are that it served its purpose.

My goal for this film, working title TransGeek is as follows: write something that is aware of the coldness of numbers but focuses on the humanness, vulnerability, and courage of those who boldly live outside of convention without being too precious or sounding too much like Four Tet. I am not sure how well I can execute this plan, but the result should be just interesting enough.


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