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Mp3s

January 19th, 2008 · 1 Comment

sound waves illustration
This is the mp3 gallery of Snore & Guzzle. Most songs are taken from unreleased soundtracks of film, and generally transferred directly from the film itself. As far as I know, most tracks are not available in commercial formats.

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Bugsy Malone

June 12th, 2009 · 1 Comment

“You say Van Heusen is a shirt worth choosin / But you’re still undecided bout me.”

~Paul Williams, Nilsson Sings Newman

“We’ll have a kid / Or maybe we’ll rent one / He’s got to be straight / We don’t want no bent one.”

~Randy Newman, Love Story

Paul Williams – Nilsson Sings Newman

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Harry Nilsson – Love Story

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Randy Newman – Love Story

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Paul Williams – You give a little love

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OK, you ready for this? Here is a sampling of one of my favorite musically interwoven meta-ditties. Here is a recording by Paul Williams, where he impersonates Harry Nilsson impersonating Randy Newman. Essentially, it’s a braid of a cover song: Williams sings Nilsson sings Newman. As I’m sure many of you are aware, Nilsson did a full album of Randy Newman cover songs called Nilsson sings Newman, which is a top-10 record for me. Paul Williams is the guy responsible for all the songs from the Muppet Movies, including “Rainbow Collection” and “Movin right along,” and he also did Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas Special, AND one of the weirdest gangster films of all time — Bugsy Malone (where all the gangsters are played by children). One of the songs from Bugsy Malone recently had a revival on television because it was used in a soda commercial that premiered during super bowl half-time.

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Hukkle

June 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Hukkle Theme Song

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Hukkle Stills

Hukkle Stills

Hukkle Stills

Some people have described Gyorgy Palfi’s Hukkle as a silent movie. Far from it. While it may be nearly dialogue free, it has some of the most vivid and expressionistic sound design I’ve ever heard. The film could be described as Agatha Christie meets David Attenborough…that is to say it’s a murder-mystery cloaked in images of nature. The soundtrack is dominated by micro-aural sounds. By saying micro-aural, I mean sounds that are too small for us to typically hear. Sounds like the rubbing of snake scales against one another, or bugs burrowing beneath the earth. It requires the magnification of the film soundtrack for us to appreciate the sound. While the film is rich in very tiny sounds, there is a sound so large and phenomenal at the end of the film that part of the sequence must be run in slow-motion for the audience to appreciate it. This is the sound of a fighter jet screaming above a small creek and passing underneath a bridge. The accompanying sound effect reminds me of what a warp zone or a wormhole must sound like. There are also several instances of imaginary sounds in Hukkle. That is, sounds that might very well exist, but that we can not hear. In a time-lapse sequence of growing plants, the growth is accompanied by a rich, clastic, sinewy, stalky sound. If our perception of time were different, would a plant growing make a sound? Other sounds in the film are almost cartoonish. In one of the opening sequences of a glass of milk being poured, the splashing sound of milk is foregrounded. Milk has never sounded so…milky. In short, the film is a celebration of the musicality of everyday life. Even in something as simple as a hiccup.

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The Party

June 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Henry Mancini (perf. by Claudine Longet) – Nothing to Lose

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The Party Stills

The Party Stills

The Party Stills

The Party Stills

The Party Stills

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Momma’s Man

February 12th, 2009 · No Comments

mommas man

Mandy Hoffman – Wedding Dress

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Mandy Hoffman – El Parque

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Mandy Hoffman – Falling Down Stairs

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Mandy Hoffman – She Cheats

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Mandy Hoffman – Momma’s Man Theme

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Here is the soundtrack for a new film made by Azazel Jacobs with the cooperation of his father and mother, and their shape-shifting loft in the Lower East Side. Here’s a movie that’s tender, but unsentimental, a movie that depends – not on dialogue – but mostly on facial expressions and atmosphere. The score is very subtle, and will pass you right on by if you’re not paying attention. A favorite scene of mine involves an antique wedding dress transformed into a lamp-shade and a light dimmer. It’s accompanied by the first song above, a blues-tinted waltz. The composer, Mandy Hoffman laments the degree of musicianship in the song, and – while it may be a little unsteady – I think that only adds to the sweetness, and vulnerability of the scene. The movie is about a full grown man who wants to live like a child in the security of his parents home once again, but is unwilling to admit this desire to anyone. It’s a feeling I think we can all sympathize with…even if we never admit it.

