Mychael Danna’s The Ice Storm

Mychael Danna’s The Ice Storm: A Film Score Guide
(Mera, M.)

Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm is a film of striking significance, which achieved widespread critical acclaim for its well crafted and superbly acted study of suburban morality in 1970s America. For the film, composer Mychael Danna created one of the most distinctive scores of the 1990s, one that constantly challenges perceptions of the form and function of film music.

In Mychael Danna’s The Ice Storm: A Film Score Guide, Miguel Mera explores the music and sound Danna uses in his score, investigating the narrative, structural, and aesthetic themes of the film and illustrating the techniques and stylistic features central to Danna’s music. Mera carefully examines the collaborative processes that influenced the score’s development, describing the significance of the composer’s relationships with the director, producer, editor, orchestrator, and sound designers to the evolution of the score and demonstrating how the politics of filmmaking interact with creativity. This seventh volume in Scarecrow’s Film Score Guide series also includes a biography of Danna and a complete analysis of the full soundtrack considering the sound design, pre-existent pop songs, and the specifically arranged song by David Bowie in conjunction with Danna’s fascinating score, making this essential reading for film music scholars and students.

Read Chapter 1 (PDF file, 44kb in a new window)
Read Chapter 4 (PDF file, 268kb in a new window)

Mychael Danna’s The Ice Storm: A Film Score Guide, by Miguel Mera, Scarecrow Press (2007)

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“…this guide offers a detailed examination of the score created by Mychael Danna for Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed The Ice Storm (1997). Mera (Royal College of Music, London) begins by discussing Danna’s musical background and highlighting some of his main techniques and stylistic features. He then provides a brief overview of the film and describes the score’s evolution through subsequent stages of its composition. In the final chapter, he considers the aural features of the completed soundtrack.”