New York, NY (May 13, 2004)–Michael Montes, composer/creative director/co-founder of music/sound design house Sacred Noise, has again brought his distinct composing skills to bear on two new independent films, America Brown and Belle, which premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Written and directed by filmmaker Paul Black, America Brown is a warm coming of-age drama about a high school quarterback, still coping with the untimely death of his older brother and the pressures of West Texas football, who journeys to Brooklyn in search of answers.
“The music is very emotional and dreamy tinged with pathos and sadness, it’s not dark but there is a sense of sadness in it,” said Montes, who worked very closely with the director. Montes ended up using a string ensemble, piano and acoustic guitar. “The challenge for me was doing a lot of musical experimenting. I wrote a lot of pieces, more than we would ever use, played them for Paul and after detailed discussions I moved forward from there.”
A short film directed by New York-based filmmaker Ruth Sergel, with whom Montes collaborated previously, Belle is a fable of old age and beauty. For the music, Montes took his inspiration from traditional Klezmer style music.
“Klezmer music is filled with a lot of spirituality and joy,” explained Montes. “I did a lot of research was able to find some early recording made in the 1900s and that’s what inspired. Listening to those records helped me understand the tonality, instrumentation and the spirit of it all. Some of music is rollicking and fun and other parts were a bit more moody and dreamy.” The music, which was recorded live, featured tuba, clarinet, cello, violin and trombone.