Carter Burwell

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Carter Burwell
Born Carter Benedict Burwell[1]
(1955-11-18) November 18, 1955 (age 59)
New York City, New York, United States
Alma mater Harvard College
Occupation Film composer

Carter Benedict Burwell (born November 18, 1955) is an American composer of film scores.

Early life and education[edit]

Burwell was born in New York City, the son of Natalie (née Benedict), a math teacher, and Charles Burwell, who founded Thaibok Fabrics, Ltd.[1] He graduated from King School in Stamford, Connecticut,[2] and Harvard College, where he was a cartoonist for The Harvard Lampoon.

Career[edit]

As a film composer, Burwell has had a long-working relationship with the Coen brothers, providing music for every film they have made (except for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Inside Llewyn Davis, which had folk music soundtracks produced by T-Bone Burnett). He enjoys working with left-field directors, such as Spike Jonze. Among his best known film scores are Miller's Crossing (1990), And the Band Played On (1993), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Hamlet (2000), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), In Bruges (2008), Twilight (2008) Where The Wild Things Are (2009), The Blind Side (2009), and Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011). Burwell wrote and recorded the original score for the film The Bourne Identity, but his version was replaced by director Doug Liman for one by John Powell.[3]

Ultimately the ethos of the punk rock movement gave him the impetus to start performing. He performed in New York with several bands, notably The Same, Thick Pigeon and Radiante. Burwell played in Thick Pigeon with Stanton Miranda; the group released two albums, Too Crazy Cowboys (Factory) and tracks on Miranda Dali (Crepuscule), originally released as a Miranda solo project but later reissued as a Thick Pigeon release. On Burwell's soundtrack for Psycho III, Miranda was a featured singer.

By 1986 he had composed the music for a dance piece, RAB, which premiered at the Avignon Festival. At the same time, he was touring worldwide with The Harmonic Choir, David Hykes' experimental vocal group which specialized in overtone singing.

Burwell used the country music genre as the basis for his score for the Coens' Raising Arizona in 1987. From 1982 to 1987, he worked at the New York Institute of Technology.[4]

His work has alternated between live performance, dance and theatre commissions, and film scoring. His chamber opera "The Celestial Alphabet Event" was presented in New York in 1991 and other theatre pieces include "Mother" (1994) and "Lucia's Chapters" (2007), both with the experimental theatre group Mabou Mines.

In April 2005, Burwell composed and conducted music, performed by The Parabola Ensemble, for the plays "Sawbones" written and directed by the Coen Brothers, "Hope Leaves the Theater" written and directed by Charlie Kaufman and "Anomalisa" written and directed by Francis Fregoli. This was a segment of the sound-only production Theater of the New Ear, which debuted at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY with support from Sirius Satellite Radio, United Talent Agency and Sony Pictures. It was also performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London and as part of the UCLA Live Festival in Los Angeles.

Personal life[edit]

Burwell married Christine Sciulli in 1999.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1984 Blood Simple Joel Coen Circle Films
(original 1985 release)
USA Films
(2000 re-release)
N/A
1985 A Hero of Our Time[6] Michael Almereyda N/A Short film
1985 R.A.B.L.[7] Patrice M. Regnier N/A Short film
1986 Psycho III Anthony Perkins Universal Pictures N/A
1987 Raising Arizona Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
(Uncredited)
Circle Films
20th Century Fox
N/A
1988 Pass the Ammo David Beaird New Century Vista Film Company N/A
1988 The Beat Paul Mones Vestron Pictures N/A
1988 It Takes Two David Beaird Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
United Artists
N/A
1989 Checking Out David Leland Warner Bros. Pictures N/A
1990 Miller's Crossing Joel Coen 20th Century Fox N/A
1991 Barton Fink Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
(Uncredited)
Circle Films
Working Title Films
20th Century Fox (US)
Universal Pictures (International)
N/A
1991 Doc Hollywood Michael Caton-Jones Warner Bros. Pictures N/A
1991 Scorchers David Beaird Goldcrest Films N/A
1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fran Rubel Kuzui 20th Century Fox N/A
1992 Waterland Stephen Gyllenhaal Channel Four Films
Palace Pictures
Fine Line Features (US)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
N/A
1992 Storyville Mark Frost 20th Century Fox N/A
1993 This Boy's Life Michael Caton-Jones Knickerbocker Films
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
1993 Kalifornia Dominic Sena PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Propaganda Films
Viacom Films
Gramercy Pictures
N/A
1993 A Dangerous Woman Stephen Gyllenhaal Amblin Entertainment
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Island World (International)
N/A
1993 And the Band Played On Roger Spottiswoode HBO Pictures Television film
1993 Wayne's World 2 Stephen Surjik NBC Films
Paramount Pictures
N/A
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Joel Coen Silver Pictures
Working Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
(US)
Universal Pictures
(International)
N/A
1994 It Could Happen to You Andrew Bergman TriStar Pictures N/A
1994 Airheads Michael Lehmann Island World
20th Century Fox
N/A
1995 Bad Company Damian Harris Touchstone Pictures N/A
1995 A Goofy Movie Kevin Lima DisneyToon Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
Composed with Don Davis
1995 Rob Roy Michael Caton-Jones Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
United Artists
N/A
1995 The Celluloid Closet Rob Epstein
Jeffrey Friedman
TriStar Pictures Documentary
1995 Two Bits James Foley Miramax Films N/A
1996 Fargo Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
(Uncredited)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Working Title Films
Gramercy Pictures
N/A
1996 Fear James Foley Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
N/A
1996 Joe's Apartment John Payson Geffen Pictures
MTV Films
Blue Sky Studios
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
1996 The Chamber James Foley Imagine Entertainment
Davis Entertainment
Universal Pictures
N/A
1997 Picture Perfect Glenn Gordon Caron 20th Century Fox N/A
1997 Assassin(s) Mathieu Kassovitz TF1 Films
Le Studio Canal+
French film
1997 Conspiracy Theory Richard Donner Silver Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
1997 The Locusts John Patrick Kelley Renegade Films
Orion Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
N/A
1997 The Spanish Prisoner David Mamet Sony Pictures Classics N/A
1997 Girls Night Out[8] Myra Paci N/A Short film
1997 The Jackal Michael Caton-Jones Mutual Film Company
Universal Pictures
N/A
1998 Gods and Monsters Bill Condon Regent Entertainment
BBC Films
Lions Gate Films
N/A
1998 The Big Lebowski Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
(Uncredited)
Working Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Gramercy Pictures
N/A
1998 Velvet Goldmine Todd Haynes Newmarket Capital Group
Channel Four Films
Miramax Films
N/A
1998 The Hi-Lo Country Stephen Frears Working Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Gramercy Pictures
N/A
1999 The Corruptor James Foley New Line Cinema N/A
1999 The General's Daughter Simon West Paramount Pictures N/A
1999 Being John Malkovich Spike Jonze Propaganda Films
Gramercy Pictures
USA Films
N/A
1999 Three Kings David O. Russell Village Roadshow Pictures
Atlas Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
1999 Mystery, Alaska Jay Roach Hollywood Pictures N/A
2000 Hamlet Michael Almereyda Miramax Films N/A
2000 What Planet Are You From? Mike Nichols Brillstein-Grey Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
N/A
2000 Before Night Falls Julian Schnabel Fine Line Features N/A
2000 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Joe Berlinger Haxan Films
Artisan Entertainment
N/A
2001 A Knight's Tale Brian Helgeland Escape Artists
Columbia Pictures
N/A
2001 The Man Who Wasn't There Joel Coen
Ethan Coen

