Rebel in the Rye



Rebel in the Rye

Music by: Bear McCreary

Composer Bear McCreary channels the percussive sounds of the typewriter in his score to Rebel in the Rye, a biopic which explores the world of legendary author J.D. Salinger.  Writer/director Danny Strong brings vividly to life a revealing look at the experiences that shaped one of the most renowned, controversial, and enigmatic authors of our time.


Rebel in the Rye may very well be a score that McCreary was destined to write.  The son of a novelist, the sound of a typewriter has been a companion since he was a child. “The percussive cadence of typewriter tapping has rattled around my brain since I was born,”  McCreary explained.  Scoring Rebel in the Rye gave McCreary the chance to channel those sounds into a rich orchestral tapestry.

Inspired by the images of Salinger typing away at his greatest masterpiece, McCreary opted to use two grand pianos to represent its sound. “The close-up shots of typewriter hammers striking paper reminded me of hammers striking piano strings,” stated McCreary. “The way Salinger sits at the typewriter, blasting off furious finger movements, reminded me of how I sit at the piano when I play.”  A different kind of keyboard— an actual typewriter— makes an appearance as a percussive instrument and can be heard on the tracks “Early Writing” and “Typewriter Drums.”

Rebel in the Rye afforded McCreary the opportunity to write perhaps his most personal score to date. “I am proud to have been a part of Danny Strong’s unique vision of J.D. Salinger’s literary gifts, and to have scored a film of such poignant beauty,”  McCreary concluded.


Last modified: January 10, 2019

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