It seems to me that recently Ennio Morricone has been producing some of his finest music in years, and this  release from Rai Trade provides further evidence of that statement. Lucia was a television film produced by RAI and aired in 2005.  The music is elegant, emotive, melodic and haunting. In many ways it recalls the romantic and comic sections from the 1970’s picture Anche se volessi lovare, che faccio, in-particular the track on that score entitled Lei se ne more, albeit without the choir.  When listening to Lucia, it is hard to come to terms with the fact that each theme one is hearing comes from the same movie, as there are so many musically worthy cues contained on the one disc, so it’s a case of quality as well as quantity with this score. There are delicate and touching tone poems, which are accompanied by buoyant – almost playful – compositions that are simple but entertaining and effective, plus we are treated to slightly more complex sounding but even further entertaining cues performed on violin, woods, piano and harpsichord as in track number 7 Con tritezza. The composer also surpasses himself on the title cue track, Lucia, which is a slow and highly tender sort of starry eyed composition that utilises underlying strings to support a woodwind melody. It all manages to evoke the distinct and wonderful sound of the silver age of Italian film music perfectly, and is an essential purchase for any Morricone devotee, in fact it is an essential buy for any collector of superior film music in general. It is a soundtrack that one can put in the player and sit back relax and drift off into a world that is hopefully less stressful than ours, giving the listener a sense of de-ja vu of an age of film music that is sadly no longer with us, I cannot recommend Lucia highly enough: so many themes, so much quality music – every track is a classic Morricone composition. Another wonderful release of Italian film music on this now well established label.



This Jess Franco erotic mystery was released in 1970, The story tells of two dancers who begin to have a relationship, this friendship begins to take a turn for the worse when both of them start to have nightmares in which they engage in killing people. Things begin to get out of hand when the fine line between reality and fantasy starts to become hard to define. The score by composer Bruno Nicolai, was never issued in an official form before, and this compact disc is the world premiere of Nicolai’s haunting and atmospheric work. Nicolai wrote a soundtrack that was very much in the category of experimental music for this movie, which gave great depth and an ambience of fear and to an already harrowing and realistically violent film. Nicolai,s score, is one that I would not say is easy to listen to, but at the same time it has an attraction about it, that one finds enticing. His use of organ, atonal sounding strings and solo violin, Spanish guitar and also an interesting utilisation of percussion is masterful, it certainly works well within the context of the movie, whether or not it stands alone as a musical work away fro the images is another matter, nevertheless, any self respecting Nicolai collector should not be without this release. It does actually show off the composers ability to be versatile, as he not only provides the soundtrack with atonal and largely un-melodic cues, but includes compositions that do have a certain melodious quality about them as in track number GIOSTRA which is one of the longest tracks on the CD running for just over 6 minutes. It has an almost fairground sound to it, or maybe the sound of a barrel organ, which is a complete contrast from the majority of the rest of the score. Track 9 INFRAROSSO is also somewhat different from the remainder of the score, and boasts a jazzy almost steamy sounding saxophone which is suitably accompanied by brushed and laid back sounding percussion which is supported and interspersed with jazz organ, that eventually takes on the principal theme of the cue. As I have said there is a great deal of atonal material present on this compact disc, but please do not let this deter you from buying it, this is a Nicolai score of distinction that although a little more complicated and complex than other works by this Maestro, will still please and be enjoyable, have no doubt of that. As always packaged wonderfully by Digitmovies.



Based on the 2003 novel by French author, Didier van Cauwelaert which was published under the title of OUT OF MY HEAD. UNKNOWN is an intriguing and interesting movie that has transferred well to the big screen from the novel. Directed Jaume Collet Serra, the film stars the ever watch-able Liam Neeson in the lead role of Dr Martin Harris. Who receives excellent support from, Aidan Quinn, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Bruno Ganz and Hollywood stalwart  Frank Langella. The story deals with identity theft but has numerous other sinister and dark connotations. As you can imagine it is a quite harrowing and vexing story and has more twists, turns and excitement than a roller-coaster ride, this atmosphere is underlined and further relayed within the tense sounding musical score by composers John Ottman and Alexander Rudd. The music conveys and emphasizes the central characters frustration at events that are tearing his life apart and also punctuates and highlights the urgency of matters as he attempts to convince people that what he is saying is the truth. The music is not a grand work, but it capably enhances the  proceedings that are unfolding upon the screen, the music remains rather low key throughout and very rarely bursts into full flight, but this I think is the sign of a composer or composers in this scenario, that are serving the movies requirements rather than attempting to get a catchy tune out of an assignment, and also do not swamp the picture with gratuitous, loud or needless music and that after all is the purpose of music in film. Track 7, EVIL CAR, however is a cue that is of the action variety and the music here is just that, action slanted, with strings and brass more or less striding forward and carrying the central body of the composition, edgy musical stabs supported by swirling strings play out a dark sounding sense of urgency that creates an atmosphere of undiluted tension and an overflowing ambiance of anxiety. This style of scoring is also present in track number 9, THE HOSPITAL, which builds tension upon tension with effective use of percussion and driving and relentless strings. This is a score of great worth, and with each cue comes an increase in its levels of intensity, but the more intense it becomes the more thrilling and entertaining it is.  Although UNKNOWN is not a melodious or in anyway tuneful for any length of time, it still remains attractive because of its sheer creativity and the composers ability to infuse the thrill factor into the music. It is sparse in places but this just adds to the works impact and overall atmosphere. Worth a listen…



