Alex Baranowski’s hypnotic soundtrack to BBC’s stark comedy drama Rain Dogs.
Described by The Guardian as a “bleak, beautiful comedy drama which skewers the grotesque realities of class and sex inequality like nothing else”, the eight-part series features a stellar cast – Daisy May Cooper as Costello Jones, Fleur Tashjian as her daughter, Iris, Jack Farthing as Florian Selby, Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo as Gloria, and Adrian Edmondson as Lenny. The merciless drama was co-produced by the BBC with HBO. Written by the brilliant writer-producer Cash Carraway (Skint Estate, Killing Eve, The Durrells, I May Destroy You) and directed by Richard Laxton (Effie Gray, Him And Her, An Englishman In New York), it tells the story of Costello Jones, a recently sober single mother to ten-year-old Iris who is doing everything she can to make ends meet.
The Independent comments “Director Richard Laxton, writer Cash Carraway, and the rest of the team, deserve great credit and, in time, some awards, for this evocative but bleak sketch of life at the arse-end of Rishi Sunak’s Britain, a country grown too used to the gross indecency of poverty. It’s a fine memento of our troubled times.”
Composer Alex Baranowski creates a perfect soundtrack for this wild, swaggering tale of love and friendship. He reflects on his work – “I loved writing the music for Rain Dogs. Following Costello Jones on her journey of great highs and intense lows, the music was a mix of inspirations from improvised jazz trumpet, dark tape loops, crazy percussion and blues guitars. Feeding from the unpredictability of the characters gave licence to go places I wouldn’t normally be able to go in a drama like this, which was brilliantly rewarding.” Alex’s hypnotic soundtrack breathes, stumbles, and falls with its characters. The obsessive downward-sliding-third motif is at the heart of it. The motif moves between twangy guitars and brass, encased by jaunty percussion and dreamy strings. It at times dissolves into a pure electronic sound with an emerging, poignantly sad and distorted trumpet solo (‘A Glass of Wine’, ‘Voicemails’) signifying no escape in this story of addiction, toxicity, and “a makeshift family bound by defiance, chaos, poverty and pain.”
Alex Baranowski is an award-winning composer of film, TV and theatre scores. He is also well regarded for his work with choreographer David Dawson on the ballet Legacy Variations (premiered at the Dutch National Ballet in December 2022) and the ballet adaptation of 1984 for Northern Ballet (winner of the South Bank Award for dance). Recent film scores include A Gaza Weekend directed by Oscar nominated Basil Khalil for Film 4, and Ruth Wilson and Jude Law produced True Things which won Best Original Score at Les Arcs Film Festival. Alex has also written music for the three series of hit BBC One comedy Staged starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, BAFTA nominated The Windermere Children and Burial, and a WWII Drama for Altitude Film starring Harriet Walter. He also collaborated with Oscar winning Taika Waititi for The Letter, a two-and-a-half-minute film for Coca Cola Christmas.
1. Making An Entrance
2. Back Again
3. Costello and Iris
4. Selby Goes For A Swim
6. The Small World of Florian Selby
7. Don’t Shit In My Mouth And Call It A Big Mac
8. Family Only
9. A Glass Of Wine
10. A Wonderful Lie
11. One Moment Of Perfection
12. Not Going Anywhere
13. Jesus Loves a Hustler
14. Iris And The Neighbourhood
15. Battered Bitches
16. Stuck On The Side Of The Road
17. Calling G
18. The Spiral Begins
19. Entitled Bitch
21. Racing To Costello