Larry Groupé
 

Director Comments

 


Straw Dogs

When Larry Groupé and I first got together to discuss the score for the remake of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, we decided on using film noir films as our musical inspiration. The movie was intended to be big and ballsy, in your face—and part of that was going to be accentuated by a like-minded musical bed. And, sure enough, when we put it in the first pass of our film, it was filled with brass and strings—the music was there.

But then something happened, as it always does with Larry and his music. It became his own. This isn't unusual with great composers, I think. Every director sits with the composer of a film and throws around antecedents for the composer to consider. That's because most of us are not musically oriented. We don't know what we're talking about, so we attest towards what we do know. But then, the great ones, the ones like Larry, ask you to let them do something original—absolutely original. And that's what Larry did.

The score to Straw Dogs is bold. It is ballsy. But it also comes from both the mind and the heart of Larry Groupé. The film has a distinct melody—one that never lulls you but is also impossible to forget. It is filled with strings and brass but in a combination that is, I think, unique. When you listen to it, you'll note that there isn't a phrase in the entire score that isn't memorable. The music not only serves the emotions of the film but also serves as a memory of the film itself.

Rod LurieDirector/Writer



The Contender

Larry Groupé's skills as a composer, his ability to grab a movie by its balls and turn it into an artistic endeavor beyond anything one could previously have conceived of, is uncontroverted. There are just a few musical cues in The Contender and they therefore stand out—each one its own charismatic gem. What Larry is able to do is not only take a scene and help find its emotional rhythm but also make that one cue part of the film's overall texture. His work is variegated to the degree that one cannot pigeonhole the specifics of his musical skill. His versatility, which I hope is evident in The Contender, is what makes him stand out. I would not say that he has a specific style—for I suspect that in Larry Groupé's mind, style amounts to self-plagiarism. The only thing you can be sure of getting when you hear a Larry Groupé score is that it will be different from anything you have heard before and that it will serve the master that is the film.

Rod LurieDirector/Writer



The Search for John Gissing

Larry Groupé's score for The Search for John Gissing, for me, gets better and better every time I listen to it. Part of this is the waft of memories it brings back of working with Larry on the film and the recording with the Missing Gissing Orchestra. But by and large it's the appreciation of the music: a jazzy, eclectic, Henry Mancini-meets-Dave-Brubeck-high-on-laughing-gas feel that is strongly peppered with original, strong, sharp comedic musical tones. This unique sound not only bolsters the story in the film, but also, while driving in the car or sitting at home, can't help to force out a smile. With a lot of hard work and frustrating experimentation Larry has forged a perfect sound which ultimately lead us to the cadence and timing, heart and soul of the film. Again, in my opinion, a near perfect score and a fantastic piece of work.

Mike BinderDirector/Writer



Out of the Black

Working with Larry Groupé was awesome. Why? Because Larry understands the function, art and language of film music. He realizes that film music should be seen as well as heard. He has a subtle but effective sense of character motivations, story arches and plot points. All this in addition to his boundless musical talents. So what did I do? I gave Larry my movie and told him to feel his way through it. Several weeks later what Larry gave me was the most inspiring, poignant, exciting piece of film music I've heard in a long time. I remember thinking just after the live recording session:"We should submit this for Academy Award contention."

Karl KozakDirector



Gentleman B.

I knew I wanted something in the evolution of a classical score that would allow room to experiment with techno. Our process was fairly simple and there was little revision. Basically, he got it! The mix of rap, Christmas and even edgy techno, along with all the live musicians, gave the score its compelling thread. Larry's music brings attention to the movie, not the instruments. And yet, there are still wonderful riffs and sequences which allow the score to explode. There's a rock and roll editorial to a well designed story-score filled with character themes. I've always wanted to work with a musical artist who can bring a richness that is reminiscent of the great composers, but sign it with his own name. Larry's signature is all over it.

Jordan AlanDirector



Deterrence

Larry's music does exactly what it must: it raises the level of a movie's game. It doesn't create emotion, but punctuates it. If you think about the wide array of emotion in the human spectrum, his ability to capture a precise sense of joy or tragedy, exhilaration or desolation is a talent that only the greatest in the business have in their arsenal. Larry Groupé will soon enough officially enter the pantheon of the finest composers in the world. An Oscar or two lies somewhere in his future as will the immortality of some of the most profound music I have ever heard created for the cinema.

Rod LurieDirector/Writer



I Woke Up Early The Day I Died

Larry Groupé's ambient hymns create a melodic melting pot both scary and funny, sad and ironic, connecting you directly to the splintered psychology of "The Thief". As I Woke Up Early The Day I Died was an invitation to dance for a variety of talented artists, Larry rose to the occasion under the natural parameters and pressures of independent filmaking. His dedication and great creativity was truly a gift. Thank you, Larry!!

Billy ZaneStarring Role/Producer



Deviants

The composition on Deviants was a part of the project we were very concerned about, as a different style of film, we were unsure of what direction the score would need to travel in. Larry was able to get a true sense of what I was attempting visually and relate it to the score. I was surprised at how he was able to grab onto the feeling of the film from the start; we had very few score changes from that of what was presented.

Devin DeHavenProducer/Director



Short Subject Scores, Volume I

Shakin’ All Over
Larry is just like his music: professional, elegant, and dramatic. He provided a new and important dimension to my film.

Dominique FormaDirector

4 Second Delay
Larry Groupé is a dream for a director. His music captures any essence a film's story requires and he does it with a style and verve that exists at the highest level of music composition. His work is memorable—when the film is over it is impossible for the melody to escape your mind—but still subtle enough that it does not threaten to overwhelm any moment from the movie. Groupé is also a producer's dream. He works with a speed and efficiency that is so consistent it seems almost impossible. The best thing that can be said about Groupé's work is that it is demonstrative not just of a man who loves music, but of a man who is insanely in love with film.

Rod LurieDirector/Writer



Raven’s Blood

Larry was instrumental in pulling the entire movie together through his gorgeous, sumptuous, dramatic score. He was able, through thematic ideas, to bring focus to a number of different elements in the movie. I feel his score is one of the highlights and strong points of the entire film.

Molly SmithDirector

 

 

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