Tag Archives: MISSOURI




Carter Burwell, is a composer that for me always delivers musically, no matter what genre he is involved with or working upon. His scores for the TWILIGHT movies were in many ways underrated and undervalued, the central theme being one of the most haunting and instantly recognisable to be created in recent years and for the last in that series of movies the composer fashioned a deeply emotional and highly romantic sound which he blended and fused with dramatic undertones and sinister passages. Burwell for me is a contemporary composer who writes in a vintage way and that is not a disparaging or negative statement. He is in these days of the drone like soundtracks of Hollywood a composer who still enlists the inclusion of a melodic theme or themes, which are effective and gloriously affecting, underlining the emotional and the action elements of every project he works on. His more recent assignment, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, is no exception to the composers established body of work. Burwell has a knack of using subtle nuances and sparse orchestration as in utilising solo musical statements rather than expansive symphonic performances to produce delicate and at times touching works. I won’t say that this is the case in every soundtrack he pens because we are all aware that every film is different and requires an individual musical persona to meet its own specifics. Burwell is a Master at creating just the right sound and employing the right style adding colour, depth and that all-important emotion to the movies he works on. His music I suppose is the paint from his palette which he adds to the film which can be likened to a blank canvas. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI contains a light and delicately alluring score, the composer utilising guitar, piano, and what sounds like a mandolin in places, which he embellishes with banjo, woods and a small string section, adding a sprinkling of percussive elements to give the score a dark and more ominous and urgent sound. But it is the piano and guitar that take centre stage and relay a hauntingly beautiful succession of tone poems as in THE DEER, FRUIT LOOPS, SLIPPERS and MY DEAR ANNE, in many ways I was reminded of the subtle scoring style of James Newton Howard in THE MAN IN THE MOON or Rachel Portman’s, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES. This is a wonderfully rewarding listen, and yet another sublimely appealing work from Carter Burwell, and most certainly one to add to your collection.