Sleeve notes for the soon to be released soundtrack of I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER by Federico Jusid on Kronos records.
Composer Federico Jusid was born in Buenos Aires in Argentina in 1973, his interest in music began very early on in his life and from the age of 7 he would begin to study music. His love of music was kindled by listening to his Mother play piano when he was a child, the composer would often take to the piano at the family home and attempt to play it whilst he was a youngster. His Mother Luisina Brando was also an actress and his Father Juan Jose Jusid was a well known film maker in Argentina. I asked the composer what musical education he had received. “ Well once I started to torture our poor piano at home my parents decided to take me to a wonderful teacher. He not only taught me how to play piano but also we worked on improvising. Soon I started scribbling my first attempts at composition. Unfortunately I was not as gifted as Mozart when I was his age but at least I had an attempt at composition. After this I went on to be tutored by the excellent piano teacher Claudio Espector at the Municipal Conservatory of Buenos Aires. It was here that I received my Piano Teacher Bachelor of Arts Degree, when I was 21 I was given a scholarship which allowed me to relocate to New York where I finished my Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music. It was there that I took classes in both piano and also composition which included film scoring. After this I was awarded an Antorchas Foundation Scholarship which allowed me to travel to Europe where I continued with my musical education in Brussels and I received the Diploma de Execution Musicale”. I asked the composer had he always been attracted to the idea of writing music for films? “ My family are in the movie business, so I always was around the shooting stages, editing rooms and also the music studios, which was a blessing as I could witness the excite from film making quite early” So what did the composer think was the purpose of music in film? “ Oh my that is a tough one, There are so many great books written on this subject, I would only dare to say that a music score should find its own purpose with each project, and if we have a great honesty and work ethics it should never repeat itself. Sometimes music becomes a new character, other times an atmosphere or a sense of time or structure, or a tempo, an emotion map etc, to simplify in a shallow way”.
Federico Jusid is a talented composer and orchestrator but is also an accomplished pianist, did the composer perform on his own scores?
“ I actually perform on most of my film scores, its not a narcissistic exercise but a practical thing for me to do. Of course. If there’s enough time there is always a chance of having someone else perform probably better than I do and that way the music is given a fresh idea”.
The composer has worked on numerous movies and also has scored a multitude of television projects, one of his better known soundtracks is the beautifully emotive work he did on THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES which he co-wrote with Emilio Kauderer, but in recent months he has been applauded by collectors and critics alike for his work on the Spanish TV series Isabel and the Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins thriller MISCONDUCT. There is certainly no doubt what so ever that Jusid is a talent to be reckoned with and I hope that in the future his name will be seen on the credits to many a block buster motion picture. I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER is a score that contains many musical colours, the composer has created a highly emotional work which has at its core a deep and touchingly delicate musical persona that is purveyed by the effective use of woodwind, piano and strings that when combined conjure up an atmosphere and mood that is filled with melancholy and a simple childlike sound. These simplistic thematic notions are affecting and beautiful and work just as a well away from the images on screen as they do with them. There is also another edge or face to the score which is ever so slightly harsher, the composer utilising electric guitar at certain points which is fused with percussion and strings and enhanced further by the use of a scattering of synthetic sounds that do evoke a certain martial style, these harder or darker sounding moments are however in the minority as the majority of the work is filled with effecting and deliciously haunting tone poems, which are intricate and beguiling. We are treated to soaring strings and frail but attractive piano solos which are underlined by woodwind passages that are woven into the fabric of the work. Released in 2010 I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER was the fourth feature film directed by film maker Christian Molina, the film tells the story of eight year old Alex, who seems to become almost obsessed by violent images, he begins to develop communication difficulties with his parents at first after his Mother gives birth to two babies, at first he seems happy to assume the role of the older brother, but soon his outlook changes and he also becomes increasingly detached from the other children who attend his school, he basically hounds his Mother and Father into getting him a Television for his room and then shuts himself away watching violent programmes and becoming more and more caught up with the scenes of violence from all over the world that he is able to see.
He then begins to become increasingly secretive and closes in upon himself and develops a friendship with two imaginary characters one an astronaut the other a cruel sergeant called John Cluster who advises Alex on how he can be a better soldier. The quiet eight year old who dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day has changed into someone who wants to be a soldier and go and fight and destroy the enemies of his country. Federico Jusid’s score underlines perfectly the changes that Alex is going through, it supports, punctuates and enhances wonderfully the storyline without being overpowering and gives the film and its storyline soul and a greater emotional depth.