Sitting at home all day today, feeling ill, yet utterly restless - a deadly combo - combing YouTube for entertainment, since I can't bring myself to focus on anything that requires any intellectual maneuvering, I had a moment of sudden revelation, otherwise known as an epiphany: it's rare that we talk about movie soundtracks, specifically those created by a single composer, as opposed to some mosh pit of singles by a select group of "top 40" musicians.
As a filmmaker, I have my eclectic wish-list of artists whom I'd like to work with some day, in producing a soundtrack for future films I direct.
Here they are:
- From the moment I heard her Bitter album, one of the few that I can listen to from beginning to end, without skipping a single track, songstress Meshell N'Degeocello has been at the top of my wish-list. She's one of those pure musicians who refuses to be categorized, or relegated to one specific genre. She incorporates a variety of styles and musical elements quite effectively, from one album to the next, and I cheer in response, given just how often rich, complex, and moving each track on each album can be. She doesn't quite get the attention and the radio play that I believe she deserves. But, we can say that about a lot of other artists. So it goes...
- Cliff Martinez: His ethereal work with long-time collaborator, filmmaker, Steven Soderbergh, is inspiring - notably Traffic and Solaris; as was his work in Narc.
- Little Dragon: They are a relatively new Swedish band featuring a Japanese female lead singer, with music that nearly runs the gamut - electronic/soul/folk/lounge/jazz and more. Their 2006 debut LP is the self-titled Little Dragon.
- Johnny Greenwood: My introduction to his work was in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. I'm not even quite sure how to categorize the sounds he created for the soundtrack of that film. Maybe that's a good thing. He's described as a multi-instrumentalist; many will know him as guitarist and keyboard player for alternative rock group Radiohead!
- Jon Brion: Speaking of P.T. Anderson... Brion scored 3 of his 5 films (Hard Eight, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love); But the Brion composition I love the most is the work he did for Michel Gondry in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my favorite films.
- Last on my short but evolving list is Michael Nyman, the English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, perhaps best known for the many films whose scores he composed during his lengthy collaboration with one of my favorite filmmakers, Peter Greenaway - The Draughtman's Contract, Drowning By Numbers, and, of course, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - all highly recommended viewing, by the way.
Soooo... for you filmmakers reading this, who is at the top of your wishlist of musicians you'd like to work with? And for you non-filmmakers, who are some of your favorite composers, or what are some of your favorite movie soundtracks? I'm always on the hunt for new music and musicians to check out, so, I'm looking forward to seeing your selections.