ANON – Soundtrack Capsule Review

Anon

It is entirely conceivable that in the future there will be no privacy whatsoever. So it just might be conceivable that we could  be able to hack a human being. The Netflix movie Anon assumes it will.

When looking at the memories of a dead guy all that can be seen is the killers point of view and nothing else …. the corpse’s brain has been hacked! I love science fiction and with such a keen plot-line I was sold only to be massively disappointed when I found it’s on Netflix USA only. I guess the UK will get it at some point. But what I do have is the soundtrack which also sucked be in. The composer is Christopher Beck who has such a wide ranging list of soundtracks to his name.

 

 

Christophe-Beck
Christoph Beck  – christophebeck.com

 

There is a theme of sorts, more a developed mood which has a  kind of ennui oozing from it, an acceptance of the voyeuristic nature of the times, this is shown in a short 8 note piano refrain which follows through into the faster paced Mystery Woman.

Escalator Delusion is an electronic cue of back bass drums and flat noises designed for audial confusion. It then levels out into a pleasing, simple and meditative piece. The electronics continue in Subway Chase which has echoes of Blade Runner in the background (which is no bad thing).

The Plan slowly grows into an easy, smooth synth groove far removed from the deep, churning, fast paced Flame Brain ( one of the best cue names so far this year) which pulsates and then suddenly dies! Jealous Man very subtlety and cleverly hints at the 8 note motif once again but here it is dark and shivers in the background.

I arrive at Anon – End Titles from a neat circle of synth, well tempered cues. In fact the End Title could easily sit in a Cool Instrumentals playlist.

This score has a steadiness about it, no over the top action cues or distractions of any kind. It follows through, it has a harnessed mood which is wonderfully disconnecting but not to the degree that you can’t follow it. The synth work is superb creating a continued mood which I am sure must enhance the film greatly.

TRACKLIST

1. Theme from “Anon” (2:04)
2. Mystery Woman (1:37)
3. Escalator Delusion (1:41)
4. Reminiscence (2:09)
5. Subway Chase (1:38)
6. Altered Reality (1:19)
7. The Plan (3:45)
8. Permanently Retired (3:21)
9. Something Else To Erase (4:11)
10. A Father’s Lament (1:47)
11. Flame Brain (3:18)
12. Memory Destroyer (3:09)
13. Sal’s Elaborate Escape (3:51)
14. Jealous Man (3:39)
15. Restoration (1:20)
16. “Anon” End Titles (4:03)

Label: Filmtrax Ltd

7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE Capsule Review

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7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE
Composer: Rodrigo Amarante

Here’s a question – does having clips of the films dialogue enhance a soundtrack? Depends if it’s interesting enough and not too long is my answer. One of my favourite scores, Get Carter composed by the late and sorely missed Roy Budd, had some fascinating narrative clips which really worked, evenmore so by the fact that the voice belonged to Michael Caine.

In 7 Days In Entebbe the dialogue was so misplaced on the the opening track that I thought I had something else playing on my computer other than the score!

I haven’t heard of the composer Brazilian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rodrigo Amarante mainly because apart from some tracks for the Narcos tv series, this is his first soundtrack. Whilst it’s doesn’t shout at you, it does have a very subdued, claustrophobic feel to it which I found fascinating and which most certainly wraps itself well round this true story of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. It’s focus is on what was one of the most daring daring rescue missions ever attempted.

Whilst the film received poor reviews the soundtrack is still worth an initial listen for appreciating the balance between it almost being dismissed as a soundscape and the effect of a gnawing tension which plays out in most tracks.

Am sure the film will fade into obscurity and the soundtrack perhaps will only ever get an initial listen but there was a little something in there of note which I felt worth acknowleding in this short missive.

Tracks of Note: Boarding and Passport
Label: Lakeshore Records

EDIE Composed by Debbie Wiseman

Edie

There are two things whipping up my excitement and delight at slipping this CD out of it’s plastic wrapper, opening the case and carefully placing into my CD player. And they are Debbie Wiseman and Sheila Hancock. Both are in different spheres of the arts but I love them both equally.

Sheila Cameron Hancock CBE has always been so watchable for me, her striking face is unique and she is even more watchable now at 85 years of age. An award winning actress – she has done TV, stage including musicals, and film. She is also a writer. I first saw her as a comedian with whip sharp timing and an amazing laugh. In straight roles her acting is immersive and far removed from the physicality of her comedy, it’s measured and it’s all in those expressive eyes. So it’s no wonder that she was chosen for the title role of this film.