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Purple Noon, Nino Rota, Alain Delon

January 4th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Nino Rota – Song 1

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purple noon alain delon

Nino Rota – Song 2

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Nino Rota – Song 3

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Nino Rota – Song 4

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Nino Rota – Song 5

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The Parallax View – Alan J. Pakula, Michael Small

September 13th, 2008 · 3 Comments

the parallax view

the parallax view

the parallax view

Michael Small – Parallax Test Song

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This track is from Alan J. Pakula’s ultra-stylish The Parallax View, from 1974 and starring Warren Beatty. Beatty is at his most restrained in the gonzo journalist role, and Hume Cronyn plays his foil as the conservative newspaper editor. This song comes into the soundtrack during a scene where Beatty’s character, Joe Frady is being psychologically tested with a montage of slides representing a variety of emotions. The composer, Michael Small, worked on a number of other Pakula pictures, including Klute (1974) and Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973). In The Parallax View, the score is discreet and generally serves as a tension builder, but in this montage sequence, the score goes off on an unexpected tangent and whips up this weird psychedelic pastiche.

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A Woman Under the Influence

July 16th, 2008 · 20 Comments

gena rowlands a woman under the influence

Bo Harwood – theme

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From Cassavetes on Cassavetes, by Ray Carney:

“Just prior to beginning A Woman Under the Influence, Cassavetes asked [Bo] Harwood if he would do music for the film. Harwood was a young, unknown, unemployed rock musician who couldn’t read music, but he embraced the challenge and began experimenting with things on his guitar. A few days later, Cassavetes came in and said he had decided he wanted piano music. When Harwood protested that he didn’t have access to a piano, Cassavetes blew off the objection and said that Peter Falk had one in his offices that they could use. When Harwood said that he didn’t know how to play the piano, Cassavetes was still unfazed. That didn’t matter; he could learn. Then a few weeks later, just as Harwood was getting comfortable at noodling around on the keyboard, Cassavetes came in again and said he had just bought a Nagra [sound recorder] and decided that Harwood would also be doing the film’s sound. When Harwood protested that he didn’t know the first thing about sound recording, Cassavetes again said that was fine: ‘It’s just a tape recorder. They’re all the same. It’s easy. You can figure it out.’ Harwood spent the next three weeks carrying the recorder and microphone everywhere he went, experimenting at hom, in restaurants and on the street.”

gena rowlands a woman under the influence

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Bridges Go Round – Shirley Clarke

June 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment

bridges go round shirley clarke

Teo Macero – Bridges Go Round

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Louis & Bebe Barron – Bridges Go Round

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Bridges Go Round is a 7 minute experimental film from 1958, directed by Shirley Clarke and shot around New York City. Clarke commissioned two scores for the film, but it’s unclear exactly why she chose to do this. Teo Macero’s score is organic, with brass and voices, while Louis & Bebe Barron’s is much more mechanical and composed with a synthesizer. (The Barron’s had just made the first fully electronic film score in 1956, for Forbidden Planet). Each soundtrack suffuses the bridge forms with a tone of industrial mystery, but each one accentuates different elements in the film.

The film was made from stock footage that Clarke shot for something entirely different, and is comprised of various shots of traffic bridges from unusual angles and juxtapositions. The editing is set up not unlike a visual rondo, with repeating motifs set in perpetual motion. Clarke began her artistic career as a choreographer, but turned to filmmaking after the dance career fizzled. She studied with German filmmaker Hans Richter in the 1950s, famous for his Rhythmus cycles. Rhythmus 21, Rhythmus 23 and Rhythmus 25 were films made of pure geometric shapes set in motion, and you can easily see the influence on Bridges Go Round. Clarke once said, “You can make a dance film without dancers.” This is made abundantly clear in Bridges Go Round, where industrial objects come to life, as if awakened from a deep sleep.

