Friday, September 23, 2011

Pat Metheny - A Map of the World

The soundtrack to the Sigourney Weaver/Julianne Moore film A Map Of The World features an acoustic guitar-based score written and performed by Pat Metheny. Along with his complete score for the film, the album also includes 25 minutes of expanded versions of the movie's music. The title track, "Fall From Grace," "Outcasts" and "Homecoming" reflect the film's bittersweet tone. - by Heather Phares, AMG

Pat Metheny is a true musical poet. His score to Jane Hamilton's "A Map of the World" does something remarkable - it conjurs up not just the feeling and atmosphere of the book; it actually seems to address the central meaning and essense of forgiveness that makes this story one of the modern miracles of literature. As someone who has loved this book since it was released in the mid-90's, I was concerned when I heard that they were making a movie of it. I saw the movie the other night, and it is excellent. But the highlight of the film - and a major component of it's success is this hauntinly beautiful, truly deep music. Although there are comparisons to be made with Metheny's "Beyond the Missouri Sky", this music is far more substantial. There are several musical themes, especially the title theme melody, which appear regularly throughout this suite, that are some of Metheny's absolute best ballads. The harmonic ambiguity of the first piece on the record (you really cannot tell what key it is finally going to land in, it keeps modulating so much) sets EXACTLY the right tone for the protaganists (Alice Goodwin) mental state. And the basic sound Metheny is getting here out of his acoustic guitars is simply breathtaking - this man has the best touch of any acoustic guitarist in the world right now. But the most impressive aspect of this music is the excellent orchestral writing and overall scope of the music. The piece "Gone" has to be one of the most truly heartwrenching pieces of music writing since Mahler, or Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I always enjoyed the sections on Metheny's "Secret Story" where his guitar improvisations were mirrored by his orchestral conception - but here it seems to be more concentrated on a single aspect - that of a kind of very simple, but as mentioned before, ambiguous harmonically, kind of "Americana" that resonates as true to not only this story - but to the feeling of this time in American Life. If you are looking for the "virtuosic" Pat, he is actually here - there is no other guitarist I can think of who can render such detail harmonies out of a guitar and make it sound SO SIMPLE - which is the mark of true virtuosity. No, there are not a million notes a second, or those kind of catchy tunes that his regular group is known for. But for sheer beauty, originality, depth and soul, "A Map of the World" may contain Metheny's best work to date. - by Shane Brown,

Artist: Pat Metheny
Album: A Map of the World
Year: 1999
Label: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 66:37

1.  A Map Of The World 5:38
2.  Family 2:09
3.  North 4:19
4.  Home 0:42
5.  Sisters 4:08
6.  Childhood 1:26
7.  Fall From Grace 2:37
8.  Memory 0:55
9.  Gone 6:31
10.  Flight 0:54
11.  Alone 1:21
12.  Outcasts 1:30
13.  Sunday 1:38
14.  Discovery 2:34
15.  Acceptance 1:15
16.  Realization 1:23
17.  Soliloquy 2:52
18.  Night 2:00
19.  Sunrise 0:51
20.  Resolution 3:46
21.  Pictures 0:21
22.  Patience 1:22
23.  Transition 0:52
24.  Reunion 1:17
25.  Renewal 1:53
26.  Homecoming 3:25
27.  Forgiving 4:36
28.  Holding Us 4:08
All compositions by Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny (Acoustic Guitar, Piano and Keyboards)
Steve Rodby (Double Bass)
David Samuels (Percussion)
Gil Goldstein (Conductor and Orchestrator, Organ)
Sara Cutler (Harp)
Victoria Drake (Harp)
Virgil Blackwell (Bass Clarinet)
Melanie Feld (English Horn)
Elisabeth Mann (Flute)
Sheryl Henze (Flute)


  1. Thank you very much itr. I'm curious about this one.

  2. thank so much, just love this !
    best wishes from lisbon



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