Monday, February 22, 2010


Sitting in the movie theater last Friday, nervously waiting for the familiar fog horn blasts which announce the beginning of my old chestnut "Fog Tropes" I had some apprehension as I knew my music would start the actual movie, Shutter Island starring Leonardo di Caprio, but I had no idea what would appear on the screen.
Well, Leo and his US Marshal pal, Mark Ruffalo, are on a small ferry boat in choppy seas heading out to their island destination, and the music syncs up nicely with the image (Leo is leaning over the bow--a not so subtle allusion to Titanic?), and suddenly cuts to him violently vomiting in the head--Fog Tropes continues with the French horns and trombones weighing in.

So my musical debut in a major Hollywood film, seen and heard by millions, accompanies one of the biggest stars tossing his cookies. Great.

But it does get better; there's a couple of more cues where the mood is set quite well by the music--not just Fog Tropes but "Prelude: The Bay" from "Alcatraz"
If you see this quite unique film (critical opinion is about evenly split--you either love it or hate it) you'll also hear music by Penderecki, Ligeti, Cage, Scelsi and a host of others. The most ominous affect is garnered from Penderecki's Third Symphony "Passacaglia" which barks out in a sort of anunciatory way at least four times in the film's course.
All this music was assembled by Scorsese confidant Robbie Robinson, formerly of "The Band."I have to say, it works for the most part--The ultimate re-mix approach to film scoring.

They say the film was shot in Massachusetts, but the outdoor scenes on the rugged island with its pine forest and verdant cliffs remind me more of Maine; I imagined that a good bounty of chanterelles might be lurking in those woods (Maine in the early Fall is great for mushrooms).Too bad Mark and Leo didnt have time to do some foraging (or maybe they did?) Perhaps when the DVD comes out with its "Behind the Scenes" doc we'll see the cast out in their spare time prowling around those cliffs and mossy copses in pursuit of the golden beauties--after all, Scorsese and diCaprio with their Italian heritages ought to be fanciers of funghi selvaggi.

1 comment:

  1. Ingram

    Saw the film today and enjoyed it. Scorsese was interviewed on BBC last week. He talks so well.

    The soundtrack is impressive and your music is beautiful and right. I had never heard Fog Tropes before. I will search it out.

    I have not enjoyed Scorsese's recent work but this genre piece was in the tradition of Hitchcock. Hitchcock never thought of mixing a sound track like Robinson has done here. I hope it will mean that some of those composers get more recognition.

    Jack Kenny