Reed Robins | Strange Girls

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Classical: Film Music Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Strange Girls

by Reed Robins

Music to be thrilled by. Exciting symphonic music from the film.
Genre: Classical: Film Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Accidental Death - The Hospital
6:17 $0.99
2. Karp's Murder
4:07 $0.99
3. The New House
3:18 $0.99
4. The New Neighborhood
5:25 $0.99
5. Murderous Night
3:07 $0.99
6. Sex & The Nightmare
2:14 $0.99
7. Hatching A Plot
3:00 $0.99
8. Love Scene & A Discovery
2:15 $0.99
9. Sisters Fighting
4:18 $0.99
10. Bad Dream & The Imposter
1:45 $0.99
11. Neighbor's Attack
1:58 $0.99
12. Another Fight
2:36 $0.99
13. Plotting Against Oyo
3:29 $0.99
14. Cops Come Calling
7:05 $0.99
15. Picnic & Forest Chase
7:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Making of the “Strange Girls” Score

It was way back in February 2005 when a good friend and past collaborator contacted me with the seed of an exciting new idea. Writer/director Rona Mark invited me to write the score for her debut feature film, entitled “Strange Girls”. Strange Girls was just in the beginning stages then. Like a lot of independent film, the project was a labor of love. I knew that Rona is a singular talent, and that this would be a great film, so I immediately said “yes” - not having seen a single frame of it. Finally, in late 2006, I saw one of the first rough cuts.

So, a full year and a half after our original meeting, I set out to devise a modus operandi for composing the score. After all, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to compose an actual orchestral film score, even (or particularly) if it was partially sample based, given the budgetary constraints in which I had to work. I mean, we are talking about 70 minutes total of music for this 90 minute film.

Being a veteran of various game music productions, I immediately conceived of using a similar approach to a game score -- mostly to save time and effort. Unlike film music, games must to be populated by musical cues that can be looped, and which have several tracks (let’s say 'instruments' here for simplicity) playing concurrently. These instruments can be added or subtracted in real time to maintain the sense of variety when a particular musical selection plays for an extended period. Let’s say, for example, you try to obtain the golden amulet for 20 minutes. Obviously the music can’t be boring, so it’s designed as described above, and the computer’s algorithms do the rest 'on the fly'.

Since the two main characters in Strange Girls are pretty crazy in their own right, it made sense to me to utilize repetition similarly to mirror that craziness. Also, Rona had generally instructed me that “it doesn’t have to be pretty” - so I was thinking in fairly obtuse musical terms. My vocabulary was going to be string quartet (all recorded live without overdubbing – composed in the style of the Bartok string quartets), but…with electric guitar and DJ style turntable effects, such as the ubiquitous scratchy record…maybe some percussion. I’d get 20 minutes or so and we’d drop it in all over like sound design…

So I went to work in that vein. One day my friend and colleague - gaming composer Andy Brick - was visiting and I played him a little of what I had. The music played as expected, but the film was at the wrong spot! So I let it play anyway, but then let him know of the mistake afterward, and replayed it with the film correctly cued. He said “I thought it worked great in the other spot too”.

PERFECT! “That’s exactly the right reaction” I thought. “It works everywhere in the film”….

But not so fast!

In the meantime, my meetings with Rona were giving me different information. She was conceptually open to the idea I had presented, but I gleaned from our meetings the texture of the ensemble I was contemplating wasn’t deep and bassy enough. She needed musical gravitas, and she needed transitional material - overall a more cinematic approach.

Oh I threw the whole thing out, and started again from scratch. By this time I was involved and vested enough that my sense of practicality and self preservation had worn off. I went to work on the big orchestral score - that I had been avoiding - instead. Like many film scores, this score encompasses influences from a vast number of composers, such as Stravinsky, Strauss, Ives, and others.

Now, I have friends and colleagues who write big orchestral scores. They work with huge teams of people. On each film they have orchestrators, midi people, synth programmers, score prep people, music directors and sound mixers. I’ve worked in many of these jobs. That’s how film scores can get done so fast.
In this situation, I did every one of those things myself. That meant that the process was considerably slower, more effort expended, but the flip side is that it’s also more rewarding to me to have the final product be completely my own.

…fast forward to fall 2008. Much time has passed since that initial meeting in 2005. The disc of music from "Strange Girls” you hold in your hand is finally mastered and ready. This CD is a distillation of the orchestral music that accompanies the film.
My thanks to all the musicians who completed this journey with me, and to Rona for her faith in my abilities. The creation of this disc was to music what guerilla warfare is to combat – down and dirty, but passionately executed.

-Reed Robins, September 2008



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