Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Quiet American [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
In adapting Graham Greene's tale of a love-triangle set against the political intrigues of '50s Vietnam, director Philip Noyce didn't shy away from the novelist's unsettling, still-timely subtext: That America has historic... more »
In adapting Graham Greene's tale of a love-triangle set against the political intrigues of '50s Vietnam, director Philip Noyce didn't shy away from the novelist's unsettling, still-timely subtext: That America has historically fomented acts of terror to justify intervention. Composer Craig Armstrong responds to that challenging dramatic landscape with a musical score of carefully measured tension and brooding elegance. The composer's main theme sets the tone, infusing longing string passages with nervous, synthetic percussion and the vocals of Hong Nhung to produce music that subtly transcends boundaries of geography and genre. The solo piano version of his main theme recalls Thomas Newman's evocative work, with its spare, bittersweet melody hanging hauntingly in the air. Armstrong's compelling cues may be rooted in orchestral scoring traditions, but they are injected with bracing doses of contemporary production and arranging touches that give the story a crucial sense of timeless parable. --Jerry McCulley
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o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 03/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Full of forboding, as the times and the setting of this story surely were, this soundtrack to the masterpiece film is a superb achievement. The story concerns the decaying European presence and lurking American infiltration as the tragedy in Viet Nam began its climactic epoch. The film is based on Graham Greene's novel that set out a parable of how first European and then North American interests set about exploiting the intoxicating beauty that is Viet Nam and her people. As such, it was banned in the US for a long time. Most of my Viet Namese friends read this book translated as "The Sinister American", and so it is.
The music evocatively conveys the intrigues, the languor, the duplicities that flow underneath the surface of this story. Through the music, the incredible voice of Hong Nhung floats in and out, subtley conveying the sense that the Viet Namese are aware and counting out time until the moment is pregnant.
Viet Namese singers like Hong or Huong Thanh are forces of sublime passion to be reckoned with and Craig Armstrong beautifully and seamlessly integrates and weaves the seductive magic of these voices and the traditions from which they sprang into this compelling soundtrack.
Viet Nam is not all Martin Sheen and Marlin Brando, Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrik. In fact these latter day westerners were just another in the parade of those who woul like to sleep with Viet Nam and walk away self-satisfied. The Viet Namese bid their time. Their cultural take on what happened is advanced by this film and this music."
"Craig Armstrong~Hong Nhung~Metro Voices Choir~Wonderful"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 03/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Craig Armstrong was chosen to score Graham Greene's novel about American's in the Vietnam conflict ~ "The Quiet American", starring Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser and Do Thi Hai Yen. Directed by Phillip Noyce, this film deals with a British Journalist, his girlfriend and an American in the medical field. All become a triangle within a CIA operative, things get sticky but the score by Armstrong is dynamic. Armstrong's opening cue "The Quiet American", theme emphasis the full-fledged love triangle in the middle of Vietnam. Twists of nail-biting intrigue offers danger and suspense with "SAIGON 1952" ~ "THE RITUAL OR REVENGE" and "ESCAPE FROM WATCHTOWER", arrangements, orchestration and performances by Metro Voices Choir are effective in conveying the struggles of the times. Hong Nhung vocals are beautifully traditional within the framework of the score and storyline. Performances on all twelves tracks are haunting with melodic counterparts and underscore.Total Time: 48:02 on 12 Tracks ~ Varese Records 302-066-426-2 ~ (3/04/2003)"