For Carter Burwell’s Birthday

Photo by Chianan Yen: Carter Burwell, 2001

You might know Carter Burwell’s music but not his name. He wrote music for nearly all of the Coen Brothers’ movies (e.g. Fargo, True Grit), much of the Twilight series (‘Bella’s Lullaby’), and many other films.

Mr. Burwell first hit my radar in 2002, when I purchased the DVDs for Being John Malkovich and The Man Who Wasn’t There on the same day. The menu-loop music for both DVDs was jaw-droppingly beautiful. I checked the credits and found that both pieces were by the same composer. I sought out the soundtrack albums and loved them. Burwell’s soundtracks are now permanent fixtures on my iPhone music player.

He is also a smart essayist and runs an excellent website (with free music downloads and samples) called The Body.

You shall know a man by his works. What we know about Carter Burwell is that he has a lot of soul.

Music by Carter Burwell (four favorites out of many):

Malkovich Shrine and Embarcation, from Being John Malkovich (1999):

I Met Doris Blind, from The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001):

SeDuctIon, from Fur (2006):

Opening, from Moving Gracefully Toward the Exit (2006):

Photo of Carter Burwell (2001) by Chianan Yen

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