David Shire - Theme from The Conversation
”[The Conversation] was conceived as a thriller to have some small commercial appeal, but designed to explore an inner, lonely part of myself. For this reason, I stressed to David Shire that I did not want a large orchestral ensemble, but something simple, haunting and lonely as I imagined [main character] Harry Caul was himself.
Eventually I thought that a single voice would be the most appropriate solution for what I had in mind, a single piano, recorded with the greatest simplicity, something that had a slight jazz figure to it, as Harry was a frustrated jazz ‘wanna-be’, but to avoid the obvious, like using a sax or trumpet.
Of course David couldn’t believe that this wasn’t just a first step and that later we’d surely orchestrate it, bring in strings, show off a little. But the first sketches David played were so effective, capturing the mood of the story so well, that I resisted further decoration. I think of David Shire’s score for The Conversation as one of the most effective, most successful film scores that I’ve had.”
-Francis Ford Coppola (excerpted from his liner notes for The Conversation: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)