Max Rubell

Storytelling Through Music

Music for film, television, web content, video games, advertising, and other creative media.

Please:Reply (excerpt)

Media: Film

Instrumentation: Strings, Harp, Guitar, Piano, Vibes

Showcases: Underscoring & Character Development


Underscoring is tricky business.  The music has to be gentle enough to make it seem as though the music is stemming from the character, rather than being imposed on her.  But on the other hand, it must be decisive enough to add something to the scene (or else why have it in the first place?).

In this scene, the music subtly eggs the protagonist on — it encourages her whimsy, her humor, her motivation.  A frequently indecisive key center is used in the sections where her mind seems to ramble.  But when she fixates and finds her train of thought, the tonal center becomes established and the instruments start to "groove".  In other words, the instruments mirror her stream of consciousness with absolute precision.

A vibraphone is used to mimic the "spark of thought" (it strikes and then it rings).  The other instruments, a pizzicato (plucked) string section, harp, guitar, and marimba, reinforce her "bubbly" personality.