Rolfe Kent

dashes

The montage that opens every episode of Dexter is an interesting example of how showing every day images from certain angles can make innocuous actions suddenly look like potential crime scenes. Paired with composer Rolfe Kent‘s creepy theme full of Asian and European instruments like a ukulele, bouzouki and saz, Dexter‘s open is the perfect way to prepare to dive inside of the mind of a serial killer who ties his shoes just like you or me. But the violent images in the open (and the show itself) also bleed into Dexter‘s score as created by composer Daniel Licht. Dexter (Michael C. Hall) prefers a surgical approach when dealing with his victims, and Licht reflects this preference in the show’s score by taking surgical instruments and turning them into musical instruments that pair surprisingly well with the more classical orchestration. Using scissors and knives as percussive elements helped Licht give Dexter the ominous feeling that something sinister was constantly lurking in the background. If you ever wondered how all these different sounds come together on the show, Licht created a behind-the-scenes video to show how he created the sound of Dexter. You can see how Licht shifts from conducting an orchestra of classically trained musicians to create bone-sawing percussion that makes you feel like something isn’t quite right.

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The “Coffee Talk: Composers” panel is always a highlight of my LAFF-ing each year and this year may haven taken the cake as it not only featured my number one composer from last year (Mr. Cliff Martinez, thanks to his outstanding scores for Drive, Contagion and The Lincoln Lawyer), but it also began with panelists Martinez, Rolfe Kent (Young Adult), and Michael Penn (Girls) breaking out into an impromptu performance of the Lawrence of Arabia theme with Martinez on djembe, Kent on ukulele, and Penn on theremin. These odd instrument choices made it clear from the start that this was a lively group and the discussion would prove to be just as unpredictable. Moderated by BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross, it was apparent from the start that this trio all have a great deal of respect for one another, but it was hard not to notice the good-natured competitive tinge to their respective relationships as well. Read on for the ten things I learned during this year’s composer panel.

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