Stephen Edwards

Cool Dog

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Composer Stephen Edwards, whose previous efforts include Finding Rin-Tin-Tin, returns to the children's canine film genre with Cool Dog. In fact, he acknowledges that the score recycles some of his Finding Rin-Tin-Tin music, noting that director Danny Lerner cut Cool Dog to a temp score with some of the Finding Rin-Tin-Tin cues, which were then retained in the final score. For the new material, Edwards employs the Scoring 101 approach of establishing a motif for his main character, the dog Rainy ("Theme from Cool Dog"), then returning to it with different instruments in different moods throughout. That provides a unifying element for children, especially very young ones, who may worry about the fate of the dog as it makes its way from Louisiana to New York City to rejoin its family. Of course, the danger will never overtake the pooch, and Edwards further soothes young worries by introducing deliberately goofy, cartoonish elements in such cues as "Raney in Train" (that's right, they can't seem to decide how this animal's name is spelled in the CD packaging) and "Bug the Exterminator," the latter including electronic sounds. Like many current film composers, Edwards mainly employs an orchestra, in this case the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, but augments it, especially in the more suspenseful moments, with synthesized sounds, particularly percussion, as in "Mayhem Flour." Naturally, all ends well, and Edwards' music returns to his theme in its warmest manifestation ("Raney the Hero") before going out on with a Spanish flourish ("Bullfighter").