You can actually see some of Clarke’s films here, on Ubuweb.

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Burn! (Quemada) Ennio Morricone, Gillo Pontecorvo

June 24th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Pontecorvo’s follow-up to Battle of Algiers is another scathing depiction of war profiteers and colonialism at its worst. Morricone’s score sounds a lot like the African Mass songs (Missa Luba, Kyrie) used in Lindsay Anderson’s If… a few years prior, only Morricone’s score has a killer psyche organ line, cinematic strings, and some interesting Carribean drum rhythms. These tracks were transferred from the original vinyl soundtrack.

Ennio Morricone – The Theme Song – Burn (Quemada)

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Ennio Morricone – Battle of Quemada part 2

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Ennio Morricone – Generallisimo

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Ennio Morricone – Jose Dolores – Revolutionary

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Ennio Morricone – Prepare for Battle

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Happy Birthday, Wanda June

February 13th, 2008 · No Comments

kv

Happy Birthday, Wanda June is a 1971 film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s play. The title sequence song is a traditional spiritual, popularized by Johnny Cash as “I Got Shoes,” but more commonly titled, “Heav’n, Heav’n.” I’m not quite sure who wrote it, but here it is sung (in a truncated version) by an anonymous folk singer. But there’s something going on with her delivery that perfectly suits the attitude of the film. That is to say, black and comic.

In the preface for Happy Birthday, Wanda June, Vonnegut claimed he was done with the novel and that he was destined to write plays until the day he died. However, in practically the same year the book was released, he did a 180. “I have become an enthusiast for the printed word again. I have to be that, I now understand, because I want to be a character in all of my works. I can do that in print. In a movie, somehow, the author always vanishes. Everything of mine which has been filmed so far has been one character short, and the character is me.”

Wanda June is Vonnegut’s sole screenwriting credit. Time has been unkind to the author’s films, and this one does not exist on DVD, and only exists on 35mm prints and bootleg videos. This transfer was made while running a 35mm print on projector, and transferred to a digital format. Thanks to Charlie Allen for assistance in the transfer.

Director Mark Robson’s adaptation is deliberately stagey, but suffers from hokey acting, and a dated 70s set dressing and wardrobe. However, I feel like it could be a great film, if handled differently.

In Vonnegut’s heaven, everyone plays shuffleboard.

Unknown artist – I got shoes

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Heav’n, Heav’n

I got a robe, you got a robe,
All God’s children got a robe.
When I get to Heav’n gonna put in my robe,
Gonna shout all over God’s Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n
Everybody talkin’ æbout Heav’n ain’t going there,
Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n.
Gonna shout all over God’s Heav’n.

I got shoes, you got shoes,
All God’s children got shoes.
When I get to Heav’n gonna put in my shoes,
Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n
Everybody talkin’ æbout Heav’n ain’t going there,
Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n.
Gonna shout all over God’s Heav’n.

I got a harp, you got a harp,
All God’s children got a harp.
When I get to Heav’n gonna play on my harp,
Gonna play all over God’s Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n
Everybody talkin’ æbout Heav’n ain’t going there,
Heav’n, Heav’n, Heav’n.
Gonna shout all over God’s Heav’n.

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Norman McLaren – Synchromie

January 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

norman mclaren synchromie

Norman McLaren – Synchromie soundtrack

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norman mclaren synchromie

Norman McLaren (1914 – 1987) was a Scottish born animator, who moved to NYC in the late 30s, worked with Mary Ellen Bute, and then moved to Canada, where he worked for the rest of his life. This film is an interesting transposition of an optical film soundtrack into animated form. McLaren takes an exact analogue of the film soundtrack, and then uses those shapes and forms to create visual music. According to the Film Board of Canada, who sponsored much of McLaren’s work, this film “is synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word.”

norman mclaren synchromie

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Hero – Jet Li

January 26th, 2008 · No Comments

This is a sensational, hyper-real sound effect from Hero (2002), starring Jet Li. In this scene, to test the accuracy of his sword, the swordsman tosses a bundle of bamboo into the air, and then a bamboo brush; as the brush falls back to striking level, he pierces the bamboo brush straight down the middle, and hits the horse-hair nib at the end. The sequence spools out in super slow-mo, and there is a sound-effect to accompany each minute action.

