Burwell and Space: Inner, Outer, Environmental and Acoustical
- 1k Downloads
Burwell transcended the limitations of his earliest work in punk and art-rock while retaining its unvarnished simplicity, putting it in the service of a specific dramatic point of view. Whether the source material of one of Burwell’s scores lies in folk music (as it often does), or hymnody (almost as often), or a kind of generalized, rock-based harmony refracted through an orchestral setting (most of the time), they all impart an immediate sense of place and of the varied, complex human relationships that unfold within it.
A Burwell score varies repetitions of a simple yet strongly physical set of musical gestures combined and recombined with image to produce a wide range of emotional and dramatic significations. This chapter follows this process through four Burwell films: Miller’s Crossing (1990); Fargo (1996); Gods and Monsters (1998); and True Grit (2010), with an ear towards a deeper understanding of this process and the expansion of the narrative’s potential, which it represents, revealing aspects of place, time and character that would otherwise remain inaccessible to us.
KeywordsMotivic Unity Folk Music Acoustical Space Musical Hallucination Musical Material
- Baldwin, Alec, Carter Burwell Ethan, Joel Coen, and Aniruddh Patel. 2013. Art of the Score. A Co-Presentation of World Science Festival and the New York Philharmonic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8TqjA-iMD0. Accessed 13 October 2015.
- Copland, Aaron. 1941. Music in the Films. In Our New Music, 260–275. New York: McGrawHill.Google Scholar
- Craig, Justin. 2010. Burwell Serves Up Homily and Grit. Film Score Monthly Online, Vol. 15, No. 1, December.Google Scholar
- Morgan, David. 2000. Knowing the Score: Film Composers Talk About the Art, Craft, Blood, Sweat, and Tears of Writing for Cinema. New York: HarperEntertainment.Google Scholar
- Wagner, Richard. 1995. Opera and Drama. Trans. William Ashton Ellis. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Reprinted from the 1893 translation of volume 2 (Opera and Drama) of Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., London.Google Scholar