(Uncredited)
Working Title Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
USA Films
N/A
2002 The Rookie John Lee Hancock Walt Disney Pictures N/A
2002 Searching for Paradise Myra Paci N/A N/A
2002 S1m0ne Andrew Niccol New Line Cinema N/A
2002 Adaptation. Spike Jonze Good Machine
Intermedia
Propaganda Films
Saturn Films
Columbia Pictures
N/A
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Joel Coen
Ethan Coen

(Uncredited)
Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
N/A
2004 The Ladykillers Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
The Jacobson Company
Touchstone Pictures
N/A
2004 The Alamo John Lee Hancock Imagine Entertainment
Touchstone Pictures
N/A
2004 Kinsey Bill Condon American Zoetrope
Myriad Pictures
Fox Searchlight Pictures
N/A
2006 Fur Steven Shainberg River Road Entertainment
Picturehouse
N/A
2006 The Hoax Lasse Hallström The Mark Gordon Company
Miramax Films
N/A
2007 No Country for Old Men Joel Coen
Ethan Coel
Mike Zoss Productions
Miramax Films (US)
Paramount Vantage (International)
N/A
2007 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Sidney Lumet ThinkFilm N/A
2008 In Bruges Martin McDonagh Film4 Productions
Focus Features
N/A
2008 Burn After Reading Joel Coen
Ethan Coel
Relativity Media
StudioCanal
Working Title Films
Focus Features
N/A
2008 Twilight Catherine Hardwicke Temple Hill Entertainment
Maverick Films
Imprint Entertainment
DMG Entertainment
Summit Entertainment
N/A
2009 A Serious Man Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Relativity Media
StudioCanal
Working Title Films
Focus Features
N/A
2009 Where the Wild Things Are Spike Jonze Legendary Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
Playtone
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
2009 The Blind Side John Lee Hancock Alcon Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
N/A
2010 Howl Rob Epstein
Jeffrey Friedman
Oscilloscope Laboratories N/A
2010 The Kids Are All Right Lisa Cholodenko Antidote Films
Partizan Films
Focus Features
Composed with Nathan Larson and Craig Wedren
2010 True Grit Joel & Ethan Coen Skydance Productions
Amblin Entertainment
Paramount Pictures
N/A
2011 Midnight Run[9] Neil Shelley N/A Short film
2011 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Bill Condon Temple Hill Entertainment
Summit Entertainment
N/A
2011 Moving Gracefully Towards the Exit[10] Jean-Bernard Andro
Patrice M. Regnier
N/A N/A
2012 Seven Psychopaths Martin McDonagh Blueprint Pictures
Film4
British Film Institute
CBS Films
(United States)
Momentum Pictures
(International)
N/A
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Bill Condon Temple Hill Entertainment
Summit Entertainment
N/A
2013 The Fifth Estate Bill Condon Reliance Entertainment
Participant Media
Touchstone Pictures
DreamWorks Pictures
N/A
2015 Carol Todd Haynes Film4 Productions
The Weinstein Company (US)
StudioCanal (UK)
N/A
2015 Mr. Holmes Bill Condon BBC Films
Icon Productions
Miramax Films (US)
FilmNation Entertainment (International)
Sixth film with director Bill Condon.
2015 The Family Fang Jason Bateman QED International N/A
2015 Legend Brian Helgeland Working Title Films
Cross Creek Pictures
Universal Pictures (US)
StudioCanal (International)
N/A
2016 The Finest Hours Craig Gillespie Walt Disney Pictures Composed with Marco Beltrami
2016 Hail, Caesar! Joel Coen & Ethan Coen Working Title Films
Universal Pictures
N/A

Television[edit]

Year Title Studio(s) Notes
1990 Clash! N/A Theme music only
2011 Mildred Pierce HBO Miniseries
2011 Enlightened HBO Episode: "Pilot"
2014 Olive Kitteridge (miniseries)[11] HBO Miniseries

References[edit]

External links[edit]