Track Listing

1. The Runner: Main Title 2:41
2. Meeting David 1:45
3. Snow Warning 0:34
4. Offbeat 1:07
5. History Of The PCT 1:18
6. Support In The Desert 2:05
7. He Spoke To Me 1:00
8. Bermuda Triangle 0:50
9. Running Far 1:52
10. Wrong Trail! 0:18
11. Burden 1:26
12. A New Day 0:43
13. Sunrise 1:06
14. The High Sierra 3:15
15. Nancy 1:08
16. Downstream 1:28
17. Nightmares 0:46
18. Sacrifice 1:12
19. The Arrival 4:27
20. Bonus Track - The Runner Trailer: Music From First Friendship 8:18
21. Bonus Track - Chinango: Love Theme 1:27
22. Bonus Track - Being Hunted 0:44
23. Bonus Track - Into The Flames: Main Titles 2:06
  Total Album Time: 41:36

Review: Runner, The

by Tim Clark July 9, 2007
2.5 / 5 Stars

Cody Westheimer\'s music for The Runner is certainly crowd-pleasing, as evidenced by its Audience Award at the Park City Film Music Festival in 2006. I haven\'t seen the movie, but somehow Westheimer\'s music makes me feel as though I have. It\'s a real journeyman\'s score, its driving rhythms and earthy instrumentation conveying a sense of the ups and downs of David Horton\'s attempt to set a speed record for traversing the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in only sixty-six days. I get the sense that runners especially of the long-distance kind are really going to connect with this music.

It\'s quite a straightforward, traditional score in many ways, relying heavily on a single, strong, central theme that adapts effectively to the emotional demands of the story. The three longest cues the opening \"Main Title\", \"The High Sierra\" and climactic \"The Arrival\" feature numerous airings of the theme, played out in often grandiose orchestral arrangements, and punctuated by percussion interludes that convey the relentless rhythm of a runner\'s footsteps. Thankfully, the theme also lends itself to a more downbeat iteration. \"He Spoke to Me\" is particularly affecting, the flute and oboe duet evoking the Eastern stylings of Joe Hisaishi. It\'s a lovely (if all too short) piece.

And that hints at one of the problems with this release: there\'s not enough score here to leave a lasting impression. The addition of four tracks from Westheimer\'s other projects isn\'t really enough to overcome the fact that the score cues total less than thirty minutes. This is exacerbated by the fact that the bulk of them sound very similar. What\'s here is good, but there\'s not enough light and shade to make for a truly satisfying and memorable listening experience.

There\'s no doubt, though, that there\'s evidence here of a composer with many musical gifts to offer. I certainly look forward to seeing what Westheimer could achieve given a more generous timeframe and budget.

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