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Debbie Wiseman MBE is one my most favourite composers, she has a distinct, elegant style and conducts most of her own soundtrack recordings as she does here. She beautifully captures emotion with a subtleness which takes you by surprise, I have often been reduced to tears by a Wiseman score due to the sheer power of her capturing the very heart of the story that is being told.

From The Press Release for Edie:
“Debbie’s music captures the soaring spirit of a lost soul reborn by the beauty of nature and smell of adventure but most of all by the human friendship of a kind young man.” –
Simon Hunter Writer & Director of Edie

Edie stars Sheila Hancock and Kevin Guthrie and features a truly moving performance from Hancock in the title role, an elderly woman, who in the aftermath of the death of her controlling husband, decides to fulfil a life-long dream of recapturing the magic she had as a young girl by climbing a Scottish mountain. Edie employs Jonny (Kevin Guthrie – Dunkirk, Whisky Galore) to help her prepare for the gruelling climb ahead and this sparks a surprising friendship.

We open with sprightly strings and a solo guitar which introduces the score’s 12 note leitmotif in Training Day. When the pace picks up it brims with a mix of excitement and optimism. To Lochinvar with Johnny brings a comedic feel with timing which echo’s the tango whilst Alone in The Past, as you would expect, is melancholic. It’s descending notes perfectly framing deep feelings and apprehension.

Searching For A Bed is a very clever deconstruction of the score’s theme with opening harp and guitar and later, rolling optimistic strings . In New Clothes, New Life the clarinet picks up the leitmotif in this sublime short and slow cue and by now we are fully into Edie’s head with all it’s aspiration and trepidation. Heading Off Into The Wilds meanders around the main them with a single horn signalling loneliness. An Evening Row rolls in with a dramatic, dark pitch which flows into the ponderous Can’t Go Back.

It ends with Edie, a character cue depicting the triumph of this journey through rolling drums and brass but ends quietly with the haunting leitmotif as if Edie is saying ‘I have done it, I can move forward now’.
This soundtrack is our journey with Edie and all the complex emotions she feels on the way but it still retains the optimism and the yearning to complete it. It’s gentle in it’s delivery. It’s short and uncomplicated theme running through the cues with finesse and purpose. I can’t praise it enough.

TRACK LISTING
1.   Training Day
2.   To Lochinvar With Jonny
3.   Night Of Wonder, Morning Of Trouble
4.   Alone In the Past
5.   Searching For A Bed
6.  Packing Up For Adventure
7.   New Clothes, New Life
8.   Midnight Stranger
9.   Heading Off Into The Wilds
10.  An Evening Row
11.  Hanging In There
12.  Can’t Go Back
13.  Edie

Label: Silva Screen Records

FILMIC MARCH 2018

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PLAYLIST

Bear McCreary Overture The Cloverfield Paradox
Cliff Martinez Isn’t That Your Neighbour Game Night
Pascal Gaigne En Marcha Handia
Gabriel Yared Rearranging The Furniture By The Sea
Daniel Pemberton The Russians Molly’s Game
Herschel Burke Gilbert Main Title The Moon Is Blue The Moon Is Blue
Harry Gregson-Williams Dug’s Theme Early Man
Pascal Gaigne Plan De Fuga Plan de Fuga
Pascal Gaigne Tenua Un Amigo En Casa Plan de Fuga
Ludwig Goransson Wakanda Origins Back Panther
Ludwig Goransson Kilmonger Back Panther
Cliff Martinez Bastien Game Night
Carter Burwell Mildred Goes To War Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Carter Burwell My Dear Anne Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Georges Bizet Dat’s Love-Habanera Carmen Jones
Joe Paesano An Old Friend The Maze Runner: Death Cure
Hannes De Maeyer Miserere Mei Gangsta
Tom HolkenBorg Return To Manor Croft Tomb Raider
Johann Johannsson The Mercy The Mercy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOSTALGIA composed by Laurent Eyquem – Review

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This may not be a soundtrack you play often but it deserves to be heard as a master class in moderation and because, in parts it’s beautiful.

The big things in our life usually do not surround itself in a cacophony of sound, things slow down giving us time to think. Laurent Eyquem has, I have no doubt, thought of this in his new score for Nostalgia. This is a slow, melancholy and rhythmic flow of music getting straight to the heart of emotion.

 The film is written and directed by Mark Pellingham and is a series of stories about love and loss and explores the meaning of objects, artifacts and memories which ultimately shape our lives. French composer Laurent Eyquem is the obvious choice to score this movie, known for his lyrical style, his scores reminiscent of John Barry’s music in which the sheer emotional impact of composition stops everything and you have to listen. This was evident in his score to Copperhead in 2013 which earned him the Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association.

