Friday, October 22, 2010

Creeping chervil

James Jolly does a really excellent interview with Nico Muhly for Gramophone. This was a bit I particularly liked; it concerns Nico's score for the film adaptation of The Reader, it is the sort of thing I think about a lot:
At the end of the movie Hanna Schmitz has learned how to write and how to spell her name, and there’s been this cue that’s been in for a few minutes because we’re moving quickly through time, so there needs to be music there. And when she writes her name on a piece of paper to say she’s received a package or whatever you’ve a number of choices about what the music’s going to do. You think, “Well, we can give her something, we can give her a note there”, “We can not notice it” or we can kind of undercut it and make it sinister. It’s a question of a single pitch – it’s a G sharp or a G natural in the harp or the oboe or whatever. And the scary thing is that in the first draft I did, it had this note in it and it really made it seem like it was okay she killed all those people and that adult literacy is really good and good on her!

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