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 Posted:   Nov 2, 2018 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Amazon Studios launched a new mini series last night, "Homecoming," a ten-episode story, billed as a psychological thriller, starring Julia Roberts as a therapist who helps soldiers transition to civilian life. It's beautifully shot, mysterious, and has a very odd musical score.

The series music is credited at IMDb to Komeil S. Hosseini. Maggie Phillips is music supervisor, Andrew Brady and Cynthia Daft-Blondelle are music coordinators, and Ben Zales is music editor. I mention all of those because I'm puzzled at these peoples' roles.

The opening title cue was Nino Rota [for correction, see Joe's note below] – I couldn't quite place it, and I was waiting for some narrative explanation, but none was forthcoming. The next cue I believe came from "The Conversation," and then we had "All the President's Men," both as far as I could tell note for note from David Shire's scores. A little while later, there was a burst of Herrmann, I think from "Vertigo," and then, when the second episode began, it was back to the 1970s with a needle-drop from Michael Small's unmistakable score to "Klute" played at length over the action.

That's when I got up to do the dishes. I couldn't stand it any longer! None of these cues had anything to do with the action on screen. Rather, it was like I used to do with my Super 8 amateur films, borrowing favorite excerpts from my favorite movie scores.

I don't want to disparage needle-drops as a creative choice – for some reason, this has never bothered me when Tarantino does that in his films – and I don't want to begrudge these great musicians their royalty payments. I just don't get why anyone would choose to place music like this in a show with a composer on board and what appears to be a significant music department.

To clarify: the needle drops were not placed ironically, like pop songs in "American Graffiti." They played as non-diegetic underscore. And I saw no onscreen attribution in the Amazon credits (I don't know the laws for doing that on TV). But as a movie music fan, I felt like I'd been mugged.

Anyone have any insight how this came to be? The trailer seems to contain original music.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2018 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Joe Sikoryak   (Member)

I agree. Actually, the series opening cue is Pino Donaggio's (from Dressed to Kill) and the second ep uses the main title from Klute extensively. I did think I heard some Herrmann in the first ep as well. It may be evocative for the creators and younger audiences, but coupled with Sam Esmail's showy direction, I could hardly follow the story...

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2018 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

I agree. Actually, the series opening cue is Pino Donaggio's (from Dressed to Kill) and the second ep uses the main title from Klute extensively. I did think I heard some Herrmann in the first ep as well. It may be evocative for the creators and younger audiences, but coupled with Sam Esmail's showy direction, I could hardly follow the story...

BTW, they weren't diagetic cues, dogplant. That implies the music comes from a source on screen. These were straight underscore. But the effect is so dismaying to those of us on this board, I understand your confusion!


Ah, thanks, Joe. I will fix that in my post above. I always trip up on my diegetics!

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2018 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)

Sam Esmail has done that quite a bit with needle drops on Mr. Robot. I heard The Parallax View and at one time the entire main title to Knight Rider (ironically after a character talked about what a great theme it was).

I was happy to see the FSM CD collection so well represented!

Lukas

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2018 - 3:50 PM   
 By:   Gold Digger   (Member)

https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8482923/homecoming-score-soundtrack-amazon-series-julia-roberts-music

Episode 3 features Capricorn One! Cool.

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2018 - 6:48 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

MISHIMA was also used in ROBOT.
As a fan of Mr. Robot i will give this a look.
Thanks for the info.
Brm

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2018 - 6:50 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Didn't i ban the use of the word "diegetic"?

THE DOGPLANT DIEGETICS
( sequel to The Solium Dialectic)
Brm

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2018 - 7:06 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I used excerpts from MY NAME IS.NOBODY in an early Super8 film!

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2018 - 11:06 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8482923/homecoming-score-soundtrack-amazon-series-julia-roberts-music

Whoa, well that explains that. Thanks for the insight, Gold Digger. What a pretentious lot of twaddle. I'll be avoiding the rest of this show like the plague.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 1:36 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Maybe the cost of getting Julia Roberts meant they couldn't afford original music.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 7:50 AM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


According to the Billboard article, the licensing and union musician costs of the "needle drop" approach is more expensive than a conventional score.

