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Mark Adler scores Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
10-Mar-2006 - Emmy winning composer Mark Adler scores Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing And Charm School for Samuel Goldwyn Films and director Randall Miller. Starring an impressive and diverse cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Donnie Wahlberg, John Goodman, Sonia Braga and Mary Steenburgen, the film is a story about a widowed man's life turned upside down when he embarks on a journey to find a dying man's long lost love. The movie opens March 31 in limited release. Milan Records releases the soundtrack March 21.

Adler took his first inspiration for the score from Robert Carlyle's decision to give his character an Irish accent, which director Randall Miller suggested as a jumping point in developing the score's main theme. Adler and frequent collaborator Sid Page worked together to find a tone on his violin that suggested Irish Uillean pipes. For a number of contemplative scenes between Robert Carlyle and John Goodman's characters, Adler used fragments of the fiddle theme against an ambient backdrop of tuned Tibetan bowls, high and low wind chimes and piano layered with gamelan and muted strings to create a meditative atmosphere. The result is a lyrical score that conveys the memory of first love, and how those feelings can stay with you into adulthood. The romantic sentiment is found in the score's melodic orchestration, played quietly with minimal accompaniment. This emotive score plays in dramatic counterpoint to Adler's re-recordings of classic big band tunes for the film, and a dance band tune he composed for a pivotal scene.

Mark Adler's feature film scores include Paramount Classics' "Focus," based on the novel by Arthur Miller and starring William H. Macy and Laura Dern, with the soundtrack released by Milan Records. He has been a regular at the Sundance Film Festival, having scored over a half-dozen Sundance films over the years. These include the Miramax film "Picture Bride," which won the Audience Award in 1995. Other credits include the Wayne Wang films "Eat A Bowl of Tea" and "Life Is Cheap," numerous National Geographic Specials, and three Oscar-nominated feature documentaries. Recent feature projects include "When Do We Eat?" with Jack Klugman and Leslie Ann Warren.

He also wrote and produced source music for the Philip Kaufman films "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," and "Henry and June," and was involved as a producer in the recreation of indigenous Brazilian music for the Saul Zaentz production "At Play in the Fields of the Lord." He recently composed original music for "The Road To Memphis," directed by Richard Pearce as part of the Martin Scorsese-produced series, "The Blues." This range of experience has resulted in an eclectic musical style, often drawing on jazz, folk, world music, and traditional orchestral idioms. In 1999 he won a Primetime Emmy for his work on HBO's "The Rat Pack," which featured Ray Liotta, Joe Mantegna and Don Cheadle.

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