Musical Fingerprint
I saw Gone Girl last week. My brother introduced me to the work of David Fincher years ago, and I've since kept up with the director's latest works. When Fincher released The Social Network, it was the first time he collaborated with composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The score was extremely well received, and I was very impressed with what I heard as a very unique style of composing for film. Reznor's music expressed anxiety, urgency, but also simplicity, ambience, and was detailed with full and exotic textures. I heard the musical fingerprint of that composer.

Fincher's next movie was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, also completed in collaboration with Reznor and Ross. The director's most recent film is Gone Girl, and the music was again composed by the same duo. In every film, the music is different, but the fingerprint is there. I can recognize stylistic elements that strike me as characteristic of the composers. It excites me to realize that one's work can grow to develop a signature style, which may someday be classified as a descriptor of one's artistic technique.

Of course, this idea of musical fingerprints goes way back, and also extends to other disciplines. Palestrina had his own style, as did Bach, Mozart, Debussy, and Stravinsky. Same with John Coltrane, John Williams, John Lenon, and John Cage. Vladimir Kush, the painter, has a style of his own, and the writings of Steven Millhauser are easy to identify ownership.

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