My Funny Detective is a score composer and guitarist Giancarlo Vulcano wrote for a screenplay given to him by his friend Paul Meadows back in 2005. At the time Meadows was “lonely and alcoholic, bitter and cynical” and had decided to channel his feelings into writing a screenplay about the lonely private eye. Vulcano’s score is his own take on classic jazzy film noir scoring and is written for a small ensemble of musicians consisting of electric and bass guitar, drums and two trombones. Vulcano’s has composed a piece that is quite striking and distinctive, especially in how he uses the trombones (muted and unmuted). They are particularly expressive, almost becoming the characters of the unmade film and giving a voice to the words on the printed page of the script.
Vulcano’s use of trombones in the score is particularly well shown off in the second track, “On The Case”, where once the trombones have become established (in unison) they then split and begin to have a musical dialogue with one another – perhaps discussing the case? Alongside the brass guitars and drums lay out a beat that positively propels the music forward (our private eye is, after all, on a case and everything is going well). This combination appears again later in “Killing Time” and seems to be associated with when the gumshoe is on the job. The trombones of the score appear to be the “inner voice” for the detective and is a main focus throughout. In tracks such as “Theme For A Hangover”, “Heartache In The Dark” and “Reflections In A Public Bathroom Mirror” Vulcano has the trombones playing varied glissandi. This sliding musical device sounds like slurring and is suggestive that our detective is having one or two drinks. In “Heartache In The Dark”, everything seems to be going well (we hear mournfully expressive but “sober” trombones) but soon the cue descends into a musical scene that would not look out of place in any speakeasy dive. Read the rest of this entry »