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The Wicker Man

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Album Review

Composer Angelo Badalamenti's score for director Neil La Bute's 2006 remake of Robin Hardy's 1973 film The Wicker Man (both based on Anthony Schaffer's novel) is very different from the music for the first film, in part because the setting is different. La Bute has moved the story from Scotland to the Pacific Northwest, eliminating the basis for Scottish folk music. Instead, Badalamenti turns out one of his typically moody, atmospheric scores. Unlike other composers, who match dramatic moments in a film with often highly contrasting musical cues, Badalamenti here creates music in nearly a single mood throughout, his pieces slow-moving and based on a few major themes (in minor keys). The changes are gradual over the course of the soundtrack. The music begins in a more traditional orchestral mode, but as it goes on, electronic sounds are added here and there, so that the music slowly becomes stranger and more ominous, mirroring the story about a police officer in search of a missing child on a remote island who discovers a bizarre, pagan cult. Badalamenti's approach results in a more consistent, cohesive style than most scores manage to achieve.


Born: 22 March 1937 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Best known for his hauntingly atmospheric work with filmmaker David Lynch, composer Angelo Badalamenti was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1938; a classically trained performer, he spent the early years of his career playing the Catskills resort area, later writing and arranging for singers including Shirley Bassey and country star Mel Tillis. Under the name Andy Badale, he entered the film industry in 1973, debuting with the score to the action film Gordon's War. Despite subsequent work on such features...
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The Wicker Man, Angelo Badalamenti
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