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I’m Not Ashamed (Timothy Williams)

November 2, 2016

cover_imnotashamedI’M NOT ASHAMED

Timothy Williams, 2016, Lakeshore Records
17 tracks, 34:14

Based on the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, this cannot have been an easy story to tell. Timothy Williams wrote a score that is both beautiful and respectful.

Review by Pete Simons

What is it?

I’m Not Ashamed is a faith-based drama about Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first student killed during the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Pure Flix Entertainment uses Rachel’s diary and her Christian faith to retell the story of her tragically short life. The film is directed by cinematographer-turned-director Brian Baugh (The Comeback Kids) and stars Masey McLain as Rachel.

What does it sound like?

“My first thought was how would Brian Baugh, the director even begin to tackle a story about this terrible tragedy. I have several children myself, and I could only imagine this must be a worse nightmare come true,” Williams stated. He and the writers had spent a couple of years reading through Rachel’s journal, which incidentally has a bullet hole and blood on it. “It’s a painful reminder of the reality of the event. There were thirteen victims that day, and you could legitimately do a film on each precious victim. Rachel’s life is a wonderful place to begin, though.” Williams concluded, “Her story deserves to be told and this film is a tribute to this beautiful girl. It was an honor to create music for Rachel’s life story. I remember so clearly in the 90s that day when the news story unfolded – it was humbling to try to give Rachel’s wonderful life voice through music. She was an incredible soul.”

The album opens with “Rachel Scott” in which Williams present a tender theme for piano and strings. It’s simple and bittersweet, setting the tone for what’s to come. Rachel’s theme receives a more upbeat treatment during “Second Hand Clothes” (accompanied by bass, staccato strings and strumming guitar). It’s reprised again in the sweet yet melancholy “These Hands”, where strings and piano continue to lead.

“Homeless Nathan” and “Passion Fades” are two somewhat atmospheric cues (the former quite dark); whilst “The Rehearsal” is a gently uplifting cue for strings, light percussion, winds and guitar. The pleasantries of that cue continue briefly into “The Chance of Possibility” before it takes a turn for something much darker, with synths taking the lead.

“First Communion” and “Thirteen Years” are pretty, orchestral cues, whilst “Dork Bowling”  and “Downward Spiral” sound like something Harry Gregson-Williams might write for a techno thriller. The dark synth tones briefly make way for the sad piano notes in “Dad Leaves” and the slow strings in “Rooftop” (which reprises Rachel’s theme very nicely). “The Gift” is a beautiful cue for strings, but the echoing piano and tremolo effects indicate that something terrible is looming on the horizon. Unsurprising, “Shooting” is a sinister cue for slow strings, synth pads and heavily reverberated percussive hits, resembling gun shots. The album concludes with the solemn and heart-breaking “Car Tribute and Funeral”.

Is it any good?

In many ways Timothy Williams’ I’m Not Ashamed is a simple little score; but it doesn’t need to be any more than that. It’s a harrowing story and the composer has the difficult task of celebrating Rachel’s life whilst foreshadowing her death. The combination of piano, strings and ambient synth pads is a familiar one, but Williams applies it beautifully here; combined with a beautiful bittersweet main theme. Having enjoyed his thriller scores (such as Debug, Diablo and Red Sky) it’s a delight to hear such a sensitive work from the composer. Sure, it doesn’t stray from a familiar style and sound and as such won’t rock too many boats (and I have to note the shortness of the cues, which does limit the music’s scope), but equally it’s easy-listening and absolutely lovely.

Rating [3/5]


1. Rachel Scott (0.50)
2. Second Hand Clothes (1.03)
3. These Hands (1.21)
4. Homeless Nathan (2.45)
5. Passion Fades (1.54)
6. The Rehearsal (3.55)
7. The Chance of Possibility (2.48)
8. First Communion (1.05)
9. Thirteen Tears (1.19)
10. Dork Bowling (0.53)
11. Dad Leaves (0.49)
12. Downward Spiral (2.50)
13. Rooftop (2.55)
14. Poolside Reconciliation (2.10)
15. The Gift (1.46)
16. Shooting (0.58)
17. Car Tribute and Funeral (4.53)

Review (C) 2016 Synchrotones

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