We have asked our interviewees to select five tracks from various scores that they think are interesting, forward-thinking or even underrated. There are no limits to which tracks our interviewees can choose; the aim is to give you, readers, a real glimpse into the composer’s tastes and musical identity.
Coming from a jazz and classical music background, having grown up to the sound of 90s hip-hop and R&B, and influenced by the great film music composers of past decades, Kris Bowers creates music deeply rooted in tradition yet open to varied external influences. On the occasion of our interview with him about his score for the Netflix series Dear White People, young composer Kris Bowers shared with us a few of his favourite scores, from the iconic Bernard Herrmann to the electronic explorations of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
- ‘Scene d’Amour’ — Bernard Herrmann (from Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, 1958). This is one of my favourite cues by Bernard Herrmann and from one of my favourite scores of all time, Vertigo. I got intense chills when I first heard this piece.
- ‘The Summer Knows’ — Michel Legrand (from The Summer of ’42 by Robert Mulligan, 1971). It is such a hauntingly beautiful theme and I love Michel Legrand’s melodies and approach to harmony. Not to mention, I performed this song at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, and it was not only one of the things that made me stand out to Ms. Aretha Franklin. She has me play that song for her any time she and I are together and there’s a piano in the vicinity.
- ‘Catch Me If You Can’ (Main title) — John Williams (from Catch Me If You Can by Steven Spielberg, 2002). I could easily create a lengthy list of pieces by John Williams, but one that had a strong impact on me was his main title cue for Catch Me If You Can. His effortless flow from more traditional orchestration to intricate jazz sections floored me.
- ‘Proven Lands’ — Jonny Greenwood (from There Will be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). Hearing this track in Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood was another moment for me. He was so inventive with his orchestration, and it was amazing to hear a dramatic score through the lens of a contemporary artist.
- ‘Strange Activities’ — Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (from Gone Girl by David Fincher, 2014). This is pretty incredible. I always love Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s usage of analog synths and found sounds for percussive elements in tracks. I can never really tell how a sound was generated, and I love that.