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Livin' Man Song From "Owl Creek"

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Published on Feb 22, 2010

Excerpts of the tune "Livin' Man" and a couple of instrumentals from the French-made 1962 short film "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Adapted from a 1890 Ambrose Bierce short story, the film won a number of international short film awards, and also appeared as an episode on the original Twilight Zone TV series. The end credits of the Twilight Zone version list only Henri Lanoë as the source of the music. In the end credits of the original film, Henri Lanoë received top-billing for the music, with the names of five musicians who contributed listed below his name. According to imdb.com, Lanoë -- assuming this is the same Henri Lanoë -- has been a busy man within the film industry, contributing not only to composing, but also editing, acting, writing and directing. See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0487030/

The French title for An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is "La rivière du hibou." Under that title IMDB lists the names Kenny Clarke and Henri Lanoë for the category "Music by." A separate listing for "Music Department" lists the names Cley Douglas, Robert Escuras, Jimmy Gourley, Jean-Marie Imgrand and Kenny Clarke. This is the same list of names that appear below Lanoë's name in the original film's end credits. Both Gourley and Escuras were jazz guitarists. (The late Gourley can be seen performing in 1987 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_J31... ). I haven't yet been able to find any information about Douglas or Imgrand.

As for Clarke, he was an American jazz musician who resided -- and eventually died -- in France. See http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/... for more information about him. Videos of Clarke performing can be found here on YouTube. Check out Clarke sharing beats with drummer Kenny Clare in 1970 at http://youtu.be/gyyWZGqJa9I?t=3m2s He was an outstanding drummer, so it's likely he provided the rapid snare work that accompanied scenes of a condemned soldier fleeing through the woods in Owl Creek. Clarke was also a composer, writing a number of jazz tunes, and also the score for at least one other French-made film besides Owl Creek. An article about Clarke at http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/art... mentions -- as referenced from The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz -- he wrote music for the Owl Creek film, which mirrors the "Music by" credits at IMDB. Whether Clarke wrote (and possibly sang) any of the Livin' Man song is unknown.

The Owl Creek episode is actually part two of an exceptional 1962 trilogy of short films by director Robert Enrico called "Au coeur de la vie" ('In the Midst of Life') which have fortunately been posted on YouTube by Nick Palmer. If you'd like to watch the whole trilogy, which after all is the way it was intended to be viewed, part 1, titled "Chickamauga," can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIKdPC...

Part 2 -- the Owl Creek installment excerpted here -- can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuP5kU...

Part 3, titled "The Mockingbird," can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8_2s8...

Nick Palmer also includes a link ( http://houseofmirthandmovies.wordpres... ) that provides detailed info about the complete trilogy.

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