Designed to support the film with deliberate discretion, Bobby Johnston’s acoustic score for Mother’s Day is locked onto an unresolved set of triadic motifs and pulsing rhythms, propelling scenes and maintaining a persistent urgency as character machinations keep grinding along towards grimmer situations in Darren Lynn Bousman’s thriller.
Johnston sticks to a sparse selection of chamber strings, piano, string bass, and percussion, although the final cue (“Simpson Remix”) features a wry backbeat, processed percussion and slight electronic effects.
Most of the acoustic variations recur with regularity, minimizing thematic variation on the album, but the score’s persistent rhythms and smooth instrumental additions – piano notes gliding in & out, eerie strings used purely to convey a subliminal discordance (“Mother Plotting”) – are elegantly executed. Johnston’s writing style isn’t minimalism, but he prefers to keep his music in the background, and one senses the brevity and economy of cue lengths reflect an instinct to make a musical statement only when absolutely necessary.
Lakeshore’s album features a crisp recording and tight cue sequencing, and Johnston’s emphasis on subtleties in place of stark musical statements is quite refreshing.
An interview with the composer is also available.
© 2012 Mark R. Hasan