“He got an unfair huge slice of the talent pie. I knew he’d do amazing things when I first met him, but this… wow.”
— Bill Hare, Grammy-Winning Record Producer
Welcome to Soundtracks, a collection of some favorite tracks Cory’s been commissioned to write and record for film and multimedia.
A note from the composer... Writing for visual productions is different than writing as a recording artist or musical theatre composer. The music organically becomes more introspective, and often instrumental — a supporting cast member to your protagonist. I hope this album serves as a worthy soundtrack to your day. Track notes are below.
1. The Bad News
A version of this jazz ballad was featured in the Brad Pitt / Robert Redford movie Spy Game, the Jennifer Aniston movie Friends With Money, and several major television shows. It’s one of only two tracks on this album I get to sing on, so listen up and pay attention please…
The Corner Store Suite
These four tracks are from the PBS documentary The Corner Store, a poignant portrayal of a disappearing distinctly American cornerstone — the small-town corner store, unceremoniously being replaced by chain stores. As a performer I was joined by the late great Nathan Rubin on violin.
2. The Corner Store
3. We Got Married
4. Everybody Shopped In Town
5. Haven’t Changed Much
6. Air Force Vectors
I was tasked with creating the soundtrack for a United States Air Force video. They requested a “technological yet masculine” sound. It was macho. It was fun.
The most personally affecting soundtrack I’ve ever written was for Kristen Nutile’s brilliant film, Loss — a personal recounting of her father’s death when she was in her teens. My father also died in my teens, and he even looked a bit like the subject of this film. In many ways I felt like I was writing this music for my own father and experience. Deeply felt.
7. Memories Fade
9. Here’s To Life
10. Go West, Young Man
A very different piece that’s also from the film Loss, this one is anchored by folk guitar and conveys a man’s journey to the West coast in the Mrs. Robinson era 1960s.
11. (The) Sound Of Courage
Another of my all-time favorite commissions, this was composed for the hilarious short film Razzle Dazzle by 3D animator Christian Lowe. He requested “80’s Power Cheese with lots of lasers and thunder” (that is a direct quote). This made me happy, and singing it was an all-too-brief guilty pleasure. The lyrics and tone owe a wink of gratitude to the spirit of Spinal Tap.
12. Green By Design
This is the theme to a film about a maverick environmentalist. “Whimsical and jazzy” and “not heavy or pretentious” was requested to give the film some humor and energy.
13. Police Blotter
This short experimental film needed an unobtrusive but quirky and trippy sound to underscore a journey taking viewers on a drive around the streets as they read the local police blotter.
Secret Mechanisms Suite
Secret Mechanisms was a film about obsessive compulsive disorder. Although it’s the least complex score in this collection, it went through the most drafts, as I was asked to make it sparser and more atmospheric. Simplicity presents its own challenges and rewards.
14. A Particular Order
15. In My Head
16. Secret Mechanisms
Speaking of simplicity, this is the shortest score I’ve ever done. I have affection for it because it conveys a clear mood and space in just a few seconds. The power of music.
18. The Sea
The final piece in this collection was composed for a work of live musical theatre based on the best-selling children’s book The Pout-Pout Fish. The rest of the songs for the show were all vocal musical theatre songs, but this was composed as the environment behind the live interactive sections of the show. Working with bestselling author Deborah Diesen and the production crew of the musical to take kids under the sea was a joy.
Thanks for listening.
— Cory Cullinan
All tracks composed, produced & mastered by Cory Cullinan
Artwork & Layout by Sidney Cullinan
Thanks to the Filmmakers for their inspiration