Notes for the Kronos Records release, Nov/Dec 2014. Pre order here http://kronosrecords.com/K54.html
Released in 2011, SUMMER SONG is a bitter sweet highly emotional movie that tells the story of a young woman Ellie who is a gifted musician. She is however in turmoil and is faced with some difficult choices that include loyalty to her family or following her dream. She is given the responsibility of caring for her five siblings because her Mother is incapable of caring for them due to her acute alcoholism, her Father is also unwilling to step up to the mark and shoulder the responsibility quite happily letting his Daughter struggle with the task. She even turns to her brother who is a preacher for help but he refuses. Ellie immerses herself in music for solace and also to the affections of a young Mechanic for comfort that she hopes will help her through her complicated life.
The musical score for the movie is the work of Andrew Holtzman and Peter Bateman, the latter as we know achieved recognition earlier this year (2014) with the release of his heroic sounding score for ATLANTIS-THE LAST DAYS OF KAPTARA which was also released on Kronos records. SUMMER SONG contains music that is far removed from the thundering and at times epic style that was employed on KAPTARA, the composers on this occasion turning to a far more gentle and romantic approach with a lilting, sorrowful cello that also at times becomes heart warmingly attractive, piano solo and emotive strings playing a major role within the score, the composers add to these elements subdued woodwind, and soft guitar to create an atmosphere that is fragile, intricate and captivating. Bateman is no stranger to the world of film music and many collectors and aficionados of the art have probably heard his music in numerous other movies without realizing it. I say this because the Maestro has been involved as additional music composer or orchestrator on many soundtracks including EPIC for Danny Elfman, MALEFICENT for James Newton Howard and PRIEST for composer Christopher Young to name but three. The score for SUMMER SONG is an eloquent and beguiling work, built upon a beautifully haunting central theme which is re-occurring throughout the score from which the composers produce a number of variations that support and enhance the film and accompany the central character as she experiences the trials and tribulations that are life. The music I think can be likened to the style of Rachel Portman (Cider House Rules) or even the work of Debbie Wiseman and James Horner. It is touching, affecting and totally absorbing.
John Mansell (c) 2014.
notes as they appear in CD booklet, graphic design by Godwin Borg, Kronos records (c) 2014.