(best to listen with headphones if they’re available)

Hero sound design

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hero

hero

hero

hero

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The Sounds of Charles & Ray Eames

January 19th, 2008 · No Comments

charles and ray

The range of expertise practiced by Charles & Ray Eames was most remarkable. Optics, mathematics, history, physics and of course, design of all stripes, were subjects all well within their grasp. But when it came to music, they left it up to their friend and confidante, Elmer Bernstein. Bernstein is better known for his work on feature films, but his work for the Eames’ short subjects is just as interesting. Some of the music for their shorts feels quite dated, but some compositions feel just as fresh as the day they were struck to magnetic tape. Here are a few of my favorites…

powers of ten

Elmer Bernstein – Power of Ten Loop

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leaves

Elmer Bernstein – SX70 theme

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tops

Elmer Bernstein – Tops theme

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scissors

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The Red Balloon

January 19th, 2008 · 1 Comment

red

The score for the red balloon is rather typical 50s television-caliber fare, but charming nonetheless. However, the score does transcend time at the moment when the blue balloon falls in love with the red balloon. All the orchestration drops out, and we are left with the tiny sound of – what appears to be – a melodica. The composer is Maurice Le Roux, who scored films for European productions from the 50s to the 70s. His output was rather limited, as is the information about his life, but the pinnacle of his career was certainly his collaboration with Albert Lamorisse on The Red Balloon. He also worked with Lamorisse on White Mane.

Maurice Le Roux – Red Balloon Theme

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The Guatemalan Handshake

January 17th, 2008 · No Comments

There are curious things in this world. Popcorn-flavored jelly-beans. Duck-billed platypuses. Outtie belly-buttons… The Guatemalan Handshake.

hand

The Guatemalan Handshake is a film directed by Todd Rohal. It is the first and only feature film that he has ever made. The soundtrack is presently unreleased, but features an exceedingly creative score by David Wingo (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Great World of Sound) and Gretta Cohn (Cursive, Bright Eyes, Thursday).

Danny Kaye – Inchworm

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Gretta Cohn – Theme 1

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David Wingo – Dinner montage

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hand

hand

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Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band

January 16th, 2008 · 5 Comments

jackie robinson

Hands down, the best thing about Jim McKay’s Our Song (2000) was the musical performances by The Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band from Brooklyn. With hooks so tight that it would make Fred Wesley jealous, these high school kids make a black and yellow marching band suit look like the freshest uniform on the block. See if you can pick out the songs they are interpreting.

Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band – Medley 1

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Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band – Medley 2

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

January 15th, 2008 · No Comments

The soundtrack for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) is formally available on cd, but the recording was made in 1995, with Jerry Goldsmith at the helm. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t have the same feel as the original. This song is definitely the calm before the storm.

Alex North – Title music from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks, Robin Williams, Robert Altman & Shelley Duvall

