Mixtape Mondays: Chase Spruill on Philip Glass’ “Candyman” Score



“I had a pretty normal upbringing as a young kid in a military family, and my one and only flaw (okay, fine, I had many bratty childhood flaws) was that I’d like to sneak and watch really scary movies.  Anywhere.  TV.  Movie theaters.  Turns out I wasn’t nearly as good at sneaking around as I thought I was because, ultimately, so many of them gave me bad dreams.  The movie CANDYMAN was different.  Not only was there this cerebral story commenting on social issues like gang violence, exploitation in poverty stricken neighborhoods and the power of fear over a community, but there was music happening of the likes I’d never heard before.  I came from the era of 1970s, 1980s synthesized soundtracks for horror films, which, to me, always felt a bit random and disjointed with sudden symbol thrusts during slasher scenes with fake, shuttering string orchestra sounds that still make me want to hide my face in shame.  No, this music lay stealthily under the moving pictures on the screen– a choir thrusting repeated indistinguishable syllables under a slowly oscillating organ…the most shattering, mighty, low bass rumblings from the organ’s pedal…and, at last, and perhaps most unusual for a horror film whose main antagonist seems to be wearing a pimp coat the majority of the time, a lonely piano, echoing the most delicate children’s lullaby.  It’s been 23 years since the music of Candyman was in theaters, and this is the first time it’s lived any kind of performance life on stage.  I hope you’ll come and share the evening with Michael Riesman and I when we perform it live at LPR on Jan.26th.  As the venerable director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, and one of Mr. Glass’s closest colleagues, Michael recorded, performed and conducted the music you hear below.  It was fun to be with him as he became reacquainted with the score again.  Enjoy the music of Candyman!” -Chase Spruill

The Music of Candyman:


1.  Music Box

2.  Going to Cabrini Green

3.  Helen’s Theme

4.  Face to Razor

5.  Floating Candyman

6.  Return to Cabrini

7.  It Was Always You, Helen

8.  Daniel’s Flashback

10.  Annie’s Theme

11.  All Falls Apart


Chase Spruill and Michael Riesman are at LPR on January 26th for “Glass & Blood” concert works from the bloodiest film scores by Philip Glass. You can get your tickets here.