Friday, May 24, 2024

"The Engagement Party"

Framed Sexual Chocolate poster

Yesterday I shared one of the most unique Christmas gifts I've ever received - an original poster from the movie "Coming to America," starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It was sent to me by the film's brilliant director, John Landis. John taught me a lot about storytelling during the making of "Coming to America," which was my first major orchestral film score.

Tomorrow I'll talk about some of the comedic music, "Soul-Glo," "She's Your Queen to Be," and "The Royal Penis is Clean," but today I want to share what Landis taught me about storytelling through music: Completely know the characters and the reasons for their actions because the music must heighten the story's emotional reality. This is the story of a fictional African prince who goes to America to seek his perfect bride.

When scoring the film, I always had to consider our main character's Africanism - but also understood that most people's idea of a royal ceremony is based on English pomp. The music had to be both familiar and unique.

When "The Engagement Party" guests arrive, I treat them as though they're going to Buckingham Palace. The guests look elegant and refined - sophisticated and comfortable - even though the palace was in the middle of the Zamundan jungle instead of central London.

What I came up with is a cue called "The Engagement Party."

"The Engagement Party" - The original orchestral session on a cassette that's been missing since 1987


Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in Coming to America

Film Director, John Landis

Soul-Glo promotional poster

The Engagement Party guests