CIN KUYUSU. (CHINESE WELL).

 

 

Released in 2015, CIN KUYUSU is a Turkish produced horror movie and from the few scenes I have managed to see it is one of the most frightening and jumpy in recent years. CIN KUYUSU or CHINESE WELL is a gory and very stressful film to watch filled with violent and scary scenes, some of which just seem to jump out at you without any warning. Music in Horror movies has always been important and in recent years the musical scores that have enhanced horror films have become as scary if not scarier than the films themselves. Composers such as Joseph Bishara for example have come into their own with outstanding musical works for films such as THE CONJURING 1 and 2, for example. CHINESE WELL has a soundtrack composed by Turkish composer and performer Yildiray Gurgen, who has written the music for over 30 movies, which include lush and powerful scores for films such as THE MIRACLE, THE WHITE ANGEL etc. For CIN KUYUSU the composer has enlisted the aid of synthetic elements as well as conventional instrumentation. In fact, I would think that most his score is electronic, which I must say seems to lend much to the movie and creates a soundtrack that is suitably apprehensive and foreboding. It is a dark and brooding work, filled with low sounds and at times growls rather than any music, it is a lurking and dangerous sounding work that toys with the listener’s senses, at times being very low in volume but then suddenly exploding in a torrent of sound that even without any images makes one suddenly jump. As I say I have not seen the entire movie, but the few excerpts I have managed to catch are aided greatly by the score or the sounds on the soundtrack. This is a cleverly written work which contains these half heard sounds or the sound of a crow or maybe a voice or voices whispering but then again are these actually there or does the music work so well that it tricks you into hearing these, not sure, but it is an effective and affecting working, it is a soundtrack that has the ability to make the listener feel uneasy by listening to the score on its own, my advice don’t listen through headphones and make sure its daylight when you do listen.  Scary stuff.

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MUCIZE (THE MIRACLE).

 

 

Released in 2015, MUCIZE or THE MIRACLE is a Turkish movie directed by, Mahsun Kirmizigul, who is also a writer, producer and composer. Set in the 1960’s, the films storyline focuses upon a small village, where a teacher discovers that the isolated village has no school, but because he becomes fond of the villagers and their families he decides to stay and teach them, helping them build a school to call their own where he will educate the children and the villagers and a disabled man who he becomes friends with. The movie is a warm and beautiful masterpiece, that is compelling viewing and a truly enlightening and emotional experience. It is about the courage of one determined man who because of his love of the children uproots himself from the safety of city life and moves to the remote village to help bring them the education they so richly deserve, it is a wonderfully put together movie, crafted with love and much care and compassion. Praise must be given to actor Mert Turak who plays Aziz a disabled man who has a strong bond with his horse, he is the real star of the movie, but I suppose there are no stars as all the cast are amazing. The musical score is by three composers, the director, Mahsun Kirmizigul, Teyfik Akbasli and Yildiray Gurgen. The score is rich and lush, filled with a high emotional content, romantic and adventurous, the music also reflects some of the lighter or comedic elements of the movie, in fact this is such a varied and wonderfully melodic work it’s hard to conceive that the music comes from just one movie. One would think it is from a massive Hollywood epic, the score is grandiose but also manages to be intimate at the same time, its delicate tone poems standing alongside commanding and elaborate themes that are filled with a romantic sound and a truly majestic sound. I love the way in which the composers utilise female wordless voice, it is at times threatening or sinister but often is inspiring and powerful. The release of the soundtrack is almost an hour in duration, with 39 tracks in its track listing, to attempt to pick out a highlight cue or a stand out composition would be impossible as every track is excellent, all I can say is please go and check this out, it is available on Spotify, this is a superb soundtrack a powerful work a commanding score and one that you will return to many times.

