18 December 2012
Nico Scores Kill Your Darlings
The upcoming drama Kill Your Darlings, which premiers at Sundance next month, features a score by Nico Muhly.
The film is directed by John Krokidas and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Kyra Sedgwick, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Huston. The movie tells the previously untold story of murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that would lead to the Beat Generation.
Krokidas has also co-written the screenplay with Austin Bunn and is producing the Killer Films and Benaroya Pictures Pictures with Michael Benaroya (Margin Call, Lawless), Christine Vachon (Far from Heaven, Boys Don’t Cry) and Rose Ganguzza.
Nico's previous film works include the Academy Award-nominated drama The Reader starring Kate Winslet and last year’s Margaret.
Kill Your Darlings is set to premiere in competition next month at the Sundance Film Festival.
What the press says
The EP is a lilting, sometimes arch set of modern classical composition – by no means intimidating to neophytes, and encoded with delightful little motifs.
Breaking down as a cycle of five efficiently short pieces, the results are captivating and continue to strengthen the case for Nico Muhly as one of the world’s consistently brilliant young composers.
Brubaker alternates between lovely ivory lines and frantic, freeform eighty-eights pounding, while Sirota tends to supply sublimely droning string swells in the background.
Drones & Piano is an expressive, enchanting, moving skein.
...it’s real appeal is in savouring how Muhly creatively uses consonance and dissonance with his chosen drone.
Don’t assume this five-song collection sounds like your aunt singing Duran Duran whilst lugging a Dyson across the living room… the bedrock of these pieces becomes highly charged; stuck within a confined space they so desperately want to break free of.
For a large part of this quarter of an hour, Brubaker pokes the keys of his piano in an obsessive and compulsive way, and gives a strength and intensity to the story that at times abstracts any particular genesis or conception of the project, as if everything came to life on its own and full of meaning much beyond the constitution and starting point of the scores.
...it is both playful and studied, something incredibly hard to achieve. Well worth a closer look.
These are drones with an intellect.
The sharp bites of fingers crashing against the piano’s keys put against high pitched whirrs of the violin take you on a incredible journey through suspense and terror.
Nico Muhly has an intriguing creative mind; [Drones & Violin is] an interesting work and yet another addition to his diverse back catalogue.
Muhly’s versatility has been commented on plenty at this point, and this series finale is yet more ammunition.
Muhly challenges his compositional skills rather brilliantly and creates three intensely captivating series of compositions.
What is noteworthy here is the way songcraft repeatedly emerges from tension. Muhly’s explorations never fail to find something worthwhile.
Drones is a necessary acquisition for anyone interested in Muhly’s work outside pop.
...Nico Muhly’s pieces feel like a series of archly posed questions. In their formal inventiveness, love of blank space, and haiku-like neatness, they arouse the part of your brain that suspects it’s being outsmarted…To feel your intellect being playfully, patiently tested, as if he is circling your mind and kicking its tires, can be a wonderfully maddening experience.
“...the best thing I’ve ever heard of Muhly’s…”
One of the most impressive aspects of these pieces is the variety of relationships that unfold between the “solo” instruments and the drones…beautifully despondent.
“...the latest from this brilliant, boundary-pushing composer [...] is post-minimal virtuosity, sometimes rollicking in nods to the likes of Rzewski, sometimes static sculpture, sometimes rock-and-roll. It’s, vitally, never timid.”
A hugely rewarding album that’s surely set to be one of the finest modern classical releases of 2010.
..it’s the sheer variety of the invention, and the soundworld created for it, that holds the attention…
Throughout, Muhly realizes some magical effects
In a transfixing exploration of the sung voice’s possibilities, he draws on Icelandic myth, English folklore, 17th-century church politics and royal superstition. It is never less than fascinating.
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