Theodore Shapiro's Trumbo
Lakeshore Records will release Trumbo digitally and on CD November 6, 2015. The album features the film’s original score by Theodore Shapiro and classic tracks from Big Jay McNeely and Billie Holiday. TRUMBO received its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and Bleecker Street will release the film in theaters on November 6.
“I had a strong sense of what I wanted the score to sound like but I didn’t know of any other scores that were similar,” said Shapiro, who initially received select scenes from the film before it had been ‘temped’ with anyone else’s music.
The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.
“I wanted the score to refer to the musical language of the period while having a modern sensibility,” Shapiro described. “I wanted to avoid writing a period score that would make the film feel purely historical, and therefore cut off from feeling contemporary and immediate. I didn’t want it to be overly polite. So without having a cut of the movie to work with, I sat down and wrote a suite of music based on what I hoped would work. Jay loved it, and the suite formed the foundation of the Trumbo score.”
“Throughout the score I used dense clusters of harmony, useful both for their tonal complexity and subtle evocation of jazz harmonies,” Shapiro explained. “The main theme of TRUMBO is a simple and haunting theme played on the piano, with dark block chords in the bass and a droning texture of low saxes and electronically manipulated cello. It speaks both to Trumbo’s character and also to the toll exacted by the blacklist— the lives ruined, and the principles of the country compromised.”