Rebel in the Rye

Composer Bear McCreary channels the percussive sounds of the typewriter in his score to Rebel in the Rye, a biopic which explores the world of legendary author J.D. Salinger. Writer/director Danny Strong brings vividly to life a revealing look at the experiences that shaped one of the most renowned, controversial, and enigmatic authors of our time.

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Rebel in the Rye

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I was raised by a novelist. My entire childhood was accompanied by the incessant percussive tap dance of my mother’s fingers against typewriter keys. Those sounds flooded back into my mind when I first read Danny Strong’s visceral script for his directorial debut, the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye. I was struck by the story’s focus on the internal struggles universal to all creative people. Though I express myself with notes instead of words, I could relate to Jerry Salinger’s experience. I knew instantly I had to be involved in with this film. This week marks the end of that journey. The film has opened in New York and Los Angeles, will expand to wider markets next weekend, and the soundtrack has just been released by Sparks & Shadows.

Even before he began shooting, Danny Strong felt that one of the composers whose music was relevant to his film was Elmer Bernstein. Hearing that, my agent, Richard Kraft, enthusiastically recommended me, since I was Elmer’s last protégé and worked with him for nearly a decade. Danny was intrigued, but ironically, my own credits – predominantly science fiction, horror and fantasy television – worked against me.  Even I knew I was not an obvious fit for Rebel in the Rye. Determined to convince Danny, I wrote and produced several demos, over the course of six months. These works ultimately served as the creative catalyst for the score. (more…)

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