- Friday, Jan. 25, 2019
Found Objects, the New York-based music production studio founded by composers Jay Wadley and Trevor Gureckis, celebrates its fourth consecutive year at the Sundance Film Festival. The award-winning collective heads to Park City with a trifecta of projects that highlight Found Objects’ far-ranging capabilities, with their sonic contributions spanning original composition, music supervision, music clearance and licensing.
Premiering in the Next category is Rhys Ernst’s Adam, the Transparent producer and director’s long-form debut, featuring an original score by Jay Wadley. Based on the novel by Ariel Schrag, Adam is a coming-of-age story set in 2006 in Bushwick, NYC. The film follows its titular character, an awkward teen spending his last high school summer with his big sister, who throws herself into NYC's lesbian and trans activist scene.
Drawing inspiration from the sounds of Young Marble Giants, Broadcast, Ariel Pink and Brian Eno, Wadley’s score for Adam utilizes vintage synths, drum machines and washed out guitars, all run through cassette tapes and vintage tape saturation to achieve its lo-fi aesthetic. Adam adds to Wadley’s robust credits as a composer and music producer, which include the original score for Lionsgate’s Indignation, Anonymous Content and Plan-B’s Netflix series The OA, and the Emmy-nominated Vice on HBO documentary Raised in the System featuring Michael K. Williams.
Deft music supervision by Matt Nelson is on display in One Cambodian Family Please For My Pleasure, from TNT’s Shatterbox series with Refinery29. Sundance continues a hot festival streak for the short film by writer/director A.M. Lukas, based on the true story of her mother’s experience as a Czechoslovakian refugee starting a new life in Fargo, North Dakota.
Working with the team at Refinery29, Nelson leveraged his deep musical knowledge to source an authentic piece of Czech music for the film. “The songwriter Karel Kryl is considered the Bob Dylan of Czech folk music,” explains Nelson. “We approached Kryl’s widow and best friend, who felt as passionately about the film as the crew did, which is why they allowed the license to clear.” Music composed by Britta Phillips propels the narrative along, before Kryl’s “Andel” lifts the movie away into the end credits.
Executive Producer/Music Supervisor Jennie Armon tapped into her decades’ worth of supervision experience to facilitate clearance and licensing for the third Found Objects-touched film on the docket. In Fainting Spells, director Sky Hopinka constructs an imagined myth for the Xąwįska, or the Indian Pipe Plant - used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.
Armon says, “I came across the Fainting Spells excerpt online and it struck me very deeply. It artfully combines striking imagery and Native Indigenous lore. Coincidently, Sky needed help with music licensing and clearances, and we took it from there.” The result of that serendipitous connection led Armon to secure pieces of music including “Go My Son” by Carnes Burson, “Cantos Marinos” by Ramiro Ramirez and “Summer Sleeper” by the filmmaker himself.
Found Objects has had a presence at Sundance for over half the company’s lifetime, with a record three films screening this year. Each project has pushed the creative powerhouse forward, facilitating their growth as the team continues to entrench itself in the world of film while earning the most coveted awards in the advertising industry, including Cannes Lions, Clios, AMP Awards, and Webby Awards.