Easily the most beautifully stark, black and white-shot exercise in redemptive depression that Alexander Payne has made, “Nebraska” abounds with a bitingly dry sense of yokel local humor and poignant remembrance – a poetic sense of whimsy that’s beautifully conveyed in the ersatz western bluegrass score of the Tin Hat-wearing Mark Orton. Sounding far more like a score depicting a cowboy loping across the Rio Grande on his way to the last round up, only to encounter one obstacle after the next, “Nebraska” is full of thematically spare, beautifully oddball magic. Much like those who can only respond to this Don Quixote-esque mechanic who’s more than a few gears short, Orton’s strumming, stripped down approach for strings, Zydeco rhythms, harmonica, horns and a farmhouse full of other rural favorites smiles with sweet sympathy at Woody Grant.” – From Film Composer Magazine
Mark Orton is a composer working in the mediums of film scoring, concert music, and radio drama. He is a multi-instrumentalist, performing on all manner of guitars, keyboards, and percussion. He is the co-founder of Tin Hat, a San Francisco Bay Area based composer/improviser collective with five critically acclaimed albums. He has written scores for dozens of films including The Good Girl, Sweet Land, the upcoming Redemption Trail and Drunktown’s Finest. He has also composed music for modern dance, theater, experimental radio, video/art installation, the circus, and the concert hall. The “Nebraska” film composer joins us for a conversation on how and why he became the musical muse for one of the year’s best films.
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