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Field Music's Ten Favourite Film Soundtracks

Field Music's Ten Favourite Film Soundtracks

24 October 2013, 16:00

As part of Illuminations Festival, the week long series of events taking place from the 3-10 November, spearheads of the North-East music scene Field Music are set to perform their newly commissioned original score for Drifters, the seminal silent documentary from 1929 which follows the journey of a herring fishing fleet, as they traverse the waters from the Shetland Islands to the harsh tides of the North Sea.

The show features the first return to the band’s original line-up since 2007, with Andrew Moore re-joining the Brewis brothers to perform the soundtrack live to a screening of the film. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Peter Brewis to find out more about which ten film soundtracks he holds most dear.

1. The Pawnbroker - music by Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones’ jazzy dissonant score provides an unsettling backdrop to the Harlem streets and Rod Steiger’s alienated Nazerman.

2. Anatomy of a Murder – music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn

Duke Ellington’s unique orchestra echoes the drama and characters in this courtroom drama. Notably, Johnny Hodges’ saxophone plays the ‘flirty bird’ – which is admittedly a bit sexist.

3. Life on Earth (documentary) – music by Edward Williams

The music seems to mimic and converse with every living thing in David Attenborough’s seminal natural history documentary. It puts recent BBC science documentaries to shame.

4. The Thing – music by Ennio Morricone and John Carpenter

A brilliant miss-mis-mash. The sublime scoring of Morricone, juxtaposed with the almost naive synthy dabbling of Carpenter himself. It shouldn’t work but it compliments the sense of unease and the brutal horror brilliantly.

5. Barry Lyndon – music by Various (Handel, Bach, Schubert etc.)

Kubrick knew how to use pre-existing classical music to great effect. Here, in this candle-lit painting of a film it makes total sense to let the masters do the composing as opposed to some hollywood hack. Rock me Johann!


Field Music

6. Spirited Away – music by Joe Hisaishi

I could have picked any of Hisaishi’s scores from any of Miyasaki’s films. Beautiful music for beautiful films.

7. Parade (Soundtrack to Under a Cherry Moon) – music by Prince

I’ve never even seen the film to this and apparently I shouldn’t. This is cheating really, but this is one of the best records by anyone, let alone Prince. Totally crucial music for a supposedly excruciating film.

8. Grizzly Man – music by Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson is my favourite guitar player and letting him loose on this documentary was an inspired decision by Werner Herzog. In the documentary of the making of the documentary, Herzog says that he has no ‘background’ music in his films – and the guitar playing here is certainly not in the background.

9. Planet of The Apes – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith’s brilliantly apt score takes cues from the 20th centuries avant-garde, and like Stravinsky, he blurred notions of modern and primitive. Using extended orchestral playing techniques, tape loops and everyday objects as percussion he created a clattering, discordant and fragmented soundtrack.

10. The Andromeda Strain – music by Gil Mellé

An uncompromising but measured electronic score for an underrated sci-fi classic. The music here blends into the sound of the film’s scientific instruments and computers to the point that it’s hard to tell what is composed and what is not.

Field Music play their soundtrack to Drifters at Islington Assembly Hall on Saturday 9 November as part of Illuminations Festival – a week long series of events taking place from 3-10 November, curated by Rockfeedback. For more information about the festival, head here, or check out the festival’s poster here.

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