Eldon Davis Rathburn (1916-2008), one of the most multi-dimensional, prolific, and endlessly fascinating composers of the twentieth century, wrote more music than any other Canadian composer of his generation. During a long and productive career that spanned seventy-five years, Rathburn served for thirty years as a staff composer with the National Film Board of Canada (1947-76), scored the first generation of IMAX films, and created a diverse catalogue of orchestral and chamber works.
With the aid of extensive archival and documentary materials, They Shot, He Scored chronicles Rathburn's life and works, beginning with his formative years in Saint John, New Brunswick, and his breakthrough in Los Angeles in connection with Arnold Schoenberg and the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. The book follows his work at the NFB, his close encounters with some of the most celebrated international figures in his field, and his collaboration with the team of innovators who launched the IMAX film corporation. James Wright undertakes a close analytical reading of Rathburn's film and concert scores to outline his methods, compositional techniques, influences, and idiosyncratic approach to instrumentation, as well as his proto-postmodern proclivity for borrowing from diverse styles and genres.
Authoritative and insightful, They Shot, He Scored illuminates the extraordinary career of an unsung creative force in the film and music industry.