Music Composed, Produced and Conducted by:
Howard Shore
Co-Produced by:
Michael Tremante

Orchestrated by:
Howard Shore



Cello – Jennifer Culp
Clarinet – Mark Nuccio
Harp – Stacey Shames
Piano – Ethyl Will
Trumpet – Robert Sullivan
Viola – Henry Dutt
Violin – David Harrington, John Sherba
Vocals – Patricia Kilgarriff
Clarinet (uncredited)
Recorded by:
Jim Bruening, John Wriggle
Music Mastered by:
Jonathan Schultz
Coordinated by:
Chris Rinaman

Virgin (France)

Released Date:






 ' LOVE will find out the way - but we find that Shore immersed in the ocean of free atonality '


         I have a vague memory about the story of this film since seeing it several years ago, but strongly impressed by Howard Shore's boldness in film composing that incorporating unfavorable ways of narrative, provided that, of course, his friend, the director David Cronenberg has offer numerous desirable opportunities. For the music of Spider, the constituents in the orchestration, the combination of instruments - a string quartets, piano, harp, trumpet, clarinet, female vocal engender a eerie, gloomy mood that sustains throughout the whole film, and even the beautiful, old British folk song had been transformed into a obscure and ambivalent nostalgia. Just as what the film itself would have implied, the music may not need to be too structural in form, and the only theme composed by Shore, which represents the main character, namely, Spider, his soul, is never played by any other instrument except the piano; parts of the performance of the song - Love Will Find Out the Way, by vocal or trumpet, become musical collages which reverberate distantly, by contrasting, in his memories.

         In "Kitchener Street", the prolog is sensible that the theme played by piano is intertwined by the counterpoint of the Harp, which may suggest the element of the mother, and the next segment, its repetition, is then accompanied by the strings, which reveals a queer plot underneath to be disclosed. The track "Mrs. Wilkinson's Kitchen" is succinct but amusing, reflective of the dialog between the protagonist and his mother; its design, which includes three phases, can be characterized as follow: 4-2, 4-2(1 chord), 4-2, 4-1(harp) | 4-2, 8-2, 4-pause | 6-3(3 chords), 6-pause, 6-pause, 6-pause. A pair of the hyphen connecting the two numbers or a number and a word depicts a vivid dialog between the two, in which the number stands for the number of notes; the first one is the mother, while the second is the other. And, the second is even chorded, replaced by the mother, paused in the three different phases. In addition, the emotion is also rendered by the sharp and the flat.

        While, the string quartet plays the backbone for the fourth track "Gasworks"; though we can hear the recurring theme by the piano with its harp accompany and a appearance of the clarinet, they still gradually grasp the dark side of this scene, whose culmination is achieved by the overtone via these strings. The same mood continues with the next two track - "Hieroglyphics" and "Spleen Street", except that Shore produced some synthesizer sounds - including crow barkings, and a intensification of the uncanny by the trumpet for the latter. When the music moves on to the following piece, "Mrs. Cleg", we can notice that it more or less sounds like a mini string quartet ornamented by the trumpet. Then, In "The Dog & Beggar" and "The Allotments", the song was alternatey revoked by the female vocal, trumpet, and the clarinet; for the both, the clarinet has a dialog or mutual imitation between the strings and the piano, respectively, and the piano part is a variation based on Spider's theme.

        It is near the end of this album that we can hear two pieces of brighter temperament - "The Earl Of Rochester" and "Infected Memory", while we can still sense some kinds of uncertainty and pity. The last track "Fade To Black" is actually the end credit which repeats the mother's theme, the piano performance of the song, and the mini string quartet.

        The score to Spider proceeds like a chamber work, but less coheres with some concrete musical ideas, variations and layers; it spreads as an essay, but its textures engage the minds of the listeners. Still, one can perceives the vein which stretches from his "Se7en".

(Oct 26th, 2015)


Track Listings:

  1. Love Will Find Out The Way (3:20)

  2. Kitchener Street (1:21)

  3. Mrs. Wilkinson's Kitchen (0:50)

  4. Gasworks (4:20)

  5. Hieroglyphics (2:34)

  6.  Spleen Street (3:43)

  7. Mrs. Cleg (3:30)

  8. The Dog And Beggar (3:06)

  9. The Allotments (2:38)

  10. The Earl Of Rochester (3:56)

  11. Infected Memory (3:20)

  12. Fade To Black (3:31)


Total Time:   36:42