I am enjoying hearing so many of my favorite thriller classics in a new context!

Lukas

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

It's just lazy, kills creativity, lacks a unique identity and another example modern filmmakers are "professional fan boys".

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Gold Digger   (Member)

Finished watching this series today and turned out to be a bit of a non event. The big conspiracy was almost interesting but it was so drawn out and became quite tedious. The sinister music was responsible for all the atmosphere. I can’t say I picked up on all the reused music but along with Capricorn One I spotted The Amityville Horror, The Thing and The Dead Zone.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 10:20 AM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Thanks to all for the feedback, especially Lukas! Hey, it would be great if FSM, et al, got some acknowledgement for years of rescuing this music from obscurity. Or maybe some young composer will get curious and be inspired to seek out the originals? For curmudgeonly reasons stated above, I'll be avoiding the rest of this watermelon. But if anyone has the inclination to play 'Ear of the Month' with all ten episodes (five hours of content), I'd be interested to see a playlist.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

It's just lazy, kills creativity, lacks a unique identity and another example modern filmmakers are "professional fan boys".

What, you'd prefer another droning Reznor/Ross vacuum cleaner soundscape, or one of Hans Zimmer's pets? Given a choice between that, and a Tarantino needle-drop pastiche of genuinely GOOD film music of the past, I'll take the latter any day of the week.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Does Zimmer have cats or dogs...or both?

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

It's just lazy, kills creativity, lacks a unique identity and another example modern filmmakers are "professional fan boys".

What, you'd prefer another droning Reznor/Ross vacuum cleaner soundscape, or one of Hans Zimmer's pets? Given a choice between that, and a Tarantino needle-drop pastiche of genuinely GOOD film music of the past, I'll take the latter any day of the week.


Agreed. I was checking out the new Netflix/BBC thriller series "Bodyguard" and the score in the opening episode barely qualified as music, it sounded mostly like someone's old window A/C unit just idling in the background. In the absence of something new that is musically interesting, just give me needle drops of great old scores.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2018 - 1:52 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

It's just lazy, kills creativity, lacks a unique identity and another example modern filmmakers are "professional fan boys".

What, you'd prefer another droning Reznor/Ross vacuum cleaner soundscape, or one of Hans Zimmer's pets? Given a choice between that, and a Tarantino needle-drop pastiche of genuinely GOOD film music of the past, I'll take the latter any day of the week.


I'm not a fan of current trends in soundscape soundtracks, but at least an artist is putting forth an effort and creating something unique for the project. I can't think of a faster way of pulling me out of a film than to needle-drop no matter how good the music is.

 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2018 - 1:30 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

The series music is credited at IMDb to Komeil S. Hosseini: Composer of any original cues.

Maggie Phillips is music supervisor: Someone with an over all vision of the music andwhat it should do for the show. Probably helps decide when to have something composed and when to needle-drop. Likely chooses needle-drop tracks, or creates a palette of needle-drops to choose from.

Andrew Brady and Cynthia Daft-Blondelle are music coordinators: Arranges for the needle-drop licenses, and may assist in getting the original cues composed and recorded.

Ben Zales is music editor: Takes all the music tracks and fits them into the soundtrack. Has a great deal of responsibility to make sure the original cues are spotted, timed, and recorded to picture properly

 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2018 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


I am really enjoying the series and the music. I don't have any problem with people who have a different opinion, but I am surprised to see some people actually seem to be angry over the "needle-drop" soundtrack.

For me, to have some of my favorite 1970s scores and composers accompany a huge movie star and top director in a major TV series is a real treat.

I have often wondered if some of the "old style" scores we love so much could have a place in today's environment. To see and hear how well Capricorn One, Andromeda Strain, Klute and other classics are fitting some of the sequences shows that they would totally work, given the right program and aesthetic.

Lukas

 
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