A few months ago when I learned that The Hunger Games was being made into a film, even before I thought of actors or a director who I thought would satisfy my then fledgling rabidness for the series, I thought of two people who I believed would be fantastic additions to work on the music for the film. This morning news broke that one of those people is in fact on board, and has reportedly taken the helm as their music supervisor, T-Bone Burnett.
I was in high school when Burnett produced and released the Grammy winning soundtrack to the Cohen Brother’s reinvention of The Odyssey by Homer, O Brother Where Art Thou? I distinctly remember buying my copy of the album that’s still snugly tucked away in a faux leather CD case in the massive bookcase in my bedroom. I searched all over Music Millennium in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, finally finding it and getting a little thrill. At that point I had just seen the film a matter of days before, and was itching to hear what I heard in the theatre again, also the album was already getting buzz in music magazines as being one of the best soundtracks to be compiled in a very long time. Months later the buzz paid off, and it won the Grammy I mentioned above, but was also nominated for a BAFTA, and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award. Needless to say, it’s a damn good album of music.
Years later, 2003 to be precise I became enthralled with yet another album that Burnett took part in, the soundtrack to Anthony Mingella's adaptation of Charles Frazier's American Civil War Odyssey, Cold Mountain. Many people seem to despise this film, which I really don’t understand, but that’s something to write about on another day. Cold Mountain’s soundtrack boasts tracks featuring Jack White, Sting and Allison Krause, as well as a bevy of folk singers specialising in Appalachian style singing and music as well 19th century style Quaker singers. It’s a very stylised gathering of music, that very much so reflects the era in which the film takes place.
What the hell do these two albums I’m obviously a little attached to, have to do with The Hunger Games though?! Easy, The Hunger Games partially takes place in what’s remaining of Appalachia some time in the future, and Burnett with his attention to detail and previous knowledge of folk, blue grass, gospel, blues, rock and roll and country music, is in my opinion the perfect person to compile, arrange and possibly even write songs for The Hunger Games which already has Appalachian style folk songs peppering its pages.
On another note, I literally screamed when I read that he was on board for this job, because it meant that a very far fetched dream of mine had come true.
Other work Mr. Burnett has worked on, Counting Crows August and Everything After, Jakob Dylan's Women and Country, Elvis Costello's King of America, The soundtrack to Crazy Heart as well as the soundtrack to Walk The Line.