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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Intrada: new Small twofer

Intrada Announces:

The Driver/The Star Chamber
Composed and Conducted by Michael Small
Intrada Special Collection Volume 33

Intrada is proud to present another Special Collection volume dedicated to the music of Michael Small. Following Intrada's recent release of his score to Black Widow are two more thrillers from the vaults of 20th Century Fox.

The Star Chamber (1983), written and directed by Peter Hyams, tells the tale of an idealistic, albeit disillusioned, young judge Steven R. Hardin (Michael Douglas). A colleague (Hal Holbrook) persuades him to join a secret society of like-minded jurists: the Star Chamber, meting out rough justice to criminals who, they believe, have slipped from the righteous clutches of the law. Initially willing to go along, Hardin swiftly feels his integrity challenged and his doubts building — and when he balks -- finds himself a target of the robed vigilantes.

The Driver (1978, from writer/director Walter Hill), stars Ryan O’Neal as a laconic getaway specialist whose expertise is stunningly displayed in three dazzling car chases through the mean streets of downtown Los Angeles. Hot on his trail is a rogue cop (Bruce Dern), who concocts an elaborate scheme to trap the wheelman. Assisted by two mysterious women, The Driver is forced to use his wits as well as his reflexes to keep a car-length ahead of the law.

Michael Small puts his painstaking, eccentric all into both scores,producing his trademark musical juxtapositions: shivering strings, bursts of echoing brass, the synth used as no one else could manage — it's all here. In The Star Chamber, Small introduces a stately, measured judicial fanfare as the wheels of justice turn, which he then subverts as those wheels come off the rails. In The Driver, he takes a chance remark (Bruce Dern referring to Ryan O ’Neal as "a cowboy") and spins it into a lovely musical trope: a delicately countrified theme for the character of the Driver that tenderly uses keyboards with a touch of slide guitar.

While producing this album, CD producer Nick Redman discovered far more music than was utilized in the release versions of the either film. In THE STAR CHAMBER, much of the music is dialed-down to the point of almost subliminal effect. In THE DRIVER, Small's score has been trimmed to virtual non-existence.

Intrada features The Star Chamber from the original stereo elements in excellent condition, and The Driver in its original mono format.

This release is limited to 1200 units. In stock now. For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit