True Grit (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) by Carter Burwell on Apple Music

21 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Carter Burwell has scored dozens of films, including Being John Malkovich, Twilight, and The Kids Are All Right, but he’s probably best known for his long-running collaboration with the Coen Brothers. The directing duo’s 2010 release, True Grit, is an adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel, which was also the source of a 1969 film starring John Wayne, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. For the newer film’s score, Burwell arranged 19th century hymns, including “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms,” a song that provides the movie’s main thematic material. Burwell is deft at crafting numerous variations for piano and/or orchestra on that theme; each one has a distinct emotional/musical shading. For example the gloomy “A Methodist and a Son of a Bitch” is marked by mysterious, glassy strings while “Your Headstrong Ways” is delightfully jaunty. The other hymns that Burwell draws on lend a nice variety to this fine soundtrack. The album concludes with Iris DeMent’s deftly intoned version of “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms,” which plays over the film’s closing credits.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Carter Burwell has scored dozens of films, including Being John Malkovich, Twilight, and The Kids Are All Right, but he’s probably best known for his long-running collaboration with the Coen Brothers. The directing duo’s 2010 release, True Grit, is an adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel, which was also the source of a 1969 film starring John Wayne, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. For the newer film’s score, Burwell arranged 19th century hymns, including “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms,” a song that provides the movie’s main thematic material. Burwell is deft at crafting numerous variations for piano and/or orchestra on that theme; each one has a distinct emotional/musical shading. For example the gloomy “A Methodist and a Son of a Bitch” is marked by mysterious, glassy strings while “Your Headstrong Ways” is delightfully jaunty. The other hymns that Burwell draws on lend a nice variety to this fine soundtrack. The album concludes with Iris DeMent’s deftly intoned version of “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms,” which plays over the film’s closing credits.

TITLE TIME
2:34
2:57
1:05
1:22
1:56
1:32
0:30
0:55
0:49
1:20
3:00
0:35
2:44
1:59
1:36
3:15
2:28
1:57
1:23
0:59
21 1:57

About Carter Burwell

Probably one of a very few soundtrack composers to idolize Iggy Pop, Carter Burwell is best known for his work with the Coen Brothers, having scored every one of their films through the year 2010. By turns haunting and dark or quirky and experimental, Burwell's eclectic music has graced films in a wide variety of genres, and he's used the occasional big-studio project to finance his work on a number of groundbreaking independent films. Born November 18, 1955 in New York, Burwell took piano lessons as a child and learned to play blues guitar as a teenager. He studied architecture and fine arts at Harvard, but wasn't considering music as a career; upon graduating, he first worked in a biology lab, then as an animator, while playing in punk bands by night for fun.

A mutual friend referred him to the Coen Brothers, who were seeking a composer for their 1984 debut feature, Blood Simple. They all hit it off, and Burwell was employed for the Coens' next project, the kidnapping caper Raising Arizona (1987); Burwell blended samples with a variety of thematic source materials. The Coens' 1990 gangster film, Miller's Crossing, was Burwell's first fully orchestrated work, and he attracted more attention for 1991's groundbreaking Barton Fink; he composed only 20 bars of music, which were then treated with various sound effects and reshaped throughout the film by sound designer Skip Lievsay.

Burwell's workload increased steadily as the '90s progressed, and he began taking on more mainstream film projects: Doc Hollywood (1991), Wayne's World 2 (1993), and Airheads (1994), among others. He won wide acclaim for his work on 1995's Rob Roy, which kicked off the most prolific period of his career -- over 35 films in the next five years. Among the highlights were the thriller Conspiracy Theory (1997), The Jackal (1997), Gods and Monsters (1998), the fictionalized glam rock chronicle Velvet Goldmine (1998), Spike Jonze's bizarre Being John Malkovich (1999), and the Gulf War epic Three Kings (1999). In addition to his film-scoring activities, Burwell has also played accordion and synthesizer with eclectic new age artists like Gabrielle Roth and David Hykes' Harmonic Choir. Burwell remained in demand through the 2000s and 2010s, reteaming with director Spike Jonze on the music for Adaptation and scoring several installments of the Twilight Saga movie series. In 2016, he earned his first Academy Award nomination for his score for the Todd Haynes-directed, 2015 British-American romantic drama Carol, and that same year saw him reuniting with the Coens for 2016's Hail, Caesar! among his many projects. In 2017, Burwell provided the score for director John Lee Hancock's The Founder, a biographical drama about American businessman/McDonald's guru Ray Croc. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • BORN
    Nov 18, 1955

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