The Ballad of Buster Scruggs with Carter Burwell
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a six-part Western anthology film, a series of tales about the American frontier told through the unique and incomparable voice of Joel and Ethan Coen. Each chapter tells a distinct story about the American West.
Carter Burwell has composed the music for more than 80 feature films, including Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, Velvet Goldmine, Being John Malkovich, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, In Bruges, Burn After Reading, Twilight. Most recently he wrote the music for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Wonderstruck, and Goodbye Christopher Robin. His theater work includes the chamber opera The Celestial Alphabet Event, and the Mabou Mines productions Mother and Lucia’s Chapters of Coming Forth by Day. In 2005 he developed a concert work for text and music titled Theater of the New Ear, presented in New York, London and Los Angeles. The text, by Joel and Ethan Coen and Charlie Kaufman, was performed by a dozen actors including Meryl Streep, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hope Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The music was performed by the 8-member Parabola Ensemble, conducted by Burwell. His dance compositions include the pieces The Return of Lot’s Wife, choreographed by Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, and RABL, choreographed by Patrice Regnier. He has performed around the world with his own ensembles as well as others, such as The Harmonic Choir.
His writing includes the essay “Music at Six: Scoring the News Then and Now,” published in the inaugural issue of Esopus magazine in 2003 and reprinted in Harper’s Magazine in 2004, and the essay “No Country For Old Music” in the 2013 Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics. Burwell has taught and lectured at The Sundance Institute, New York University, Columbia University, and Harvard University.
Carter Burwell has been an SCL Ambassador since December 2012.