Track Listing
1.
Kismet
0:50
2.
Dusunme
2:08
3.
Okul, Pt. 1
0:55
4.
Anatema, Pt. 1
2:20
5.
Dostluk
2:56
6.
Umut, Pt. 1
1:44
7.
Umut, Pt. 2
0:59
8.
Kar Sevinci
0:54
9.
Anatema, Pt. 2
0:45
10.
Dugun
3:45
11.
Kader, Pt. 1
1:36
12.
Kader, Pt. 2
1:28
13.
Okul, Pt. 2
1:47
14.
Ucurtma
1:11
15.
Anatema, Pt. 3
1:50
16.
Intihar
3:46
17.
Mektup
1:57
18.
Mucize
4:44
19.
Umut, Pt. 3
1:43
20.
Ayrilik
1:43
21.
Teaser
1:31
22.
Fragman
2:16
23.
Ucurum
2:23
24.
Hazan
1:12
25.
Yolculuk
1:06
26.
Esinti
1:56
27.
Kiz Isteme, Pt. 1
0:58
28.
Kiz Isteme, Pt. 2
2:10
29.
Eskiya
0:46
30.
Avsar Elleri
3:55
31.
Deh Deyin Kizlar
1:10
32.
Ay Lo Dilo

TULIP FEVER.

 

The movie TULIP FEVER was originally to be released in 2014, but due to various problems and difficulties it has only just seen the light of day. The score is by much sought after and respected composer Danny Elfman, who we all know via his scores to movies such as BATMAN, BEETLEJUICE, DARKMAN, etc. But TULIP FEVER is completely removed from the style of Mr Elfman when he wrote the soundtracks to these and other action led motion pictures. Instead we have here a sound and style that maybe we would normally associate with composers such as Phillipe Rombi, George Fenton or Georges Delerue, his score for TULIP FEVER certainly has about it a style that is more classical in its overall sound and make up. Elfman’s score was briefly released back in 2014 by Sony when the film was originally slotted for its premiere, but it was soon removed and thankfully not forgotten by the label. I hear within the score references to other works by the composer in-particular his music for SOMMERSBY which seemed to have been released years and years ago, also there are certain flourishes and mystical sounding musical phrases that are reminiscent to EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, it is a soundtrack filled with fragility and also one that is haunting but saying that it is hard to pick out a resounding or reoccurring theme within the work apart from, the opening and closing tracks SOPHIAS THEME, which opens with female wordless voice that is supported by piano and strings, the voice melts away with strings and piano taking on the theme backed by subdued use of percussion, the cue builds and gains some momentum, but as I say there is no real theme as such but it remains interesting, elegant and enchanting, this is especially true in the second version of the theme which appears at the end of the album, with the composer introducing a boy soprano, that immediately evoked memories of   George Fenton’s, work on SHADOWLANDS .  MARIA’S THEME (track number 12)  seems to be a more consolidated attempt at a cue with real thematic direction, the composer fully developing the rich and near lushness of his composition in less than a minute. Track number 13, THE WAIT is too a more developed piece, and begins subdued but slightly sinister and gradually builds with strings and percussion supported by woods and voice into a fully dramatic piece. The longest cue on the album is THE GRAND FINALE, which I suppose one could say is an overture of suite of sorts that includes various themes from the score or at least hints and glimpses of them. TULIP FEVER is for me an interesting work, and generally pleasant and amiable in its sound and style, but saying that it is probably a score that one would play a couple of times then file it, but that is purely a personal opinion.

THEIR FINEST.

 

