29 May 2018
On the Birthday of Erich Wolfgang Korngold
I began scoring “The Unwilling,” a film about a father’s passing and the subsequent reading of his Will as my own Father entered the hospital. He passed away on Father’s Day of 2016 as I was completing the last edits for Jonathan. There are many other SYNCS and back-stories connected to this first collaboration with Jonathan Heap & Phil Morton since the Academy Award-nominated, 1201PM, 25 years ago!
I was excited to compose for an action thriller but also touched by the heart-filled portions of the story. The director encouraged me to follow that layered approach; thriller over action, over the personal story.
In the very first scene they had shared, David the Character and David Lipper the Actor cleans a mirror and touches a photo of his little dog. Somewhere in “David’s” innocent smile was the inspiration for 3 simple notes that became, “OCD, Uno Minuetto per Davide, for String Quintet & Piano.” Even the tempo of the work emanates from David literally “conducting” his life. The 3 notes of the Minuetto spiraled outward and became the entire 70-minute Score, finding final and full summation in “Epilogue from The UNWILLING.” The Musical OCD of the Score, something I consider a single composition, was inspired by the likable character of David, whose OCD becomes his strength. Indeed he overcomes not only his own “boxed in” personal demon but perhaps everyone else’s greatest fear, that of stopping a monster. That and more… is the Musical Journey of the Score.
At the beginning of this End Credit Music, we hear the entirety of the dialogue overlapped and whispered. The inspiration came from the film’s metaphor of a box within a box, a continuous recursive loop. Jonathan Heap, the Director was quick to accept this idea and record the actors during a looping session. This culmination of the screenplay within the screenplay occurs 3 times in the film.
Next, in this more extended cue on Soundcloud, we hear a multi-metered, harmonized fugue. This fugue was once again inspired by the recursive nature of the story. When we finally arrive at the Musical denouement, I faded the cue for this Soundcloud demo. The Director, Actors, Producers, and Collaborators share my hope that you will want to get the recording and the film to experience the entirety of the production.
I very much enjoyed telling the Musical part of this story. I enjoyed the collaboration and the many talented people who came together to offer this work.
To enjoy the rest of the score, please visit iTunes, or get your CD here: cdbaby.com/cd/stephenmelillo6
The DVD/Film is available on AMAZON here: http://bit.ly/Unwilling-AmazonDVD
and on iTunes: http://bit.ly/Unwilling-iTunes
Thank you for listening! Enjoy & Godspeed! S