January 15th, 2008 · 7 Comments

shelley

Robert Altman’s Popeye (1980) is a poorly understood film. I’m not going to call it a masterpiece, but it has more merits than people give it credit for. Its reputation has now been marred by the belly flop it did at the box-office (though Altman claims it never lost money), and the scandalous amounts of blow on the set. Robin Williams singing in Popeye’s voice and Shelley Duvall singing in Olive Oyl’s may have something to do with the lackluster response to the album. But if you look beyond the vocals, there’s something very special going on. As far as I’m aware, this is the only collaboration between Harry Nilsson & Van Dyke Parks. Which is a shame because they seem to be kindred spirits. If only Parks had produced a Nilsson album in his 60s prime. Nilsson’s career was already seriously on the fritz at the release of this soundtrack, but coupled with the murder of his close friend John Lennon, he stopped recording almost altogether after 1980. He laid down one track for a Disney tribute, singing an interpretation of “Zip-a-dee-do-dah,” which has a strange connection to VDP, considering he is a fan, and intepreter himself of the Uncle Remus stories (not necessarily Song of the South), but he also recorded for Disney, doing the arrangements on The Jungle Book. P.T. Anderson and Jon Brion did a nice job saluting and adapting the Popeye soundtrack in Punch Drunk Love. The songs below are posted because they are not available on the official soundtrack, nor on the Punch Drunk Love soundtrack, which has Shelley Duvall singing “He Needs Me.”

Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks, Robin Williams – Sweet Pea

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Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks – Popeye credits

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As a bonus, here is the underappreciated Harper’s Bizarre interpretation of Nilsson’s score for THE POINT, which is one of my favorite soundtracks of all time (but readily available) AND an interpretation of a very early Van Dyke Park’s single.

Harper’s Bizarre – Poly High

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Harper’s Bizarre – Come to the sunshine

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Coney – David Shoemaker, Frank Mouris

January 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment

coney

Here is a track taken from Frank & Caroline Mouris’ 1975 experimental short film, Coney. The film is a hyperkinetic voyage through Coney Island, not unlike The Little Fugitive on methamphetamines. The imagery speeds by in Mouris’ trademark cut-up photography, but without any narration, just this music. The music infuses the image with a contagious velocity and excitement about a sense of place.

David Shoemaker – Coney theme

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coney

coney

coney

coney

coney

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The Harder they Come – Revival Song

January 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments

harder...

From the Jamaican production, The Harder they Come (1972), starring Jimmy Cliff, here is another song excluded from the official soundtrack. More remarkable for its fashion and song than its plot or acting, the film helped popularize Jamaican music in America. There are several scenes at a revival that feature Jamaican gospel stompers. This one is a real rocker and the song opens with a (literally) bible-thumpingly ecstatic minister exciting the sweaty congregation into song. “Tonight…here is love!” I’d love to find more music of this nature.

Revival Song – artists unknown

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Paths of Glory – Susanne Christian

January 12th, 2008 · 7 Comments

timoth carey

Here is a transfer of a song from Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. The singer is Susanne Christian, who would go on to marry Stanley Kubrick shortly after the production ended. In this sequence, which is the final scene of the film, the squadron is ordered back to the front, but are obliviously celebrating and you can hear their captain, played Kirk Douglas accepting these orders. In 2006, in honor of the annual Kubrickopia Nicholas Gurewitch and I compiled an entire CD of music from the films of Stanley Kubrick, and one of these days we’ll make an effort to make it more available.

Susanne Christian – German song

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The Conversation – Walter Murch, David Shire, Francis Ford Coppola

January 11th, 2008 · No Comments

The soundtrack for The Conversation is available in a clean studio version on the Intrada label, however, that version does not include the sound design, so instrumental in the film. This transfer maintains all of the incidental sound effects and dialogue from its respective scene.

There is a scene in The Conversation where Harry Caul, played by Gene Hackman, comes to a startling revelation. He is alone in a warehouse, and there is a moment of silence on the soundtrack while he reflects on what he has just discovered. However, the silence is deceiving. In the far distance of the aural landscape, you can hear the fog horns of San Francisco bay. Thus, without words, or a corny one-liner, the plot thickens by sound design alone.

David Shire – The Conversation theme 1
(traffic, “happy birthday,” entering the apartment)

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David Shire – The Conversation theme 2
(wires, paper, piano)

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David Shire – The Conversation theme 3
(tape manipulation, “red red robin”)

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Mon Oncle – Jacques Tati

January 10th, 2008 · 3 Comments

This track is taken directly from the soundtrack of Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle (1958). This score is partially available on commercial recording (Extraits Des Bandes Originales on Polygram), but the recording lacks the pauses on the music that exist within the film soundtrack. During the correlating sequence, the soundtrack drops out completely to accentuate a gag in the last sequence of this film.