THEIR FINEST is a film about people making a movie, well a propaganda film about Dunkirk, it is typically a little British stiff upper lip and has to it a poignancy and a slightly sweet aura and is certainly amusing throughout. Its clever storyline oozes an atmosphere that is at times inspiring, highly patriotic and romantic. The focus of the storyline is upon a couple of young people who are working on the film and via their working relationship become involved romantically. It also gives the watching audience a very rare insight into a part of the war effort between 1939 and 1945 that is rarely given the spotlight, which is that of the ministry of information. The film also has an emotive side that shows us the efforts of an ageing film star Ambrose Hilliard played wonderfully by the excellent Bill Nighy, who is coming to terms with the fact that he is no longer leading actor material and must settle for lesser roles. In my opinion the movie seemed a little too condensed and maybe would have come over better as a four or five-part series for television, nevertheless it is entertaining and enjoyable. The music is by British born composer Rachel Portman, who has over the past few years written some of cinemas most beautiful musical scores. THEIR FINEST is in my humble opinion one of the composers most touching and emotive works and one that mirrors some of her most popular scores such as THE CIDER HOUSE RULES ,the score opens with a slightly upbeat and invigorating piece entitled CATRIN GOES TO MINISTRY, strings open and lead throughout with the composer adding to the mix a flute solo which introduces the fabric of the theme whilst being bolstered and supported by the string section, although short lived this cue establishes itself fairly swiftly and also is an introduction for much of what follows, track number two, I,D MISS YOU is a slower more subdued piece for solo piano, it is a delicate and fragile sounding piece which purveys an atmosphere that is brimming with emotion, melancholy and poignancy. These two opening themes are present throughout the entire work, with the composer presenting them in various arrangements and guises, keeping them fresh and vibrant on each outing. There are also some nice patriotic set pieces within the score and these for me recalled the style of Walton on occasion, especially in NANCY STARLING PARTS 1 AND 2. Overall this is thus far this year one of the best film scores I have heard, I recommend that you check it out.

THE VICEROYS HOUSE.

 

 

The music for THE VICEROYS HOUSE has to it a sound and style that can be I suppose categorised as being quintessentially English. Its lush and vibrant thematic material performed by strings and woods that create a gentile and delicately fragile work which at times does have to it a sense and sound of the pomp and ceremony of the British Raj or the British anything for that matter. Of course, there are a few ethnic sounding passages and these are performed by instruments that are from India or Asia, which add much to the work as a whole. It was a surprise for me when I learned that the music was by A.R. RAHMAN because when listening to the score I was convinced it could be the work of a British composer with maybe a musical associate or collaborator that provided the ethnic parts of the soundtrack. It is however not an unpleasant surprise but a wonderfully delightful one. The score is a pleasure in every respect and is one of those soundtracks that flows easily, with each cue seemingly melting into the next flawlessly and seamlessly. The composers use of strings and horns with percussion and woodwind lending support is hauntingly beautiful and generates a touching and somewhat mesmerising effect throughout. This is a soundtrack that you will embrace and thoroughly enjoy and with each listen I am confident that you will discover fresh musical nuances and take these to your heart. The music is because of the subject matter, proud and regal with little forays into the comedic and plenty romantic interludes that seem to appear as from nowhere. The opening cue begins with a lilting and rich sounding cello solo that is then joined by more strings and woodwind, as the theme develops and grows, the composer then adds ethnic percussion for a fleeting moment, but this is short lived with the cue returning to a more western sound via the use of strings and faraway sounding horns, the percussive elements return but are delicate and minor in volume as the cue continues to develop with the use of cymbalom underlined by ethnic percussion and subdued strings. It is a wonderfully melodic and hauntingly attractive piece, that I know you will return to many times. Rahman has proved in the past that he can write music of the romantic type and with this score the Maestro further demonstrates this, if you were not aware of the composer you would be forgiven for assuming is was the work of Debbie Wiseman or Patrick Doyle or maybe Rachel Portman, it’s an easy to listen to work away from the movie and one that works within the film. Underlining scenarios and adding much to the story that is unfolding on screen. I have no reservations about recommending this to you, I say here and now I love it. One cue in particular seemed to attract me and that was TWO BROKEN HEARTS, it is a poignant and highly emotive piece filled with a fragility that is at times heartrending and superbly touching. Also there is track number 10 AHIMSA which includes a wordless female vocal that sends shivers up  ones spine, both Female and Male voices are utilised in track number 11, THE PARTITION and this too certainly hits the emotional spot. But it is THE BIRTH OF TWO NATIONS that is the overall stand out piece within the score, it builds and builds, gathering momentum and pace with strings working towards a crescendo of sorts and choir adding their support to the proceedings, it has an epic feel to it but at the same time an intimacy and endearing quality shines through. Please go buy this ASAP.