Album: House of Sand and Fog: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Album:

House of Sand and Fog: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist: James Horner
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Label: Varese Records

A California real estate dispute may hardly seem the foundation for riveting drama, but in director Vadim Perelman’s adaptation of Andre Dubus II’s novel it becomes an unflinching, yet crucially non-judgmental study of disparate characters caught up in a spiraling conflict where home is considerably more than a place to live. Composer James Horner takes the medium-budget project as an opportunity to break with much of the melodic expectations of his Hollywood fare, coloring the film’s more personally-scaled drama with an introspective score that turns on…

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A California real estate dispute may hardly seem the foundation for riveting drama, but in director Vadim Perelman’s adaptation of Andre Dubus II’s novel it becomes an unflinching, yet crucially non-judgmental study of disparate characters caught up in a spiraling conflict where home is considerably more than a place to live. Composer James Horner takes the medium-budget project as an opportunity to break with much of the melodic expectations of his Hollywood fare, coloring the film’s more personally-scaled drama with an introspective score that turns on masterful musical evocations of mood and emotion. Horner begins with a deft electronic/orchestral synthesis (“An Older Life”) that both recalls some of T-Dream’s more evocative cinematic moments and subtly sets up the score’s melancholy emotional tone. From there he relies heavily on autumnal, string writing (reminiscent of Copland and Barber) and spare piano flourishes, seasoned with inventive rhythmic touches, to carry its moody tone forward. While it may draw on some of the same minimalist and post-modern influences as A Beautiful Mind, it has a wholly different emotional cast; a dark, but deeply rewarding musical journey. —Jerry McCulley

Related Works

Book:House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog

Andre Dubus III

Tense with suspense from the first line, this is one of the great American realist novels. In this page-turning, breathtaking novel, the characters will walk off the page and into your life. And a small house will seem like the most important piece of territory in the world. On a road crew in California, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah yearns to restore his family’s dignity. When an attractive bungalow comes available on county auction for a fraction of its value, he sees a great opportunity for himself, his wife, and his children. But the house’s former owner, a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck, doesn’t see it that way, nor does her lover, a married cop driven to extremes to win her love and get her house back. House of Sand and Fog is a narrative triumph in which a traditional immigrant success story and a modern love story are turned upside down with brutal, heartrending consequences. It is an American tragedy, and a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.

Film:House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog

Vadim Perelman

Academy Award winners Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) and Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) deliver stunning performances as two strangers whose conflicting pursuits of the American Dream lead to a fight for their hopes at any cost. What begins as a struggle over a rundown bungalow spirals into a clash that propels everyone involved toward a shocking resolution. “The surprise ending will leave you breathless!” (Clay Smith, Access Hollywood)

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