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Music and Mood
 

The Score
 

During the production of Pound of Flesh, director Tamar Hoffs listened to a variety of CDs while going to and from the set, always waiting to hear the special piece of music that could make a scene sing. When she heard a fit – she would send a CD to Seth Podowitz, the composer who had created the elegant Irish-based score of Hoffs’ last film, Red Roses and Petrol. Nothing more had to be said … but Seth and Tammy where beginning the work that led to the gorgeous modernist score of Pound of Flesh. For Pound of Flesh, Seth integrates his compositions with hip contemporary song cues as well as Italian opera. Using elements of classical orchestral resonance, he flawlessly navigates the story’s brash outbursts, and subtle moments of emotional introspection without becoming overly sentimental or maudlin. During the opening credits of Pound of Flesh, a passionate aria sets the mood as the camera pans the skin of a couple locked in sexual ecstasy.  With its mixture of pleasure and pain, and hints of the disaster that is to come, the opera transitions into score – with live cello adding dark musical warnings. 

Always alert to revealing a character’s inner life with music, Seth and Tammy decided that Noah’s love of Shakespeare should be underscored with a super dramatic theme, opera – in its most sentimental/romantic form. Thus, Puccini. When we meet Daniella Melville, the loving wife and mother, a familiar folk song that plays on the piano becomes score, hinting at the emotional roller coaster she will soon experience.  And when her life is put on hold by Noah’s disgraceful behavior -- and total disaster strikes -- deep, dark, live cello is heard again. Noah regularly listens to opera in his office. When he’s negotiating a deal with Cameron, for his best “Scholarship” girl, Rachel, the music turns contemporary. The song is “Touch,” written and performed by Whitney Able, who plays Rachel.  Whitney, in real life, is a sought after actress, when she is not performing music, and a happy newlywed. As Noah’s year ends in exile, we cut to Barden College’s graduation – and a bold original orchestral cue convinces us that the students of Barden will triumph. Their future will be bright, even with all that has transpired. 

Seth says of his experience, “It’s a wonderful film filled with passion and humor.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Tammy again and help bring her vision to the screen.”  Another important music collaborator was Music Supervisor, Alison Wright Clark, whose temp score was invaluable.
 
 

The Bands
 

Tammy is no stranger to hip avant-garde music. During her lifetime she has shepherded many bands.  Early on she sound-proofed her garage, and watched her daughter Susanna’s band, the Bangles, rise to become one of the most successful girl groups.  She regards listening to young bands with exciting new ideas a privilege. Two new bands are represented on the Pound of Flesh soundtrack, with contemporary songs that accentuate the campus atmosphere.

A.i. is a three-piece rock- band based in Los Angeles, with Nick Young (vocals/guitar), Zack Young (drums/percussion), and Milen Kirov (keyboards/synth bass). In 2002, the band signed with DreamWorks Records and released their debut self-titled album, and in 2004, A.i. composed the score for “Human Error,” directed by Nick and Zack’s father, Robert M. Young. A.i. stands for “artificial intelligence.” The band describes themselves as “…living that post-Space Age wet dream, commingling the analog and the digital, the organic and the synthetic, the muscle and the machine.”  September 2007 saw A.i.’s release of their second album titled "Sex & Robots" independently. Pound of Flesh uses four songs from this album. 

Some Hear Explosions is a band fronted by an insanely talented 21 year old bombshell, Ambre Leigh.  SHE (as they call themselves) writes heartfelt catchy inventive songs that you want to sing along with immediately.  The band, from Milwaukee, led by Ambre’s vocals, and Bay Dariz, on guitar and vocals, first came to public attention in LA, playing rousing gigs at The Roxy and The Viper Room. In “Our Time Now,” the title of SHE’s debut album, produced by Bay himself, showed how bold they are. 

At first Ambre and Bay had very different musical tastes. Where their sensibilities converge is what the band sounds like now – innovative and dynamic – sexy sultry music. Ambre is often compared to Deborah Harry -- a young post punk pop rocker. Her song “Give/Take,” “… is just about F---Ing,” she says, and is the perfect accompaniment to introduce Professor Melville and his Scholarship girls strutting across the campus of Barden College.





 


 
 
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