Press Release from Caldera:
Caldera Records is proud to present David Shire’s score for the motion picture “Runaway”. It is David Shire’s first feature film score, recorded in early 1961, barely two years after the young composer had graduated from Yale University. Forgotten even by Shire himself, “Runaway” is an obscure debut by the composer who would go on to provide music to celebrated productions such as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation,” Joseph Sargent’s “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,” and David Fincher’s “Zodiac.”
David Shire had been asked by a friend to compose and record original music for an independent, low-budget neo-noir film entitled Runaway. While the film was never distributed, and no details about the project could be unearthed, the original recording tapes were found in Shire’s archive in early 2023. Even the composer himself had forgotten about this obscurity. As he admits: “The arrangements are quite skillful, and I’m surprised I knew that much at that time.” With a project as humble as “Runaway,” a career in film and television seemed far-fetched at the time. Indeed, it took a few more years for Shire to truly make his mark. Instead, he made his living as a rehearsal and dance class pianist through the early to mid-60s while slowly edging closer to what he hoped would be a career on The Great White Way. He subsequently met Stephen Sondheim who introduced Shire to director Paul Bogart. It was Bogart who then hired Shire for the first ever “CBS Playhouse” episode, “The Final War of Olly Winter.” His early television work would lead to bigger and better things for David Shire’s tapes for the “CBS Playhouse” episodes were the perfect audition material. They showed the composer’s impressive range. For “The Final War of Olly Winter,” he was asked to provide a score influenced by traditional Vietnamese music. For “Sadbird,” Shire and Maltby Jr. penned three pop songs, while “Appalachian Autumn” is inspired by the pastoral Americana made popular in the 20th century by Aaron Copland. “The Experiment” is tuneful “muzak,” as Shire himself labels it; whereas “Secrets” is a subdued effort with subtle dissonances and jazz elements, one cue from which was an homage to Burt Bacharach, a lounge piece as source music that was inspired by the legendary tunesmith.
We are pleased to release David Shire’s early works for the first time. Not one note of the pieces contained herein have previously been released in any format.
The 52nd CD-release of Caldera Records features a detailed booklet text by Stephan Eicke and elegant artwork by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was mastered by Richard Moore and produced by Stephan Eicke, David Shire and John Elborg.