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2011 Scores, Soundtracks Composed by Musicians

Music plays an important role in films, so it’s no surprise when moviemakers recruit musicians (not necessarily composers) to build film scores and soundtracks.

Scores and soundtracks, though different, serve the same purpose in film development: guiding viewers. “Now is the time you should feel sadness, happiness, fear, curiosity, ” so cues a film’s music.

Below are recommended films released in theaters this year with music compiled by notable musicians…

Movie: Some Days Are Better Than Others

USA Release Date: June 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Matthew Cooper (Eluvium)

“…a poetic, character-driven film that asks why the good times slip by so fast while the difficult times seem so sticky. The film explores ideas of abundance, emptiness, human connection and abandonment while observing an interweaving web of awkward characters who maintain hope by inventing their own forms of communication and self-fulfillment. Some Days are Better Than Others is a sad valentine to the forgotten discards of a throwaway society, and is a story about knowing when to hold on, and when to let go.” – source

Movie: Submarine

USA Release Date: June 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys)

“15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.” – source

Movie: Our Idiot Brother

USA Release Date: August 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Nathan Larson (formerly of Shudder to Think and Swiz) and Eric D. Johnson (of The Shins and Fruit Bats)

“Every family has one: the sibling who is always just a little bit behind the curve when it comes to getting his life together. For sisters Liz, Miranda, and Natalie, that person is their perennially upbeat brother Ned, an erstwhile organic farmer whose willingness to rely on the honesty of mankind is a less-than-optimum strategy for a tidy, trouble-free existence. Ned may be utterly lacking in common sense, but he is their brother and so, after his girlfriend dumps him and boots him off the farm, his sisters once again come to his rescue. As Liz, Miranda and Natalie each take a turn at housing Ned, their brother’s unfailing commitment to honesty creates more than a few messes in their comfortable routines. But as each of their lives begins to unravel, Ned’s family comes to realize that maybe, in believing and trusting the people around him; Ned isn’t such an idiot after all.” – source

Movie: Drive

USA Release Date: September 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Cliff Martinez (drummer for Captain Beefheart, The Dickies, Lydia Lunch, The Weirdos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more)

“A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.” – source

+ Martinez also composed the score for Steven Soderbergh‘s 2011 film Contagion.

Movie: Norman

USA Release Date: October 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Andrew Bird

“A troubled high-school kid pretending to be dying of cancer confronts problems with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father as he struggles with his daily existence.” – source

Movie: Take Shelter

USA Release Date: November 2011

Film Music Composer(s): David Wingo (of Ola Podrida, formerly of The Wooden Birds)

“Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.” – source

Movie: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo*

USA Release Date: December 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross (of Error and Tapeworm, has worked on albums with Bad Religion, Rancid, N.I.N., and more)

“Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.” – source

Movie: We Bought a Zoo*

USA Release Date: December 2011

Film Music Composer(s): Jónsi (Sigur Rós)

“Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.” – source

Movie: Sound of My Voice*

USA Release Date: premiered at 2011 Sundance Film Festival, coming soon to theaters

Film Score Composer(s): Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend and Boys Like Us)

“Following much preparation, Peter and Lorna are given an address. In the dead of night, they pull off the lonely road and await further instructions. Soon they part with their clothes and belongings. After they shower and clean themselves thoroughly, they are blindfolded and whisked to an undisclosed location, where they descend into a basement. Once downstairs, they perform the complicated handshake and are able to gain entry into the group. With that, the young couple, who have been posing as believers, successfully infiltrate the cult’s inner sanctum and meet enigmatic leader Maggie… What follows is a delicately paced and riveting plunge into a psychological maelstrom of uncertainty and danger.” – source

* = Films not yet released in theaters.


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