Composers: Michael Edwards & Patrick Cassidy
This is the final scene of the film. No dialogue or sound fx, The music alone carries the story to it’s conclusion.
The innocent priest is shot dead. We immediately see a series of vignettes of the main characters. The challenge was to carry the spirit of the priest, the ongoing legacy of his sacrifice on to the everyday activities of the people he leaves behind. I composed this film with Patrick Cassidy. I used the basis of his theme for the priest as the starting point for this scene.
I divided the scene into 3 sections and played the piano in free time over the scene over an hundred times until I got the timing and intent just right. I felt it had to be played live in one take with lots of rubato, to give an integrity and unity to the various vignettes as a single unforced emotive gesture. I orchestrated it after this was harmonically and melodically mapped out.
His spirit is initially echoed by the choir, but the audience is in shock. The piano then fills the cinema with silence between each phrase as we digest what just happened. The downbeats synced not to the cuts but to each character coming into centre focus. The screen fades to black and returns. The story is not over. His legacy is resurrected by a final redemptive conversation that we must give voice to one our own.
The camera pans through the prison. I stripped out all harmonic movement and chord changes to prolong the tension and emphasise the final resolution. Portraits of two characters pickup up a phone across prison glass. The strings swell tightly on the cut of her picking up the phone.
I recorded the strings with a 16 piece chamber section of the RTE concert orchestra. Live players with lots of vibrato. Chamber string orchestra 16 players mixed with samples from VSL for added depth. A technique I like to use, get’s the best of both worlds of individual articulation and ensemble warmth.