Music Composed by Steven Emerson

THE NINE – Original Motion Picture Score will be released digitally and on CD November 11, 2016. The album features original music by composer Steven Emerson (THE OUTCAST OF BEAUREGARD PARISH, the band True West).

THE NINE is an intimate and unflinching portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto’s South Ninth Street—“The Nine”—a barren, forgotten street in California’s Great Central Valley (the setting for The Grapes of Wrath and Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother). Directed by noted photographer Katy Grannan, the film focuses on Kiki, an effervescent and childlike drifter, whose only means of escape is through her imagination, and whose precarious sense of self-worth hinges on the making of the film. THE NINE never sensationalizes—rather, it is a quiet elegy to Kiki and others living on The Nine, each of whom clings to the possibility of an alternate life. Through Kiki’s brave vulnerability, keen observations of lost childhood, and the fundamental need for connection, the distance between ourselves and the “the other” is erased.

“Throughout the process of writing the score I came back to these questions: What can the music provide that nothing else can? What can it express that isn’t being expressed?” Emerson explained. “There’s a numbness to some of the characters – they’d been in a bad way for so long they were almost mute. I imagined them wanting to scream, howl, wail – let out some deep, visceral cry of desperation. I tried to create that using feedback, dissonance, distortion, to give voice to the pain they had endured for so long.”

Steven Emerson is a composer with a gift for creating just the right vibe for any situation; he possesses a rare sensitivity in crafting sonic settings for visuals. In recent years he’s written music for blockbuster games, for major companies and television productions. In early 2016 Emerson completed scoring The Nine as well as The Outcast of Beauregard Parish, a documentary short by the award-winning team of Jason Cohn and Camille Servan-Schreiber.

Emerson has come a long way since life as a member of the influential Paisley Underground band True West in the 1980s. During his three-year stint with True West, Emerson appeared on the album Drifters (on drums), and then played guitar and wrote tunes for True West’s swansong, Hand of Fate.  After personnel changes led to the band’s demise, Emerson moved to New York City. His six years in New York yielded creative dividends, most importantly Second Person, a feature film written and directed by Emerson that was selected for the San Francisco Film Arts Festival.  In 1994 Emerson relocated to Berkeley, and released his first solo album the following year.

Always exploring and experimenting with sound in Ever Studio, his Berkeley Hills recording studio, these days Emerson finds inspiration close to the home he shares with his wife and their two children. Emerson is also heading up a collaboration with Creative Growth artist studio in Oakland, and is finally preparing for release of an album he recorded in New York in 1992. Precise but unfussy, stylistically open-minded and equipped for expressive lyricism and unfettered thrash, Emerson is a composer for all seasons.

THE NINE will be featured at DOC NYC on Monday, November 14th (6:15PM at the Cinepolis Chelsea 5) and Wednesday, November 16th (2:30 pm at the Cinepolis Chelsea 5). THE NINE – Original Soundtrack will be released digitally and on CD November 11, 2016.


01 Flickering

02 Visible Light

03 Gone Again

04 Absence

05 Dimensionless

06 Banished

07 Mirage

08 Submerged

09 Praise

10 Mystery In Modesto

11 Tunneling

12 Maybe Someday

13 Circumference

14 Off Axis

15 Miles Of Nothing

16 Heat Sink

17 Requiem

18 Facing East

19 Reaching For Light