The Music of Bruce Kaphan The Music of Bruce Kaphan The Music of Bruce Kaphan
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Pelican Dreams
the Soundtrack Album

Pelican Dreams Montage

Pelican_DreamsOver the course of my life, I've spent thousands of hours playing musical instruments, writing music, and working as a recording engineer and record producer. My favorite projects are the ones which allow me the freedom to exercise all of these skills simultaneously. For me, inevitably, this has led to an attraction to making music for picture. A few years ago, after hearing from a number of sources about a movie we shouldn't miss, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, my wife, Michele, and I watched it. We were both mesmerized by the film. There were many things I really liked about it, but the thing that impressed me most was the quality of the filmmaking—the effortless, economical, organic and forthright storytelling. I've had a couple of minor Hollywood film scoring gigs, but mostly I've found it nearly impossible to get film scoring gigs. Here though, with The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill filmmaker Judy Irving being local, and with the film being so unHollywood, I thought why not try to contact her and offer my music up to her for future possibiities? So I did. I sent her my first solo album, Slider—Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar. Months went by. Being no stranger to rejection, I had pretty much forgotten about having sent Judy the album, when one day she contacted me and asked if it would be okay if she used a track in a film she was working on. If I recall correctly, she indicated that she had "temp'd" (jargon for editing a piece of music into place as a temporary placeholder to most likely eventually be replaced by score to be written for a particular scene) and that she liked how it was working. That piece was Arc of Flight. The film was about pelicans. Of course I said yes!

One thing led to another, and soon I wrote my first cue specifically for the film, a cue which went with some absolutely gorgeous slow motion photography shot at dusk, with a beautiful red-orange-pink sky. The images were so beautiful that the piece nearly wrote itself. In just a few hours, I was really pleased with what had just happened. I sent the piece to Judy and our working relationship began. Eventually the scene I had scored, which Judy was calling Pink Sky, would be shortened, and so the music cue also had to be shortened, but parts of the cue made it into the film—the main piece of it to survive accompanies the final scene before the end credits.

Working with Judy was pure pleasure from start to finish. On top of being a consummate artist, she's a thoughtful and kind person as well as a keen collaborator. Lines of communication were always open and easy. I enjoyed the process of working on this film immensely, and I learned a lot about pelicans and the people who have devoted their lives to helping wildlife. As such, I decided that 10% of the proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the place where Monte Merrick and Laura Corsiglia work, The Humboldt Wildlife Care Center/ in Arcata, CA.

For more information on Pelican Dreams, please visit Judy's website:

Please note that the music that you hear when you open this page is a montage of excerpts from the soundtrack album. This album includes most of the cues that were used in the film, as well as score that was written for the Kickstarter Trailer. "Bonus Tracks" include remastered versions of the full length songs Arc of Flight and High Desert from my album Slider—Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar, from which a few of the cues evolved. Also included in the bonus tracks are cues that were written and produced for Pelican Dreams, but for one reason or another weren't included in the final version of the film.

Bruce Kaphan

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Bruce Kaphan
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