Finally available on all download and streaming platform: my score to Aqsa Altaf’s beautifully reflective film The Long Farewell.
With no dialog and minimal sound effects, the film relies on music to create a profoundly poetic atmosphere. Written primarily for synthesizers with piano solos, the score sometimes blends with the director’s bigger-than-life shots of the luxurious surrounding landscape (thick forests, tall trees, wide rivers, big gray skies…). At other times, it reaches for the ethereal by opening up the emotional range to depict what is not directly seen on screen—the deep, everlasting bond between the two main characters.
The music was written freely, without a constant tempo or a bar structure to box the music in. Harmonies start softly and grow slowly, and eventually disappear back in the ether. Various textures and instruments are layered in over time to lead the story to its climatic point, and ultimately pull back to leave the audience reflecting about childhood, friendship, and the loss of innocence.
My score to Matt Cerini’s animated short ‘Dear Alice’ is now available on all download and streaming platforms.
Directed by Matt Cerini at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Dear Alice is an animated short film that tells the story of Anthony, an unconfident artist, who must inspire a wide-eyed young girl, Alice, to see the beauty in her sketch before the bus they’re in reaches his stop.
The film, which was completed in 10 months time and included a team of 15 artists in production, deals with artistic growth through self-doubt and reassurance, thanks to a chance meeting with someone dealing with the same issue as yours. The director’s ultimate goal was to pull at the heartstrings of anyone watching, to make them shed a tear when the little girl felt completely abandoned, or crack a smile when she lit up as Anthony nodded for her to give it another try.
The score, written as a duet between solo violin (performed by Patti Rudisill) and solo cello (performed by Michelle Packman), plays on this newfound relationship where each character inspires the other. Both instruments are featured first by themselves, then start answering and supporting each other, to finally join together in a warm and uplifting ending. Harp (performed by Lara Somogyi), piano and strings provide the emotional backing.
My score to Amanda Sparso’s animated short ‘Yuanfen’ is now available on all download and streaming platforms.
Yuanfen, produced at the School of Visual Arts in New York, is a heartwarming tale of adoption as seen through a child’s eyes. Inspired by Amanda’s personal story, Yuanfen takes us through the beautiful and emotional journey of a young infant who will travel thousands of miles from her birthplace in China to her adoptive parents in the United States.
The film metaphorically depicts the caregiver who accompanies the baby girl along her journey as a comforting panda bear, musically represented by a solo cello performed by Michelle Packman. The baby girl’s journey is at first underscored by a dizi (traditional Chinese flute), which, as she eventually makes her way to the United States, turns into a concert flute; both instruments were performed by Gina Luciani. To provide additional warmth and musical support, the score also features harp solos performed by Lara Somogyi, along with piano solos and other various synthetic elements.