A Theme for Remembrance

As a rule, film music doesn’t make particularly good concert music. There are exceptions, of course—much of Bernard Herrmann’s work translates beautifully to the concert hall—but mostly, nah. And conversely, not much serious concert music makes for a workable film score. So I usually try to keep these two areas of endeavor separate in my own work. But I am headed into a ticklish situation in this regard. Director Sonny Izon will be traveling to Israel shortly to record a string quartet version of my theme for his next documentary, An Open Door. Part of the film involves a luthier in Jerusalem named Amnon Weinstein who restores violins that were played by European Jews in the camps and ghettos of the Holocaust. With his craft, he seeks to give these lost legions back their voices. Sonny will record the theme in Israel using these instruments, and later on I’ll also help make a live recording of the same music at a concentration camp in Germany. Writing this music, writing an interesting string quartet that can possibly work as part of a film score, has been a puzzle for me to solve, but one well worth the artistic risk.
 

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