Atli Örvarsson is a composer who is fast making his mark in the world of film scoring, he has recently undertaken to score some high profile productions and THE FOURTH KIND is probably to date his biggest scoring assignment. The composer has become skilled at utilising numerous musical elements and combining these to come up with haunting and effectual compositions. In this case he has made use of synthesised sounds fusing these with choral work and conventional instrumentation, all of which intertwine and combine to create a union that is at times stunning, emotive and also dramatic. This is a tense sounding score at certain points, but also has a number of musical interludes which can be categorised as almost tranquil or celestial in their make up and overall sound, style and presentation. The composer seems to be able to segue with ease from high drama to low key but effectual moments creating the suitable ambiance for the situation or event that is unfolding within the movies storyline. This is demonstrated perfectly in track number 2, ‘Owolowa’ this is a brooding and fairly dark composition which begins slowly and low key, but builds steadily with the composer introducing instrumentation as each level of the composition establishes itself, this is a masterful and effective piece that certainly has the desired effect of creating a tense and fraught atmosphere, that has an underlying atmosphere that is emotively powerful. The work is not an all theme blazing score, but there are definitely themes present throughout and these seem to more or less creep up on the listener and establish themselves without the listener really being aware until they are in full flow, I personally enjoy this type of scoring in new movies as opposed to full on musical wallpaper or brazen Mickey mousing, Örvarsson has with this soundtrack established himself further to be a composer that scores movies not only intelligently and competently but works for the film and its storyline rather than attempting to create themes that maybe will stand alone away from the production, which is after all what film music is all about. I recommend that you at least check out the samples of this score, once savoured you will want to hear more.



Released along with two other compilations by the composer this is yet another worthy and interesting compilation that showcases the film music of composer Chris Ridenhour. This particular collection concentrates upon the composers music utilized within sci-fi movies. As with the other two compilations released on movie score media the music is presented in the form of lengthy suites each suite including central themes and highlights from each of the respective scores. This I think is a great way to listen to a composers music and also a good way to appreciated it more and get acquainted with it. Once again the music is taken from movies that are produced by The Asylum Film Company and are either released straight to DVD or shown on the SYFI channel. The disc begins with SUPERNOVA, a 2009 production which is a disaster movie that deals with a scenario of a supernova in another galaxy omitting deadly radiation towards the earth and a plan that has been conceived by an astrophysicist to shield the earth from the destructive force. Ridenhour has fashioned a score that although mainly relies upon action music also contains some interesting and  large scale themes, it is a hard hitting score that fully takes advantage of the use of brass and choral sounds both of which work well together complimenting and supporting each other, the choral work I think, I am not entirely sure is synthetic or sampled but nevertheless effective, in fact at one point during the opening three minutes or so the sound achieved certainly has the resonance we would ordinarily associate with Danny Elfman, it’s kind of like NIGHT BREED fused with BEETLEJUICE. Or BATMAN incorporating DARKMAN, it’s what I suppose I would call an impish or evil sound that evokes an atmosphere and feeling of apprehension, urgency and impending catastrophe. In fact it can be likened to the sound achieved by Jo Lo Duca on the EVIL DEAD movies. The music is full on for most of the fifteen minute suites duration, the only real respite coming at the end of the suite in the cues SAVED and ECLIPSE, where the composer provides a calming interlude and a theme that relays a mood that is hopeful rather than critical bringing proceedings to a close. I would not say that this is an original work, but it is certainly one that is interesting and exhilarating to listen to. Track two, is from the 2009 release of PRINCESS OF MARS. This is a score that is full of set themes, in fact most of the composer’s soundtracks if you listen carefully are built on specific themes for characters etc, and he develops the score via these expanding and elevating them.

This again contains a number of action cues but I am of the opinion that maybe this is a little to busy to hi octane and very fraught, in fact it does at times become somewhat distracting and sends one reaching for the volume control. This said, the remainder of the suite contains some solid pieces which I am sure will delight many a collector. Also included on this compilation are suites from TRANSMORPHERS; FALL OF MAN, JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH and TERMINATORS. This is a collection worth investing in as are the other two Ridenhour compact discs on Movie Score Media.