What is this incredibly common piece of movie trailer music?
July 11, 2007 7:15 PM   Subscribe

What is the incredibly common piece of movie trailer music that kicks in at about :54 of this trailer for No Reservations?

It's the sort of sparse, rhythmic, marimba-y piece. I'd also be interested in knowing what other trailers it appears in, and where it was first used.
posted by Rock Steady to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's originally from the score of American Beauty.
posted by mochapickle at 7:21 PM on July 11, 2007

It reminds me of the score to American Beauty. I'll try and track down the album and see if that's it.
posted by eric-neg at 7:27 PM on July 11, 2007

In the comments:
"This trailer is also using music from the soundtrack for American Beauty. Another Thomas Newman composition like the A Series Of Unfortunate Events music used in the trailer as well! The music from A Series Of Unfortunate Events was also used in Michael Moore's film Sicko. Ciao!"
posted by poodlemouthe at 7:28 PM on July 11, 2007

Best answer: The track is called "Dead Already," and it is the first cut off of Newman's American Beauty soundtrack.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:32 PM on July 11, 2007

And I don't think I've been to a megaplex even once over the past six years where this doesn't pop up in some trailer or another -- most examples escape me, but a google search uncovered that it's about 2/3 of the way through the trailer for About Schmidt.
posted by mochapickle at 7:37 PM on July 11, 2007

Response by poster: Right, of course. Keep coming up with other examples!
posted by Rock Steady at 7:39 PM on July 11, 2007

That soundtrack turns up in the strangest places. I think it's great, because I happen to be a big fan of it, and of Thomas Newman's music generally, but I'm afraid it's becoming clich├ęd.

Properly listening to the AB soundtrack (and the Unfortunate Events one, but not quite as much) requires a good sound system, because he uses a lot of very-low-frequency sounds, almost subsonic...it's a good way to test the balance between your subwoofer and your other speakers. :)
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:56 PM on July 11, 2007

For information about trailer music, you want to browse through soundtrack.net.
posted by Dave 9 at 8:22 PM on July 11, 2007

Thomas Newman.

I was just discussing his stuff with a guy that scores for Hollywood and he commented, as Kadin did, about the weirdly muted quality his strings have, and that no one seems to be able to figure out how he does it. I'm a huge fan of Road To Perdition.
posted by docpops at 8:50 PM on July 11, 2007

I met a score composer once around the time that Six Feet Under (with its very similar opening theme) was just coming out. He said that the percussion instrument we hear is not marimba but gamelan.
posted by HeroZero at 9:04 PM on July 11, 2007

wikipedia entry
posted by poodlemouthe at 9:17 PM on July 11, 2007

"Brooks Was Here," from The Shawshank Redemption, is another Thomas Newman track that pops up in trailers a lot...so much so that it was used in the trailer parody Shining.

(Despite its overuse, I find the song enormously moving, perhaps because I first heard it as the background of a heartbreaking Joe Frank episode.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:38 AM on July 12, 2007

I think there are at least one, probably more clones of that Newman American Beauty piece knocking around, though probably more in product advertising than film promotion.

It can be quite interesting when famous pieces of music are cloned in this way, usually a near identical timbre but changes in the precise melody, probably expertly designed to be a reminiscent or confusable with the original as possible whilst keeping copyright lawyers at the door.

Some people have a great ear for a tune and spot the difference immediately, others are unaware of the difference, which I suppose is sometimes the point. This is one piece of music that's been targeted in this way.
posted by nthdegx at 7:45 AM on July 12, 2007

Response by poster: It's actually pretty funny that I didn't at least recognize the composer -- one of the few pieces of instrumental music I have in my iTunes library is the theme from Six Feet Under. I even used its opening chimes as my ringtone for a while!
posted by Rock Steady at 9:14 AM on July 12, 2007

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