"Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the many reasons I have fallen so passionately in love with True Blood has been because of its character development. I want to take some time to discuss a character so strong, so well developed, a character so integral to the story without her the show could not survive. No, I'm not talking about Sookie! This character has been in every episode, every scene, and almost if not every frame of True Blood. The character I turn my spotlight on in this post is.....MUSIC!
You may not even notice her at first, but she is there. She hangs around in the background...off camera, out of sight, but never out of mind. She lays in wait to prey upon the emotions of the characters; fueling their fears, their desires. She builds pressure, creates anxiety, she gets our hearts beating with her deep crescendo as we follow along to her pulsating rhythm.
Music is the soul-the backbone of True Blood, and we have composer Nathan Barr and the many talented musical supervisors of the show to thank. From the romantically haunting strings that permeate throughout Bill and Sookie's love theme to the sinister rattle and hiss of Maryann's theme music in season 2, music and song been established as legitimate vehicles meant to drive the audience into the very heart of the story. Music and film have been partners from the very start. Even silent film couldn't resist the power that music possessed. According to the silent film page on Wikipedia "From the very beginning, music was recognized as essential, contributing to the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues."
If the power of the instrumental score were not enough, the musical department takes it one step further by introducing song, that is music plus vocal performance. It's no secret that every episode title of True Blood comes from a song used within the episode, so it should also be no secret that listening to the lyrics of said song may further inform the viewer to "vital emotional cues" as well. The title song, which plays at the end of every episode may get lost if you don't pay close enough attention. That being said, I offer this challenge...go back and watch your favorite episode. Take note of the title. Watch the episode carefully, looking for themes. Allow yourself to get caught up in the sonic landscape and when the credits role sit there silently and listen. Listen to the lyrics, let the poetry get inside of you. After all is said and done let me know if your insight to a certain character, scene, or the episode as a whole hasn't changed...I bet it has!!
We here at The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern would like you all to raise a glass for this often overlooked, but never underestimated character. Here's to you Music...for your commitment to greatness, for never settling to play a bit part, for never "phoning in" a performance and for always challenging us to look beneath the surface! In the immortal words of Russell Hammond (from the movie Almost Famous) "I dig music!!!" ~ Rebecca