Nostalgia is a short score. Light in it’s use of instruments, is piano lead with cello sections and in some cues it uses a lone trumpet, not on full blast but pulled back, melancholic. The only noticeable leitmotif is the rolling piano in the underscore. The Opening Theme is sublime, scattered piano notes lifted by the trumpet and completed by the cello. It’s flawless. The 11 cues are variations of the same but each one holds the attention. The Absence is particularly moving; almost ambient in the way the strings hold long notes and the piano is reduced to 5 plaintive notes. It conjures up empty space.

This may not be a soundtrack you play often but it deserves to be heard as a master class in moderation and because, in parts it’s beautiful.

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Laurent  Eyquem

TRACKLIST

1.  Opening Theme
2.  A Life In Pictures
3.  The Granddaughter
4.  Lives Saved
5.  The Decision
6.  Ready To Say Goodbye
7.  An Empty Life
8.  The Letters
9.  Emptiness
10. The Absence
11.Moving On

Label: Varese Sarabande

 

CAPSULE REVIEWS: Early Man, The Cloverfield Paradox , Game Night & Videoman

earlyman

EARLY MAN  composed by
Harry Gregson-Williams

Animation scores are always fun to listen to even if you don’t know what’s going on. It opens with the sweet and laid back Dug’s Theme. Prehistoric Prologue is mock horror of the finest order complete with ‘man choir’. There has to be a chase somewhere in most animations and here it’s Stadium Chase complete with those time gaps for the laps, which makes for the laughs. Royal Game Day is a joy and sounds like one of those Pathe News intro’s.
Mostly short cues, one of the longest being The Final Game , which of course is football. This gets the full orchestral treatment with the brassy heroic tones. Trophy Presentation repeats the soft, melodic leitmotif which runs through the score but here gives it a huge swell of emotion. A fitting end to a lovely soundtrack.
UNIVERSAL Label

Cloverfield

THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX  composed by
Bear McCreary

The overture slams into play, literally. A deep musical slam surrounded by busy violins, it’s an exciting opener. Converging Overload soars with wondrous I do love the way McCreary uses strings and in A message For Ava they are very moving. McCreary is always working, score after score and this one is a worthy addition to his catalogue.

SPARKS & SHADOWS Label

game

GAME NIGHT composed byCliff Martinez
Cliff Martinez

Give me a synth scores anytime. Martinez’s score is great to listen to without breaks where it melds into one mighty fine electronic soundscape. Cue of notice has to be Isn’t That Your Neighbor. It’s fun score!
It’s a fun score!

 

WATER TOWER MUSIC Label

vid

VIDEOMAN composed by Wave Shaper
& Robert Parker
 
What an absolute blast this score is. It’s a Swedish comedy/Drama about a woman obsessed with the 80’s and a VHS collector. Takes me back to my own video collection as it captures that 80’s feeling so superbly complete with drum bracking.
LAKESHORE RECORDS Label

PLANET EARTH – Re-Issue 2 CD Set

PLANET EARTH composed by George Fenton
Remastered Album Release date: 16th March 2018

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This is a breathtakingly rich score, beautifully orchestrated with cues full of emotion and wondrous moments of sheer beauty.

Silva Screen Records Press Release:
Two welcome additions to Silva Screen’s BBC Earth catalogue, featuring soundtracks to the critically acclaimed BBC landmark natural history documentaries.
Released on 16th March, The Blue PIanet and Planet Earth are newly remastered albums, both original scores by the acclaimed composer George Fenton. For the score of The Blue Planet (2001) George Fenton won The lvor Novello, Bafta and Emmy for Best Television Score, whilst for the score of Planet Earth (2006) he won his second Emmy.

Produced by the BBC and narrated by David Attenborough, The Blue Planet series was watched by more than 12 million people when it aired on BBC1 in September 2001. lt has since become a global phenomenon, showing in more than 50 countries. Similar success was repeated by PIanet Earth.  The 11-part High Definition documentary series was, by June 2007, seen in 130 countries.

Review:
I distinctly remember watching Planet Earth and thinking it way beyond the scratchy school’s video’s I watched at school. It was like nothing else I had seen and being already tuned into film and tv music I remember the music being superb. Listening to it now, it still is. Presented in 11 categories it is a musical symphony to the world.

