GLORIA BELL Soundtrack Review

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When is a soundtrack not a soundtrack? This is the age old question asked by many who enjoy film music. I was a resounding ‘no’ when it came to Hans Zimmer’s score to Dunkirk whilst others fiercely supported it. Regarding the structure of  soundscapes we have all had to go on a learning curve. I ask the question as I absolutely love the soundtrack to Gloria Bell by Matthew Herbert but I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s a sum of its parts,  the whole

creating an ethereal feeling of happiness. I could say it’s  music to a really enjoyable dream! Gloria Bell is played by Juliane  Moore who is in her 50’s, divorced and working. She has 2 grown up children and works in an insurance office but at night she loves to dance and it’s while dancing that she meets Arnold who is recently divorced. Not exactly a plot which drags you in.

The score is my British electronic music composer and DJ Matthew Herbert who also did the score for Disobedience which was released earlier this year and which I also really liked. There is no discernible theme but the opening track called Gloria Bell sets the tone with with an electronic flurry which is somehow childlike and very likeable whilst high note strings flutter in the background. Short but captivating. Strings return in Bell Theme a beautiful but all too short cue. Reunion has a distance about it musically whilst The Joint pushes the theme used in in the opening track, this time on saxophone with a cool electronic beat underneath.

The Whale has all the dream like allure as previous tracks but three quarters of the way in a night club bass is added, a strange juxtaposition but it so works, again short and leaving you wanting more. Get Ready brings us full circle with a richer version of the opening track and it all comes to a close with Waterfall where the main refrain is gently played on piano.

Its’s quirky and it’s a delight and at only 24 minutes and 13 seconds long it’s worth ekeing it out, I can guarantee  it will relax you.

Milan Music Label

Tracklisting

1 Gloria Bell 1:20
2 Zombies 1:11
3 Bell Theme 1:17
4 Reunion 1:27
5 Behind The Door 0:46
6 Gone 1:16
7 The Gnome 0:18
8 The Joint 1:22
9 Airport 1:12
10 Afloat 2:45
11 Up The Stairs 1:36
12 The Whale 1:43
13 By The Pool 2:43
14 Home 2:29
15 Get Ready 1:11
16 Waterfall 1:

 

 

 

Filmic Radio Show August 2019

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Filmic August 2019. Featuring scores by Nino Rota, Akira Ifukube, John Powell, George Fenton, John Powell and more. New releases and Vintage soundtrack music. Plus some classic Godzilla tracks!

PLAYLIST

Track Title                                 Composer                      Film

Fight Club Ramin Jawadi The Queens Corgi
Malawi Antonio Pinto The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Smedley Alberto Ingelasias Yuli
Yuli Alberto Inglelasias Yuli
Via Veneto Nino Rota Plein Soleil
Nice Eyepatch H.Scott Selenas A Very private War
Godzilla Approaches Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Main Title Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Godzilla Main Title Bear McCreary Godzilla King of the Monsters
Bossa Nova Marina Pier Piccioni The Moment of Truth
Midnight Cowboy John Barry Midnight Cowboy
Big Spender Cy Coleman Sweet Charity
Prologus Diego Baldenwag Zwingli
Whirlpool Of Love John Powell X-Men The Last Stand
Red Joan-Prelude George Fenton Red Joan
My Little Comrade George Fenton Red Joan
Main Title – Adonis Mikis Theodorakis Z
South American Getaway Burt Bacharach Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
John Ronald Thomas Newman Tolkein
The TBCS Thomas Newman Tolkein
Tears In the Rain Vangelis Blade Runner

 

 

 

 

 

RED JOAN -George Fenton

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After being somewhat confused with Fenton’s enjoyable score to Cold Pursuit and then seeing the film, which is categorised by IMBD as an action crime drama thriller (missing out the actual black comedy element) – I understood the scores tone and liked it even more. And here we are, after a long Fenton drought, with a second score in the same year.

Red Joan is the true story of Joan Stanley, a Soviet and Communist sympathiser recruited by the KGB in the thirties. She was undetected for many years and was finally charged with treason when a senior citizen.

Much has been written about this being a wide ‘dramatisation’ of the true story but here I want to highlight the score which is masterfully composed by Fenton who has such a sprawling canvas of work including composer and musical director with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, TV work and of course film soundtracks including The Company of Wolves, Dangerous Liaisons and The Lady In The Van.

Red Joan is an accomplished score, each cue fitting the whole, weaving throughout with emotions of fear, intrigue and pockets of regret. Starting with Red Joan Theme-Prelude which ambles along with a short piano refrain with an added tinge of defiance of what was done, is done. The refrain expands in the following cue You’re Under Arrest slowly but as realisation creeps in low dark notes appear and in Restraining Order there is such a delicate lightness of touch in the composition, it’s quite beautiful.

The swirling refrain is cleverly repeated in most of the short cues but with the slightest of change which never compromises the intensity of the score. It may not soar or have a memorable theme but this is NOT a soundtrack to be underestimated.

“I regard Red Joan as a personal score – by which I mean personal to the character of Joan My aim was to find a tonal language that sat well with the story of Joan in the 1930s but which never lost the sense of the story being told and remembered by the older Joan. A balance between the immediacy of young Joan’s experience and old Joan’s recollections. My hope is that even when heard away from the film that the music evokes the narrative of this extraordinary story.” George Fenton

TRACK LIST

1 Red Joan Theme (Prelude) 0:45
2 You’re Under Arrest 2:47
3 Back to Cambridge 2:45
4 The Ghost of Matter 2:22
5 My Little Comrade 2:01
6 The Tower 1:57
7 Restraining Order 2:16
8 Good at Drawing 2:43
9 Leo’s Arrest 1:13
10 Chadwick’s Arrival 1:58
11 Making Land Tomorrow 1:39
12 Maybe One Day 2:08
13 The University 2:33
14 Hiroshima 2:25
15 Agent Lotto 1:54
16 Inspection 2:27
17 The Locket 1:50
18 Photo Secrets 2:23
19 Leo’s Destiny 2:54
20 Special Branch 1:49
21 Two Copies 1:25
22 I’m Not a Traitor 1:56
23 Max In Jail 2:47
24 End Titles 5:16
25 Red Joan Theme (Postlude) 0:40

Label: Movie Score Media

Filmic Radio Show – June 2019

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Had to miss out  May show due to travelling, so this show is a tad longer than normal.

