By David Oliver
You might recognize this haunting tune as the start of Scarlett and Gunnar’s musical career from ABC’s “Nashville” pilot.
But to Aram Rae, who co-wrote the song with John Paul White from “The Civil Wars,” it was an early foray into writing music with another artist. Rae was living in Savannah, Ga. when she met a producer in Atlanta named Rusty Cobb.
“I had never written with another person before and [Cobb] suggested that I meet this guy John Paul White,” Rae says. “We just met up in Atlanta and that was the second song him and I wrote together. We did it in like 2008 I think, 2007?”
This was all before “The Civil Wars” even started, and the duo later covered it, sang it and released it on a live album.
“I don’t know what music supervisor, but they went to ‘The Civil Wars’ and told them what they were looking for and asked for a suggestion,” she says. “They don’t really have any other songs that they cover – they write all their own stuff, but they suggested this song which was very nice of them.”
Despite the song’s plum feature, Rae has yet to watch the scene.
“I still haven’t seen the show. It’s thrilling hearing somebody else do your music, but it’s so different from me musically how they ended up doing it,” she says. “It’s almost a different language in the style that they re-created it in. I don’t think that I would’ve benefited the situation.”
If Rae could be any character in film or TV, she’d be in Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill.” “She’s a beast and she’s also graceful and tender. She’s a mother. She fights the most challenging of scenarios and still keeps her heart. I think it’s a great metaphor for life,” Rae says.
She adds re: the “Nashville” scene, “If it were like a Quentin Tarantino film or something I would have been all about it.”
Rae says that background music plays a very important role during scenes, citing “Twin Peaks” as an example.
“It’s the most pivotal, intangible emotion,” she says. “It causes fear in a scary scene, or sentimental softness in an emotional scene. It can change your heart in two seconds toward something…It can cause suspense once you have a definite tone together, and then those tones relax themselves into something beautiful. It’s like the David Lynch scene at the beginning of ‘Twin Peaks.’ It sounds very suspenseful and then it sounds full of love and color. It’s fascinating.”
Rae would love to have her music appear in film or TV again, and maybe even appear herself. “As long as I felt comfortable and wasn’t wearing a banana costume or something – but maybe that would be comfortable and fun (laughs).”
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