Thursday, July 07, 2005


Last Sunday, the local newspaper, Florida Today, ran a feature story by Pam Harbaugh: "Music can make the movie." (Subtitled "Gripping tracks convey emotions, help tell the story.") Some excerpts:

Music is crucial to a movie, say composer Ron Owen and film director Jim Hanon....

"It's an important part of story telling," [Christopher] Confessore [music director and conductor for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra] says. "In a movie, you can either have a very beautiful sweeping 'Out of Africa' landscape. Or eye candy like 'Star Wars.' But the music that accompanies either of those scenes is what gives you goose bumps or helps your heart flutter. It's something in human nature that responds to music."

How can you show victory without pumped up brass, or sadness without minor strings? [Brian] Slawson [a professional musician] asks.

You see character, all alone in the night, a saxophone plays far off. You know that character is lonely.

Oh, really? You can't convey victory or lonliness without music? Whatever happened to, like, acting? As I recall, plays don't have soundtracks (unless they're musicals or operas). So, obviously, we can never know when a character in a play is lonely. And as for not being able to convey victory without pumped up brass, I hope the guys who landed in Normandy had their band coming up behind them so they could actually feel victorious after they scaled the seawall.

Ah, but previously quoted director Jim Hanon has an explanation:

Hanon says there is a growing dependence by directors on composers because of poorly written scripts....

"In order to make the audience feel more, there is more reliance on music today," Hanon says. "I think it's a weakening of the stories. If there were better stories, you wouldn't feel music as overtly. Music has to compensate for lack of content."

So in the end, it all comes down to mediocrity.

But then, what doesn't?



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