Featuring the Original Score Composed By Carter Burwell
(October 26, 2015– Los Angeles, CA) –Varèse Sarabande will release the CAROL – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, available digitally and on CD November 20, 2015. The album features the original music composed by Carter Burwell (MR. HOLMES, FARGO) whose long-standing relationship with the label includes his soundtracks for RAISING ARIZONA, MILLER’S CROSSING, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, and MILDRED PIERCE.
“There is no widely accepted explanation for the importance of music to humans, but one possibility is its ability to express and relieve emotional tensions that can’t be put into words,” explained Burwell. “In Carol, two women are romantically attracted to each other but the culture of 1950’s America hasn’t provided them with a language for this. Expressing these inexpressible feelings is one of the roles of the score in this film.”
Set in 1950s New York, two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in the throes of love in CAROL. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change.
“There are three main themes in the score,” Burwell described. “The music over the opening city scene plays the active engagement and passion of Carol and Therèse. In this scene it’s telling you something about the characters before you ever see them, since they appear for the first time around the last note, but eventually this will become their love theme.”
A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens.
“There is also a theme for Therèse’s fascination with Carol, first played as Carol drives Therèse to her house,” Burwell continued. “This is basically a cloud of piano notes, not unlike the clouded glass through which Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman occasionally shoot the characters. This piano texture required a little studio magic so the left and right hands of the piano could be processed separately – the left disappearing into a cloud and the right still distinct enough to carry a melody.
While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) threatens her competence as a mother when Carol’s involvement with Therèse and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) comes to light. As Carol leaves the comfort of home to travel with Therese, an internal journey of self-discovery coincides with her new sense of space.
“The third theme is about absence and loss. Its fullest expression is the montage after Carol leaves Therèse and tries to explain herself in a letter,” said Burwell. “It’s the best example of the use of open intervals such as the fourth, fifth and ninth, to veil sentiment. The hearts of both women are broken, but rather than play the pain the music plays the emptiness.”
The Weinstein Company presents CAROL in theaters November 20, 2015. The Carol – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on Varèse Sarabande, will be available digitally and on CD November 20, 2015.