Posted by Alan Rogers on October 7, 2011
Original Review by Alan Rogers
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 »
Posted in Reviews | Tagged: audio clips, film music, film score, Giancarlo Vulcano, My Funny Detective, Reviews, Soundtracks | 5 Comments »
Posted by Alan Rogers on October 4, 2011
Original Review by Alan Rogers
Unfinished Spaces is a film that documents the creation and subsequent decay of the National Schools of Art in Havana, Cuba in the 1960s. Commissioned by Fidel Castro, three architects designed a radical series of buildings that reflected the sense of optimism and the opportunity of change during the early years of the Revolution. However, as the actual realities began to set in, construction of the schools was halted and the architects, together with their designs, fell out of favour with the established political climate. Film-makers Alysa Nahmias and Ben Murray’s documentary follows the three original architects as they return to Cuba at the invitation of Fidel Castro 40 years after their dream projects were halted, in order to attempt to restore the school.
The music for Unfinished Spaces is composed by Giancarlo Vulcano, a composer of independent projects who has been co-music director for the comedy 30 Rock for the last five years. Over the last two years, Vulcano has collaborated with the directors to give the film a score for a small ensemble of musicians (string quartet, trumpet, saxophone, percussion (from Cuban percussionist Dafnis Prieto) and additional guitar and synths (played by the composer himself)). In his score, there are two distinct aspects. On the one hand there’s music that embodies the Cuban life at the time of the Revolution (optimistic, light-hearted, etc). There is also a more orchestral score that is quite modernistic in style and reflects the schools’ radical architectural design. But it also reflects the decay of the buildings over the years and their symbol of a wasted opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Reviews | Tagged: audio clips, film music, film score, Giancarlo Vulcano, Reviews, Soundtracks, Unfinished Spaces | 4 Comments »