In My Sleep/Conrad Pope

October 18, 2011

I compare Conrad Pope to Hugo Friedhofer because as orchestrators they were in such demand. While Pope was being wooed by Williams and Desplat, Friedhofer was wanted by Steiner and Korngold. The amazing thing about all of this is when it is all done there are six different styles and each is unique. Friedhofer and Pope could orchestrate so Waxman could sound like Thomas Newman!

In My Sleep was a first composer release for MSM of Conrad Pope in 2009. The recent release of The Presence caught my attention and I immediately wanted to hear more. Yes this reviewer is a year behind but I am catching up!

Co-produced, directed and written by Allen Wolf, In My Sleep is a thriller dealing with parasomnia (a blackout during sleepwalking) that creates tension and mystery for the viewer.

The Main Title opens with a quiet background of strings and the flutes offer a motif of five notes with the piano answering them back. The strings become disturbed as there is a sense of urgency. Tinkling and blowing wind sound send us to the second melody, a romantic one from the piano with fluttering flutes. Finding Gwen opens with staccato strings, a horn motif, pounding timpani and overall this is very urgent music. Night Music is a romantic cue for solo piano, very brief but quite melodic. The same melody is repeated in Distant Dream and the end of the Going Home track. Before we hear the romantic theme the track over four minutes offers some dreamy material with fluttering flutes, piano, and major chord material from the violins. The flutes give it a James Newton Howard sound. Nightmare Begins starts with an eerie lower register statement from the violins complemented by the flutes and percussion. There is an extreme urgent passage from the strings which quickly ends and the remainder of the cue is very creepy. There is a hint of Psycho strings. The Morning After offers a flute and clarinet in a sad offering. The theme is one of yearning and very slow moving. Funeral like opening quickly turns to tension, very low register sound with excellent rhythm in Gwen at the Cemetery. Nightmare Begins starts with an eerie offering complemented by the flutes and percussion. Extreme urgency from the strings turns very quiet as a creepy offering is played by select strings. The Finale is like the dawning of a spring day; a cue where the symphonic arrangement is lush and romantic. Just as you’re lulled into a sense of relaxation the rock band offers the theme song In My Sleep performed by Damesviolet. This is a typical loud twangy tune with the phrase in my sleep repeated a hundred times. Not my style but the younger generation I’m sure like it. Horns who have a bit of a holiday on this soundtrack offer a Herrmann sounding harmony with urgent strings backing them for Underwater. The remainders of the tracks are more underscore with flutes playing an important role in the music.

I certainly like the way Conrad tackled this score. He achieved the mood he was looking for without having to resort to loud dissonant passages and approached it in a Herrmann sort of way. While much of it is underscore without thematic material it is very easy to listen to. As noted there are some lovely melodic passages as well.

Track listing


Main Title (02:31)


Finding Gwen (01:49)


Night Music (00:59)


The Nightmare Begins (03:03)


Morning After (02:20)


Gwen at the Cemetery (02:22)


Doubts (02:23)


Blood Drops (02:27)


Police Search (01:36)


The Second Nightmare (03:33)


Visions of Father (00:45)


Awkward Date (02:49)


Justin’s Plea (01:17)


Triangle Park (02:01)


Hiding the Knife (02:57)


Arrest (01:17)


Going Home (04:10)


Phantoms (00:20)


Panic (02:07)


Faceoff (02:54)


Confession (01:35)


Home to the Truth (01:28)


Remembering Father (04:43)


Showdown (02:47)


Underwater (01:00)


Desperate Resolution (01:48)


A New Beginning (00:53)


Distant Dream (00:47)


Reconciliation (Finale) (01:24)


Theme Song – In My Sleep* (03:36)
performed by Damesviolet

Total Duration: 01:03:41


Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony

CD# is MMS-10007


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: