Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Soundtrack Feature: Much Ado About Nothing

Soundtrack of the Month: March 2017

In 2011, during a contractual vacation from working on The Avengers, filmmaker Joss Whedon organized and directed an adaptation of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, shot entirely in 12 days. The film starred actors from all throughout Whedon's career, and was released in 2013. Due to monetary constraints Whedon himself composed the music to the film.

Joss Whedon's career has been filled to the brim with projects heavily influenced by music. His first television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer had excellent score, frequently showcased real-world local indie bands at the often-visited club The Bronze, and even featured a musical episode written entirely by Whedon himself. Many years later he would create another musical with his brothers and sister-in-law, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Nearly every project of his career has been heavily influenced by music in some way.

While Whedon had written songs before for the aforementioned musicals, Much Ado About Nothing is his first ever attempt at scoring a soundtrack. In short, it's enjoyable. It's very string-focused, with other soft instruments, and a subtle yet beautiful companion to the black-and-white, bizarrely genre-bending adaptation of this classic story. The soundtrack features two songs with lyrics taken from Shakespeare's original play, which are performed by Whedon's sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen, and his brother Jed Whedon.

Featured Tracks

Track 1: Main Title – Peaceful. Though, I imagine someone slamming their finger on the piano pretty hard.

Track 6: Sigh No More – Lyrics by William Shakespeare; musical arrangement by Joss Whedon; performance by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. Now that's quite the superhero team-up.

Track 26: Heavily – Now, I know Much Ado is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but it's also kind of a tragedy. And man does Whedon nail that in his adaptation.

Purchase Much Ado About Nothing (Original Score) on Amazon MP3 or iTunes.
Or listen to it for free on Spotify.