Craig Armstrong - The Quiet American
COMPOSER CRAIG ARMSTRONG STUDIES OVER 100 HOURS OF VIETNAMESE MUSIC AND CULTURE TO GAIN AUTHENTIC SOUND FOR MIRAMAX’S THE QUIET AMERICAN.
MICHAEL CAINE SAYS, “I’LL DO IT, IF CRAIG ARMSTRONG DOES THE MUSIC.”
WHO: Award-winning film composer Craig Armstrong. AFI, BAFTA and Golden Globe award last year for “Moulin Rouge! scores his second feature with director Phillip Noyce, Miramax Films’ The Quiet American. Craig Armstong’s reputation precedes him. Michael Caine stated on stage at the London Film Festival, “I told Phillip, ‘I’ll do it (The Quiet American) but only if Craig Armstrong does the music’.”
WHAT: Miramax’s The Quiet American based on the classic novel by Graham Greene. The dramatic murder mystery is centered on a love triangle set against the French Indochina War in Vietnam, circa 1952. It is the story of a veteran English journalist (Michael Caine), a young American (Brendan Fraser), and the beautiful Vietnamese woman caught between them. This is a world where nothing is as it seems- suffused with opium, intrigue and betrayal. The composer re-teamed with director Phillip Noyce for which Armstrong scored The Bone Collector and won an ASCAP Award.
ABOUT THE SCORE: The score combines classical orchestrations with Asian motifs to fully highlight the drama, period and culture of the film. While preparing, Armstrong listened to over 100 hours of Vietnamese music, “You just immerse yourself psychologically in it. It’s almost like method acting. Like any rich culture, the music is diverse. For example, the folk music has a trance-like quality that fit into moments. The score blends East and West because they are inseparable: similar to what was on screen. Vietnamese instruments [Sao flutes, Nhi Fiddles, Ken Oboe] are there in the soundscape. It is a score I am most proud of. For the song, ‘Nothing in this World’ (A song for Phoung),’ I wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics with a famous Vietnamese singer Nhung Hong.”
BIOGRAPHY: Craig Armstrong, a Scotland native and alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music is a sought-after and respected composer and arranger. In the contemporary field, Madonna, U2, Bjork and Massive Attack have benefited from his talents. As a composer, his credits include Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Best Laid Plans, Orphans, Kiss of the Dragon and Magdalene Sisters. Along with film scoring, Armstrong worked extensively with Glasgow’s highly respected Tron Theatre company that led to a variety of classical commissions, most recently for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who premiered his concert work, “When Morning Turns To Light.” As a contemporary musician, his involvement with the band The Kindness of Strangers facilitated a working triumvirate that became one of the most influential in contemporary music Nellee Hooper, Marius De Vries and Craig Armstrong.
recent projects highlights of craig armstrong
- Victor Frankenstein
- It's Nearly Tomorrow