PLAYLIST – Composer/Track Title/Film

John Barry Moonraker Main Title Moonraker
John Barry Bond Lured To Pyrimid Moonraker
Kasper Kaae Elven Out Stealing Horses
Mike Patton/Lai Di Gola A Perfect Twist A perfect Place
Benjamin Wallfisch The Cousul Of Wizards Shazam
Benjamin Wallfisch Run! Shazam
Michael Abels Anthem Us
Ilan Eshkeri Nureyev The White Crow
Harry Warren/Al Dubin/Doris Day I Only Have Eyes For You Young Man With A Horn
Volmer Bertlemann Landing Ashore Hotel Mumbai
Stuart A Staples/Ropbert Pattinson Willow High Life
John Williams Cinderella Liberty Love Theme Cinderella Liberty
John Williams Maggie Shoots Pool Cinderella Liberty
Nathan Whitehead Days Gone Days Gone
Yves Gourmeur Main Theme The Hummingird Project
Geroge Kallis The Fabric of History Cliffs Of Freedom
Tom Borrowdale Spring Spring
Thomas Newman End Title The Highwaymen
Joe Kraemer The Man Who Killed Hitler The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
Joe Kraemer Barr’s Theme The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
Clint Mansell We Are All Stardust Out Of Blue

Filmic Radio Show – March 2019

Here is my latest Filmic Radio Show, including new and vintage soundtracks, some late 2018 releases and I take a look at a really cool 1963 Henry Mancini score.

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PLAYLIST

Valor Sarah Schachner Anthem
The Mirror Dance Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
No Words Formed Rachel Zefirra Elizabeth Harvest
The New Kid Mark Mothersbaugh Holmes and Watson
Old Turkey Buzzard Quincy Jones/Freddie Douglas/Jose Feliciano McKenna’s Gold
Earth Out Of Control Roc Chen The Wandering Earth
The Loser Andre Previn Goodbye Charlie
A Rose and the End Andre Previn The Subterraneans
The Auction In Iron Curtain Dai Tai The Gutenberg Project
Somethin’ Like This Brian Tyler What Men Like
Captain Marvel Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
Learning The Truth Pinar Toprak Captain Marvel
The Tango John Debney Isn’t It Romantic
Main-Title-Morgan’s Ride John Debney Cutthroat Island
Strange People Martin Phipps The Aftermath
The House Martin Phipps The Aftermath
Charade Opening Titles Henry Mancini Charade
Latin Snowfall Henry Mancini Charade
Bud’s Scam Stewart Copeland Wall Street
Main Title-Trinity Infinity Don Davis The Matrix
Bullet Time Don Davis The Matrix

ONE LAST DEAL (Tuntematon Mestari) by Matti Bye – Soundtrack Review

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Elderly art dealer Olavi is about to retire. This is a man who has always put business and art before everything. At an auction, an old painting catches his attention. Olavi suspects it is worth much more than its starting price, which is low because its authenticity hasn’t been confirmed. He decides to make one last deal in order to earn some pension money. At the same time, Olavi’s estranged daughter Lea, whom he hasn’t seen for years, asks him to help her with his teenage grandson Otto (15). Together with Otto, Olavi starts to investigate the history of the painting.  Olavi buys the painting, but when the auction house realises that there has been a mistake with the original pricing, they turn on him.

The film is directed by Finnish director Klaus Haro who is one of his country’s most prolific contemporary filmmakers. The score is by Swedish composer Matti Bye who has scored for both tv and film.

It opens with a soft piano led cue full of wistfulness which gently rolls along into the second cue but at a faster pace, it’s an easy listen even with some scratchy strings underneath. A New Day has a lovely drum brush keeping tempo, something you don’t often hear. Olavi’s Tango continues the relaxed flow with piano and accordion plus double base leading the tango rhythm. It’s a short but pleasing cue.

This is a plaintive score telling of a gentle life suddenly thrust into chaos and emotional disruption at a time in the life of Olavi when he wants to retire. Father and Daughter has a different feel, the same small set of instruments are used but with a slight edge to it’s tone representing the distant relationship with his daughter. The slow tango reappears in The Empty Room in a more developed style. The closing track The Letter is neither sad nor jubilant, just very much in the same vein as the Opener. 

This is a gentle and subtle score with a small selection of instruments, which will most probably have few listens especially as there currently is no UK release date hence why I am highlighting it. It’s a lesson in restraint showing that complex emotional stories don’t have to be fully orchestrated. By using a small group of musicians Bye has created a sweet and expressive score.

PLAYLIST
1. One Last Deal
2. The Art Dealer
3. A New Day
4. The Library
5. Olavi’s Tango
6. The Museum
7. Father and Daughter
8. The Empty Room
9. The Letter
Total Album Time: 20:41

Available on Amazon.com
Streaming on Spotify

Filmic Radio Show February 2019

So I am a little late – there are soooooo many soundtracks out there to listen to! This months show features a UK classic score from 1969, a Jerry Goldsmith vinyl release, recent soundtrack releases and one of the last scores by the late Michel Legrand. Oh, and 3 listener requests!