The Journey of the Sun dictates Fenton’s reachable, classical style. Gentle violins and a solo horn feel as if they are floating in orbit. Elephants in the Okavango captures both the majesty and playfulness of these magnificent mammals. Diving Into leads with a female voice which gives a feel of the centuries of history, a fitting cue for the 2nd category of caves whilst Diving Into Darkness is beautifully ambient. In the Freshwater section there a pulse almost akin to underwater breathing.

Onto ‘Mountains’ and the cue for the old world Gelades monkeys depicts the ferocity of these baboons with tones of wariness shown in the strings. The Karakorum depicts the plains and rich history of Mongolia. We travel into the Desert Winds. The Locusts is a track full of wondrous strings, this is a magnificent cue painting a vast scope with a gentle force. In the Land of Shallow Seas and the antics of Surfing Dolphins – both are busy and joyful cues of brass and strings. Dangerous Landing makes good use of the kettle drum followed by the mellow Mother and Calf-The Great Journey, geared towards the emotions with the grandeur of the string section, which is simply beautiful. A cue dedicated to fungus – The Cordecyps has an eeriness played out with clarinet and chimes which suits these somewhat strange and other worldly organisms. The Redwoods is a fitting majestic piece symbolised by trumpet and strings. This is followed by a comic , track called Fledglings with a slight hint of a tango at the start and pizzicato strings.

Ice World next with trumpet opening The Humpbacks Bubblenet and another dance comes to mind as the orchestra momentarily waltzes. A clumsy jaunt is played out on the strings in Everything Leaves but The Emperors, bass and percussion takes over giving an excellent backing for waddling penguins.

Planet Earth aired on UK tv in 2006 so the poignancy of The Disappearing Sea Ice is fairly low key, with plaintive voice and cornet. 12 years on if re-composed I am sure this would have been an even more low-key cue. It ends with The Choice Is Ours, a moving track about our future and the responsibility we have towards our planet. The underlying cello’s echo the dangers and the sad strings are telling.

This is a breathtakingly rich score, beautifully orchestrated with cues full of emotion and wondrous moments of sheer beauty. This re-issue sounds very fresh and I was totally engulfed in it. The CD booklet also has a stunning set of photo’s from the series.

Composed and duction by George Fenton
Performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra

Disc 1:
1. From Pole To Pole: Prelude  1:57
2. From Pole To Pole: The Journey Of The Sun  3:28
3. From Pole To Pole: Hunting Dogs  3:26
4. From Pole To Pole: Elephants in the Okavango  3:07
5. Caves: Diving into the Darkness  3:01
6. Caves: Stalactite Gallery  2:26
7. Caves: Bat Hunt  2:59
8. Caves: Discovering Deer Cave  3:49
9. Freshwater: Angel Falls  2:21
10. Freshwater: River Predation  4:09
11. Freshwater: Iguacu  2:06
12. Freshwater: The Snow Geese  2:01
13. Mountains: The Geladas  2:39
14. Mountains: The Snow Leopard  4:00
15. Mountains: The Karakoram  1:54
16. Mountains: The Earth’s Highest Challenge  5:31
17. Deserts: Desert Winds – The Locusts  4:58
18. Deserts: Fly Catchers  1:42
19. Deserts: Namibia – The Lions and the Oryx  5:10
Disc Time: 60:44

Disc 2:
1. Great Plains: Plains High and Low  2:41
2. Great Plains: The Wolf and The Caribou  3:47
3. Great Plains: Tibet (Reprise) – Close  3:46
4. Shallow Seas: Surfing Dolphins  2:41
5. Shallow Seas: Dangerous Landing  3:20
6. Shallow Seas: Mother and Calf – The Great Journey  5:19
7. Jungles: The Canopy – Flying Lemur  2:45
8. Jungles: Frog Ballet – Jungle Falls  2:37
9. Jungles: The Cordyceps  2:55
10. Jungles: Hunting Chimps  4:10
11. Seasonal Forests: The Redwoods  4:39
12. Seasonal Forests: Fledglings  3:43
13. Seasonal Forests: Seasonal Change  5:40
14. Ice Worlds: Discovering Antarctica  2:42
15. Ice Worlds: The Humpbacks’ Bubblenet  2:59
16. Ice Worlds: Everything Leaves but the Emperors  2:27
17. Ice Worlds: The Disappearing Sea Ice  3:45
18. Ice Worlds: Lost in the Storm  1:16
19. Ocean Deep: A School of Five Hundred  3:39
20. Ocean Deep: Giant Mantas  2:50
21. Ocean Deep: Life Near the Surface  2:06
22. Ocean Deep: The Choice is Ours  3:13
Disc Time: 73:00
Total Album Time: 133:4