INTERVIEWER: Are you concerned about what you’d leave behind?
JERRY GARCIA: No, I’m hoping to leave a clean field – nothing, not a thing. I’m hoping they burn it all with me. I don’t feel like there’s this body of work that must exist. There’s enough stuff – who needs the clutter, you know? I’d rather have my immortality here while I’m alive. I don’t care if it lasts beyond me at all. I’d just as soon it didn’t.
Interview, Rolling Stone, 2 September 1993
Written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter
Performed by the Grateful Dead
Photo by Jan Saudek: Children Playing in a Cemetery (1973)
Life is precious, every minute
And more precious with you in it.
Music: Little Person
Written by Charlie Kaufman and Jon Brion
Performed by Deanna Story
Synecdoche, New York (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2008)
Two Tribes (Annihilation Mix)
Music by Peter Gill, Holly Johnson and Mark O’Toole
Performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
12″ single (1984)
Screen capture from the Two Tribes video
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
Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
Music by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (1956)
Performed by Sly & the Family Stone
Photos by Brassaï
Related: Love Songs
It isn’t that in my life I had some inner vision that I’ve been trying to present. I just had the appetite to work. I think the appetite for activity was much more urgent than the realization of any search or vision. I felt that this was my work, and that it was the only work I could do.
This sounds like the most hackneyed nineteenth-century platitude, but in the midst of my own tiny personal troubles, I was able to turn to art, or whatever you want to call it. I was able to turn to art, and in the making of art find solace and strength. I mean, this sounds terrible, but I turned to the thing I knew how to do and I made some songs out of it. And in the making of those songs, much of the pain in my life was dissolved, from time to time. And that is one of the things that I see that art does, is that it heals.
Interviewed by Mikal Gilmore, 2001
Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents (2008)
Music: Minute Prologue (1972)
Kurt just made it seem so easy. He could come up with amazing things every time he picked up a guitar. And he could walk into a room and pick up something like a breakfast tray and just tap it around and in 10 minutes he’d be doing something musical with it that would knock you out. I was completely in awe of the guy. He just made it seem so, so easy. When I started writing stuff it was like – wait a second – why can’t I do what he did?
Music: Ain’t It a Shame
Written by Lead Belly
Kurt Cobain, vocal
Mark Lanegan, guitar
Krist Novoselic, bass
Mark Pickerel, drums
Nirvana: With the Lights Out