I’m getting that old noir itch tonight. Thinking back on some of my old noir characters, the stories and listening to what was to be our main theme of Kings 2. Use the player below to start listening to the theme, and read on.
This theme was composed by +Benjamin Little and I can remember the first time he played it for me. We walked onto the Missouri S&T campus and found a piano in the Havaner Center, right above the coffee shop. He played it out on the piano and I listened to it… it had a quality to it I really liked. The way it slowly built over time with each repetition. It reminded me of a song I had mixed for the first one, which was pretty bad, and I generally referred to as Batman vs. The Nazis. It had that certain… for lack of a better term… epic quality to it, but still somewhat classical.
The music for Kings was primarily a happy accident.
When I began editing the first film, Kings: Hit and Run, I needed music and I would take whatever I had my hands on. And what I had my hands on were some rough recordings of piano solos Ben and I had recorded before he left. It was him playing a baby grand piano into a cassette tape recorder. Most of the songs were rough, scratchy sounding, depressing and classical in nature. The other music I had at my fingertips was a CD recorded by my wife’s uncle, which contained some blues pieces. I decided to go with the classical piano solos and blues.
When I began writing Kings 2, I decided that I wanted to up the ante a bit. I wanted to have Ben compose music specifically for the soundtrack, and I wanted to reach back into the public domain and use some old time blues pieces. I curated a list of pieces I liked from the era, and that I felt I could use. Some great stuff. And it was worth the ride, going back and researching the roots of blues.
Digging in the heels
To me, half the fun in filmmaking and acting is the research…. actually, it might even be more than half. It’s the digging in and finding the stuff below the surface you want to embed in it to make it resonate. And no, I don’t mean like adding an agenda. If you wanna make movies about what you believe, or your opinions, that’s fine, it’s called a documentary or possibly propaganda. Remember to label it right.
I’m entering tangent-ville. Good night.