There’s a reason so many contemporary composers are being drafted onto the film scores of Hollywood blockbusters. Few genres convey so much with so little. Take Shutter Island: no amount of words could suggest the sheer, heartstring tugging emotion encapsulated in the simple, devastating arrangement of Max Richter’s ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’. Berlin via LA composer Dustin O’Halloran joined this elite club when three of his early tracks were chose for the superb soundtrack to Marie Antoinette in 2006, and with good reason.
Within the illusory minimalism of O’Halloran’s compositions lies absolute gravitas. Even the breezier tracks from his forthcoming Luminere album (released in February 28 2011) are loaded with intensity and beauty. ‘We Move Lightly’ is the record’s immediate highlight. It enters with a straightforward, recurring piano arpeggio – reminiscent of Wim Mertens. As the track progresses, strings well around its epicentre, bringing (depending on your mood at the time of listening) exquisite urgency, foreboding and euphoria.
Therein lays the singularity of music like this; like Richter, like Hauschka. They possess an inherent flexibility that can be moulded by producers and filmmakers to pique whichever emotion they so wish. ‘We Move Lightly’ is a classic, gorgeous example. A man much wiser than me, Pete Seeger, once summed this sentiment up much more succinctly when he said: “any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” I rest my case…
[Dustin O’Halloran: We Move Lightly]
Originally published here