Panu Aaltio is a young composer who, in a relatively short time period, has established himself amongst his peers and film music collectors and critics as a music-smith of considerable talent and worth. His music for film and television and even games is infectious, emotive and original. One of his scores for a feature length documentary was recently issued on CD by the ever industrious record label Movie Score Media. METSAN TARINA or TALE OF A FOREST is a delightful work, containing so many themes, that it is hard to believe all of this comes from just one movie. The composer has created a sweeping score that gets straight to the listeners’ emotions; its poignant and delicate themes are haunting and refreshing with effective use made of solo piano and strings. Woodwind is in abundance as we hear plaintive, mischievous and intricate tone poems that seem to skip, hop and run as animals would in the wild. There is an air and a presence to this work that attracts and entertains the listener.
One of the most attractive cues is “Snowfall”; it begins with solo piano supported by woodwind and if one closes ones eyes it is easy to imagine the snow falling. There is a serene and gentle atmosphere to this music. Solo violin is added mid way through the cue just fleetingly and as this rises and then fades, harp moves to centre stage and continues to elegantly relay the gentle and soothing atmosphere that has already been created. Solo piano seamlessly segues back into the composition, just delicately picking out a four note motif, enhanced by flute and gracefully plucked strings, which bring the cue to its conclusion.
“Love, Care and Respect” is another wonderful cue from the score and also the longest on the disc. This is a culmination or gathering of all of the score’s prominent themes, laced together and performed beautifully. It’s an emotive. graceful, heart warming, majestic cue and so pleasing. Piano is again one of the main components of the composition with strings and woodwind bolstering and underlining its performance. The piece moves into a near adagio for strings part way through but this is interrupted by a brass and piano crescendo before being underlined by a sorrowful solo violin as the cue draws to a close. “Woodland Spirit” is one of the many highlights; again strings are the mainstay of the composition but this time the mood is slightly darker and not as relaxed – the composer relaying a far more tense atmosphere. There is a subdued rumble from percussion as woods begin to be brought into the equation with harp acting as support to solo woodwind which carries a beautifully crafted theme. The mood alters again – darker strings are joined by brass, the tempi increases slightly, creating a sense of urgency but the cue soon returns to a more relaxed persona as woodwind return. Overall this is a breathtaking score and one that I am sure will be honoured in the up and coming Awards season. Panu Aaltio is a composer to watch.