Psalm 21

psalm 21

MovieScore Media is a label that has over the past few years released soundtracks that possibly would not have seen the light of day. The label champions new talent within the film music arena and also promotes the art of film music by issuing soundtracks that are of great quality. PSALM 21 is certainly no exception to this practice. Composer Christer Christensson has written a rich and almost luxurious sounding score which is not only deliciously dark and at times sombre and fearful, but also is engaging, and highly affecting tinged with a sense of foreboding. The opening track on the disc is ‘Introitus’, a fairly brief composition but one that is striking, and also one that sets a chilling atmosphere that is somewhat harrowing. The composer utilizes to much effect strings and woods which are subtle in the first part but soon become more agitated and forceful, building to an almost Wagnerian brass stab which is accompanied by swirling and tormented sounding strings bringing the cue to its conclusion.
Track two ‘O Father, Why Have You Left?’ is too, a relatively uneasy sounding composition, but is a two edged sword because it posses a sound and a quality that is mesmerizing; again it is a short lived cue but effective. Track three, ‘Out in the Forest and into the Mind’, begins with threatening strings which are embellished by fierce brass stabs and an underlying chorale sound – like half heard voices; one not being able to distinguish if they are voices or instruments – this adds to the effect and makes it an unsettling and edgy track. After its fairly ferocious beginning the cue moves into a somewhat quieter passage but because it becomes slightly calmer, does not mean that the atmosphere created here by the composer is any less dark or foreboding – in fact it makes it more threatening and to a degree ever more tense. The cue then moves up a gear and reverts to a more forceful and driving piece, strings again taking up prominent positions and carrying it along at a fairly brisk pace creating wonderful atmospherics.
Track four, ‘Cantus Cofessione’, is a disquieting cue, the composer bringing into play solo voice that lends much to the work. Track seven, ‘Nightmare Elegy’, begins with an almost calming adagio which is melodic and near serene, but this soon alters as we are again taken into the realms of a darker place by the composer. His use of electronic sounds alongside more conventional instrumentations is for me stunning and the two just melt together becoming difficult to separate creating wonderful jumps and starts that add so much atmosphere to the score.
Track eight, ‘A Call From the World Outside has an even greater sense of urgency about it but still the composer manages to include some melodic content amongst the driving low strings and almost searing string stabs that combine to form this piece. Track 17, ‘Adagio-Words of Love’, is a relatively sad piece performed in the main by strings which are augmented by the subtle use of woodwind with light utilization of percussion that acts as punctuation for both the strings and woods. These elements are joined by brass which is woven into the composition and although prominent at certain stages never overwhelms the core sound of the cue which is maintained and carried along by the string section. This is, as I have already stated, a sad piece but at the same time it does lift one’s emotions and at its conclusion offers us a crescendo of sorts that gives the listener a feeling of hope or even triumph. This is an interesting score and one which fuses perfectly many musical colours. It is a score that is at one moment dark, shadowy and unearthly but in the next instant, one which conveys an atmosphere of expectation and peacefulness. Definitely one to savour.

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