Saying Goodbye to Mom (pages 163-173)
Part three of my continuing attempts to score my novel Husk using other people’s music. Yes, other people’s music. I didn’t pick up a guitar and jazz-noodle something. Neither will there be LaBeoufian claims that I might have written the pieces myself. I don’t need that kind of press. I am not a celebrity! Man, sometimes people just make it way too easy to make fun of them.
In a way, this is very much a classic deathbed scene, albeit one where there is no bed in sight. Our hero Sheldon is visiting his zombie-infected mother at a care facility in Arizona. Arriving in the dead of night, Sheldon escorts his drooling mombie (I’m copyrighting that term, just so you know. You owe me a nickel for reading it.) out to the desert where he plans to…
To do what, exactly? I don’t wish to give too much away, but the scene, at its bones, is set thusly:
- a conflicted yet grieving child,
- a disease-riddled mother,
- a desire to end the visit as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Could be a Lifetime movie-of-the-week starring Valerie Bertinelli and Shirley MacLaine. Could also be a fairly unnerving scene in a zombie film. You choose whichever you want, I won’t judge.
As with part one of this ongoing (and likely endless) series, I have gone to the Clint Mansell well again. What can I say? I dig the man’s minimalistic style, particularly when it comes to film scores.
This piece, “The Nursery,” from Duncan Jones’ brilliant sci-fi film Moon, isn’t as emotionally wrenching as part one’s choice of this theme from Requiem for a Dream, but it retains Mansell’s signature blend of repetitive themes and hypnotic construction. It almost sounds like a child’s music box, but it’s layered with darkness. There is a sense of loss that permeates the melody, one that I believe perfectly compliments Sheldon’s internal struggle as he tries to remember something about his mother other than the bad, bad times that have stained their relationship.
And go watch Moon. It’s freaking wonderful.