Friday, July 17, 2009
Death Rides A Horse with live orchestra!
PORTLAND, Ore. - While the iconography of Death riding a horse may have been introduced in Revelation 6:8 (And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him), it’s certain that very few have attempted to conjure up exactly what sort of musical score would best accompany the Grim Reaper’s equestrian joyrides.
But alas, there are a few here in the Northwest who have dove head first into such a task, and they are the folks at Filmusik.
Ever ambitious, Filmusik has moved from its previous science-fiction efforts with “The Superman Orchestra” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space” to another genre: the spaghetti-western, which is a category of westerns that were filmed in Italy and Spain but released in the United States. In an effort to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, Filmusik has retooled the soundtrack to the spaghetti-western classic “Death Rides a Horse”.
It is the story of Bill (played by John Phillip Law), a man who has sworn revenge upon the men who murdered his family before his very eyes as a child. Along the way, Bill teams up with the mysterious Ryan (played by spaghetti western standard Lee Van Cleef), and the two strike out to settle their respective scores. Along the way, strange and shady people are encountered, many others die in shoot-outs and good and evil collide head on.
Like “The Superman Orchestra” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” “Death Rides a Horse” features an original score, this time composed by Sam L. Richards and Gracin Dorsey of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and showcases the talents of the Opera Theatre Oregon chorus, adding an entirely new component to the score.
Unlike those past two works, “Death Rides a Horse” will feature the film’s original dialogue. According to Filmusik founder Galen Huckins, “We've removed the soundtrack and are using the original dialog in the film.This is dramatically a very serious film and a very well made one. We considered dubbing the film (many of the Italian speaking characters in the film are dubbed for the American release), but we wanted to use the film in its original format given the dramatic strength that it has.”
While respecting the roots of composition for spaghetti westerns, Filmusik’s score utilizes many of the same instruments that composers such as Ennio Morricone used in previous spaghetti-western scores, such as the Tremolo guitar, choir and extensive percussion, while at the same time breaking new ground by using the instruments in different ways than other composers have used them.
Filmusik’s trailer for “Death Rides a Horse” states that, “When you’ve waited 15 years to find a man, it’s a shame you can only kill him once.” Fortunately, if you’ve waited 40 years to see “Death Rides a Horse” on the big screen with an original score backed by a symphony and a chorus, you have two opportunities this Wednesday and Friday at The Hollywood Theatre.
FILMUSIK: Death Rides a Horse
July 15th and 17th
7pm The Hollywood Theatre
Tickets $10 - Students/Seniors $8