Roy Budd still figures as a master when it comes to composing a sound that sticks. In the 70’s he cut a dash as the musical pen behind the ‘Get Carter’ crime film that starred Michel Caine and although Roy Budd compiled 13 sound tracks for the British Blockbuster it was ‘’Carter Takes A Train’’ that is perhaps the one we all herald the most. As a prolific digital piano player and composer Roy Budd was able to get under the skin of his audience; synchronising scene and score alike with eerie, low-flung motifs that teased the listener and made for a gripping thriller. Performed live by Roy Budd and his jazz trio; no less than three electric piano sounds were laid simultaneously to manuscript and accompanied by a minimalistic ensemble of double bass and percussion. Today, Honda hold the ‘Power Of Dreams’ in their hand as Roy Budd held his pen; with the firm grip of the Cinematic Orchestra’s rendition of Budds ‘’Carter Takes A Train’’ rolled out to Dali-style setting.
Roy Budd -ing Artist
London-based ganster Jack Carter is played by Michael Caine who travels from Manchester to Newcastle to investigate the events that surround his brother’s murder. As Carter is seen contemplating his moves, an elongated harpsichord motif played on digital piano that chimes with an overdose of reverb is played across the bar and soon establishes the compelling figure before us:
B D-, C# A-, B D- E- C# A- etc
Trained To Thrill
The digital grand piano strokes and double bass riff links us to the train journey as Carter sits reading his book and the locomotive chugs to the syncopated twangs of the Roy Budd rhythm:
E B D D# E, B DBDE etc
Percussion by way of tabla and cabasa add a potent ‘twist’ as both the plot and texture thicken. The middle eight is played out by a Wurlitzer EP-200 digital piano sound that delivers an a improvisatory, more carefree feel to the so far calculated precision of this Roy Budd rollercoaster ride. The Carter conspiracy is further accompanied by the return of the original harpsichord motif and improvisations on the Wurlitzer digital piano.
Illusions By The Score
As the train pulls into Newcastle station, the table decreases its speed and Carter alights from the train to the fragmented sounds of the harpsichord theme.
Similarly, Honda makes the ‘’impossible possible’’ as optical illusions befall us by the score. But be under no illusion; our Roy Budd-ing composer is an original.