The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button | Medley | Alexandre Desplat
The score of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button reflects ‘intimacy’. This isn’t a score which beats you over the head with its powerful themes; instead, it’s a score which whispers softly in your ear, forcing you to actually listen to what’s being presented. This is not a score you can simply play in the background while you’re absent-mindedly doing something else. It takes a little bit of effort from the listener to consciously sit and experience the music, to take it all in, and to let it work its delicate magic.
As often the case with Desplat’s music, the main theme is in waltz time, and has a precise, steady rhythmic element around which the ornate instrumental elements dance. Harps, piano, and high strings form the cornerstone of “Postcards”, the beautiful but slightly despondent opening, before it moves off into the slightly more upbeat “Mr. Gateau”, which has the same particular rhythmic center, but is augmented with a slightly bolder tone, with more emphasis on brass and bass, and a touch of John Barry in the percussion writing.
Conceptually, much of the score is a musical depiction of the inner workings of Turing’s mind: Turing is a classic example of high functioning autism, with the stunted emotional but increased intellectual capacity that condition often brings, and as such he is constantly thinking, in a methodical and almost mechanical fashion, figuring out problems and puzzles.
Instrumentation: 3,0,0,0 – 0,1,0,0 – 4perc – synth/pno, hp – strings