Ed at Eleven: Suite From the Score for the Motion Picture

Another piece I wanted to share. This is another collaboration between myself and Mr. Gerry. As I edit the novel based on the score based on the screenplay, I continually return to this piece for guidance. Rob did a great job, and this music has put me back on the right track with Ed more than once.

From Rob’s program notes:

Ed at Eleven: Suite from the score for the motion picture (2010)–commissioned by Adam Gallant for the UNH Brass Quintet

This piece began in 1999 when Kristopher Kelly, myself, and coworker Keith Leonard decided to come up with a movie story instead of calling strangers to ask them about their cable service. Kris wrote a screenplay, but the story has evolved since (soon to be a novella, Kris?). The casting of the young, quirky, yet mainstream leading lady has changed with the times; Christopher Walken is still the obvious villain. Rob Gerry plays the hero, as he is more dashing than ever. Here’s some promo copy to whet your appetite:

Ed at Eleven (synopsis by Kris, summer 2010)
Ed (Rob Gerry), a news anchor with the secret ability to push his eyeballs out of their sockets, discovers he is happiest when sneaking into places no one wants to go. He stuffs himself in his own oven. He breaks into his dentist’s office and sits in the operating chair. He crawls into a coffin buried for centuries and sleeps with the dead. A young camera operator, known only as the Girl of Smiles (played simultaneously by Ellen Paige, Thora Birch, and Christina Ricci), begins stalking and soon falls for this local man of mystery. She’s on the run from entrepreneur, social gadfly, and self-help leader, Imayen Fosurat (Christopher Walken), who believes the key to happiness is not having any choices. When Imayen discovers the Girl of Smiles’ secret love, he hatches a plan to destroy Ed. As Ed prepares for his biggest job ever–breaking into an abandoned prison to spend an evening in an electric chair–the Girl of Smiles must face her inhibitions, reveal her secret love, and prevent Imayen from turning Ed’s dreams into a deadly trap. (96 mins. Rated R for bloody violence, strong sexual content, and language.)

So that’s the story. The music is a collection of tunes and themes that had been sitting around for a long time. Some of them were written with the score in mind, others were not. But I think I’ve found logical, pleasing places in the sequence for these other tunes, and writing effective transitions was a fun challenge.

One musical element I’d like to point out is the “Ed at Eleven” motto or theme: E-D-A-B. E, D, A are obvious enough; the B comes from the set-theory protocol of labelling B as 11. This theme occurs throughout the piece, both melodically and harmonically, literally and in transposed forms (the evening news fanfare uses just these four pitch-classes). The following is a series of possible scenes that could correspond with the music I’ve chosen.

-Overture/Ed’s Theme (Ed in oven–cut from bulging eyes close-up to Ed in anchor chair)
-11 o’clock With Ed (evening news cliché cue)
-Daydream 1 (Ed’s mind drifts during a report)
-Commercial Break: Fosurat’s Mango Salsa (mariachi music)
-Daydream 2/The Girl at Home (The Girl remembers dancing while watching Ed on TiVo–her music blends with the commercial music; commercial ends)
-Our Man (Alone) On the Street
-Club IF (Ed gets jumped OR Imayen plots with henchmen)
-Daydream 3/Ed Gets the Girl (Ed gets out of trouble. Don’t ask me how. But it’s a happy ending.)

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