Journal of Film Music, Vol 6, No 2 (2013)

Archetypes in the Archive: Finding ‘South Africa’ in the Production of Dario Marianelli’s Score for Goodbye Bafana

C. Letcher
Issued Date: 30 Aug 2016

Abstract


Composer Dario Marianelli began the process of scoring Goodbye Bafana (2007), a film that tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s prison life through the eyes of his white gaoler, with several days’ immersion in what he describes as “old field recordings” of southern African music in the British Library Sound Archive. This paper considers Marianelli’s pursuit of a “pure” South African music for the film and closely examines the resulting soundtrack. The asymmetries of marked and unmarked musics, the writing-out of local musical elements in favour of a more generic orchestral film music style, and the signifying properties of reverberation are all explored. I also consider the consequences of a film’s weaknesses, aesthetic and/or political, for its music, and conclude with a constructive example of film music’s dramatic power in transnational cross-cultural music production contexts.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/jfm.30702

References


August, Bille. 2009. Interview by Edmund Raw, “Ischia Global Film & Music Fest Interview # 3: Bille August.” Accessed November 1, 2015. http://es-la.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=133606587928&comments&ref=mf.

Burchell, William. 1822. Travels in the interior of southern Africa, Volume 1. London: Longman. http://dx.doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.100911

Coetzee, J.M. 2002. Stranger shores: Essays 1986–1999. London: Vintage.

Doyle, Peter. 2005. Echo and reverb: Fabricating space in popular music recording, 1900–1960. Middletown, CN: Wesleyan University Press.

Frith, Simon. 1998. Performing rites: Evaluating popular music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gilbey, Ryan. 2007. Whitewashed and watered down. New Statesman, May 14, 2007. Accessed November 1, 2015. http://www.newstatesman.com/film/2007/05/goodbye-bafana-mandela-life.

Gorbman, Claudia. 2000. Scoring the Indian: Music in the liberal western. In Western music and its others: Difference, representation and appropriation in music, ed. Georgina Born & David Hesmondhalgh, 243-253. London: University of California Press.

Harrow, Kenneth. 2007. Postcolonial African cinema: From political engagement to postmodernism. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Hatten, Robert. 2004. Interpreting musical gestures, topics, and tropes: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Heffes, Alex. 2013. Interview by Edmund Stone, “A Conversation with Alex Heffes.” Accessed November 1, 2015. http://www.thescore.org/posts/a-conversation-with-alex-heffes

Kirby, Percival. 1934. The musical instruments of the native races of South Africa. London: Oxford University Press.

Lucia, Christine. 2005. Introduction: Reading South African music. In The world of South African music: A reader, ed. Christine Lucia, xxi-xlvi. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Marianelli, Dario. 2007. Interview by Michael Beek, “Interview with Dario Marianelli: Goodbye Bafana.” Accessed November 1, 2015. http://michaelbeek.co.uk/2012/04/dario-marianelli-goodbye-bafana.

Meldrum, Andrew. 2007. The guard who really was Mandela’s friend. The Guardian, May 20, 2007. Accessed November 1, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/20/nelsonmandela.

Rycroft, David. 1971. Stylistic evidence in Nguni song. In Music and history in Africa, ed. Klaus P. Wachsmann, 213-241. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Slobin, Mark. 2008. Global soundtracks: Worlds of film music. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Thunberg, Carl. 1795. Travels at the Cape of Good Hope, 1772–1775: Based on the English Edition London, 1793–1795. London: F. and C. Rivington.

Tracey, Andrew. 2005. Indigenous instruments. In The world of South African Music: A reader, ed. Christine Lucia, 237-243. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Winters, Ben. 2007. Catching dreams: Editing film scores for publication. Journal of the Royal Musical Association 132, no. 1: 115-140.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy