Two Notes That Count
Mica Levi (also known as Micachu) is a new composer to me. She is based in Great Britain and has a band called Micachu & The Shapes, whose latest album was “Good Sad Happy Bad” in 2015. Levi also is noted for her soundtrack for the 2014 film, “Under the Skin,” for which she won Best Composer at the 2014 European Film Awards.
The music is what gets you at the beginning of “Jackie“ This film stars Natalie Portman (Oscar for “Black Swan“) as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and goes from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to his funeral and Jackie’s life alone. The mood begins ominous. You can't quite place it, but as the film continues, you hear that each section of music is based on two adjoining notes, such as G flat and A flat. You realize the composer (Mica Levi) is writing to the idea of two people joined through marriage and a presidency and this is the theme of the story of “Jackie,” also. This behind- the-background idea was also used in the soundtrack for the 2015 film, “Sicario” by Johann Johannsson, who used “Three Blind Mice” as the hidden theme.
The music flows from the Introduction through the car ride into Dallas, the autopsy, dealing with an empty White House, the walk to the Capitol during the funeral procession and the final decisions about the burial site (Arlington and the Eternal Flame.) This is a listenable soundtrack that uses the lower strings, cello especially, as a background and sometimes adds winds (flute) for happiness. As a whole, it is appropriate for a solemn occasion and for remembering.
Mica Levi has put together a group of music scenes, such as “Children,” “Graveyard,” “Vanity” and the ending sequence to the film that also uses a harp. In each piece, there are two notes in the background, usually by cello, against which the other instruments play. Like leaning on a tree for support. These are memories that mark Jack and Jackie in happier moments. As Jackie is trying to keep the memory of a “Camelot” alive for the American people, so she deals with the happy memories of the past and that they will remain there.
Copyright 2016 Marie Asner