Tag Archives: synchronicity

Olive Kitteridge Music & the synchronicity of chord changes

The new HBO series “Olive Kitteredge” is great television, and the music, composed by Carter Burwell provides a lot of the moody atmosphere for the show.:
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/CarterBurwell-OliveKitteredgeTheme.mp3|titles=Olive Kitteredge Main Theme|artists=Carter Burwell]
But I was sure that I’d heard the main theme music before, or something very similar to it. It nagged me all day and then I remembered: The song “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack, used for the theme of the British crime drama “Luther.”

This is also, in the form of a Gui Borrato remix, used in a 2011 car commercial in the United States.

This is a really simple chord progression:
F minor, A flat Major, C Major, E minor diminished.
ParadiseCircus

But quite evocative. You can never know for sure whether Burwell had heard the Massive Attack song, and incorporated that core chord sequence, or if he came up with it independently. I’m reminded of the Axis of Awesome’s “40 songs, same chords” performance:

Trailer for “Olive Kitteridge”