April 2006 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Michael McLennan
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster: Len Mullenger

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Music composed by Mychael Danna
Orchestrated by Mychael Danna and Nicholas Dodd
Conducted by Nicholas Dodd; Performed by Unnamed Orchestra
Readings from his novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  Available on RCA/Legacy (BMK678151)
Running Time: 76:37
Amazon UK   Amazon US

See also:

  • Where the Truth Lies (this edition)
  • 8MM
  • Girl, Interrupted
  • This is an unusual album because the score takes second place to readings by the author, Truman Capote from his so-called ‘non-fiction’ novel, In Cold Blood, the writing of which much of the action of the new film (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote) is based on.  Capote’s idiosyncratic, high-pitched voice and rapid-fire, matter-of-fact style of delivery adds a chill to an already icy story.  The detail and characterisations are very full and startling, the colours every shade of monotone.  [Capote also wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and he had also collaborated with John Huston on Beat the Devil (1953) starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones and Gina Lollobrigida.]

    Mychael Danna’s score is lean and spare - long-held, edgy string notes, piano chords with widely-spread bass thuds; the opening track, ‘Out there’ suggesting pathos and painful vulnerability. ‘Spoon Feeding’ has a whirling lower compass violin ostinato pattern and the occasional high pitched fiddle dissonant chord, with lower string menaces slowly marching across the sound stage; but Danna speaks of loneliness and maladjustment just as much as menace.  This style pervades the score, it is as though Philip Glass is meeting Bernard Herrmann in Psycho mood (very the case evident in ‘Not Much Time Left’). The penultimate track ‘Epigraph’ is a desolate piano solo with remote strings referencing, quite clearly, Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair’.

    Really of interest to those wanting to have a record of Truman Capote reading his own works and for committed Mychael Danna fans.

    Ian Lace

    Readings: 4
    Music: 3

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