Jacques Tati – Market Place Foibles

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David Byrne – Un De Felice

January 9th, 2008 · No Comments

David Byrne issued a vocal version of Verdi’s “Un De Felice” on Grown Backwards. Luckily, an instrumental version was issued elsewhere. This version accompanies one of his powerpoint presentations in his book, Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information. This beautiful, ethereal rendering of this Verdi aria was taken off the interactive DVD included in the book.

David Byrne — Un De Felice (Verdi).

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Mystery Girl

January 8th, 2008 · 1 Comment

wendy This recording is a transfer from a cassette tape (which was a dub itself). I was riding in my friend’s car, circa sophomore year in college when she popped this tape in. It was an accident, and she immediately popped it back out. I told her to put it back in, and I’ve been intrigued ever since. I don’t know Wendy’s last name or where she lives now. The only details I know is that Wendy was going to high school in Saratoga Springs, NY when she made these recordings. They’re mostly covers of Mazzy Star and Velvet Underground songs, but done in an exceptionally intimate manner, and with great discipline, lacking the histrionic sentimentality apparent in most teenagers renditions of these songs. In one song, you can hear her baby brother crying in the background.

Wendy – Trouble in Mind

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Wendy – Pale Blue Eyes

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Wendy – Be My Angel

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Wendy – Hang On to Your Emotions

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Steve Martin, Patience & Prudence

January 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Those who have seen The Jerk (1978) know this song well, but sadly, it’s never been issued on record. The song was written by Billy Rose. Rose cut his teeth as a songwriter in the 20s and 30s (he wrote “It’s Only A Paper Moon”) and later secured a fortune producing hits for Broadway. The song is likely an interpretation of Patience & Prudence’s version from the 1950s. Alexander Payne would revive this adolescent group by including their version of “Gonna get along without you now” on the Election soundtrack.

Steve Martin – Tonight You Belong to Me

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Patience & Prudence – Tonight You Belong to Me

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Patience & Prudence – Gonna get along without you now

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The Brothers Quay

January 5th, 2008 · No Comments

The Brothers Quay have a unique sensibility when it comes to music. Seeing as their films exist on microscopic levels, it’s difficult to match the image with realistic sounds, since the human ear doesn’t operate on such a scale; so the Brothers often resort to music as sound effect, and vice-versa. Resorting to music as sound effect affords their films an emotional accuracy that a so-called scientific approach might hinder.

Jankowski – Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies

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Marguerite Duras, India Song & Carlos D’Alessio

January 5th, 2008 · 5 Comments

In order to acquire this track, I had to set up the 35mm print of Marguerite Duras’ India Song on a flat-bed and record the soundtrack from a quarter-inch jack directly onto my lap-top. The song plays uninterrupted over the credit sequence.

Carlos D’Alessio – India Song

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The Bicyle Thief

January 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Personally, my feeling is that the score to Vittoria De Sica’s Umberto D is one of the few flaws in the film. However, within the heavy-handed, wall to wall score, there are some moments that stand out as sublime. This selection is from the famous scene where Maria the servant-girl arises to make coffee. Listen closely and you can hear how she hums to herself and you can almost hear the stray cat padding softly over the glass windows.

Alessandro Cicognini – Theme for morning routine.

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Jeanne Moreau, Francois Truffaut, Georges Delerue

January 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Here is a sweet little song from Francois Truffaut’s classic Jules Et Jim (1962). Even though it is performed in the film, it is not included on the official soundtrack, which features the music of Georges Delerue (one of the finest soundtracks in the history of French cinema, and one of my personal favorites). The lyrics were written by the enigmatic Boris Bassiak: “She had eyes, eyes of opal / That fascinated me / The femme fatale’s pale oval face / Was fatal to me.”

Jeanne Moreau – Le Tourbillon de la Vie

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