The Old Man And The Gun [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Varese Sarabande Records / First Score Music Ltd
Daniel Hart has his own thing going as a solo artist, member of bands and touring/recording component for other artists as a multi-instrumentalist trained in classical violin. In recent years he’s turned his hand to the world of movie scores – with great skill. And he first really interested me with his music for A Ghost Story (I’ve yet to see the film but loved – the score).
But his score for The Old Man And The Gun is something else. I started listening to it long before I saw the film (the movie is only okay, but worth experiencing to really feel and hear and see the soundtrack as not just a driver but almost ‘a character’ within the film).
The Coen-lite caper drew reasonable notices for a strong cast and the announcement that it was Robert Redford’s final curtain. But really Hart’s score was the thing I went in for. And it had been one of my favourite listening experiences before I even saw the trailer for the movie.
So, what’s so great about it? Beautiful sound design and production – instantly immersive, all encompassing. But it’s reminiscent of the jazzy evocations of the great Michel LeGrant or even of some of Alan Broadbent’s arrangements. Beautiful brushed drums, sometimes you’ll hear something late-night-sax about it (Freeze Sailor) that’s comparable to the great moments on the Blade Runner soundtrack, other times a bit of classical guitar against sweeping, cinematic strings (Keep On Pushin’) but it’s the ruminations of piano against bass and drums that do it for me (West St. Louis Toodle Oo) and the space between the notes (The Diner – Part One).
Much of the movie is told in constant flashbacks and dialogue-driven, the music is enhancement talent.
It’s been one of my favourite albums to listen to – and that was long the case before I saw the film. So feel free to just buy into this as music, not merely soundtrack-music. It’s a score, yes. It floats beautifully, works perfectly. But it achieves that rare dream of the exact same notes and notion away from the images it was created for. I look forward to whatever Hart does next.
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