Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Once More, with Music: What Do Lost in la Mancha, Licensed to Kill, and Scout's Honor Have in Common? Powerful Scores by out Composer Miriam Cutler. (Arts & Entertainment)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Once More, with Music: What Do Lost in la Mancha, Licensed to Kill, and Scout's Honor Have in Common? Powerful Scores by out Composer Miriam Cutler. (Arts & Entertainment)

Article excerpt

For film composer Miriam Cutler, the decision to score Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's Lost in La Mancha was a no-brainer. Cutler, a member of the quirky new wave band later known as Oingo Boingo (which also launched film composer Danny Elfman), was instantly drawn to La Mancha's mix of disaster and farce. "I want to be in a circus one second and be-completely heartfelt the next, to be able to laugh at human nature and our foibles but never be deriding someone," explains Cutler. "This film was totally in that vein."

When Cutler mentions the circus, she's not kidding: She has actually written music for circuses. But the intense brunet has a well-developed serious side. "Humor, for me, is a way to deal with pain," she says. "Quite honestly, when I try to sing a serious song onstage I start crying." Cutler has scored films on the global AIDS crisis and political oppression in Puerto Rico. Her score added to the power of Scout's Honor, the award-winning 2001 documentary about efforts to overturn the Boy Scouts' antigay policies.

Since the early '70s Cutler had used her gifts not just as a performer and a composer of music for commercials but also as a researcher for community activist organizations. …

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