THE MUMMY (2017).

 

Tom Cruise in THE MUMMY, well not entirely sure on this, for me the jury is still out. I am used to Mummy movies from studios such as Hammer etc, so maybe the MUMMY 2017 is just too much to take. The score however is something else. We all love Jerry Goldsmiths score for THE MUMMY and, we are all just as fond of the musical scores for Mummy adventures as brought to the screen by the house of horror and studios such as Universal. So, when I heard that Brian Tyler was to be the composer on this latest re-telling of the story, I was quietly confident that we would be delivered a score that was filled with action, suspense and more importantly some good thematic material, glad to say I was not wrong. This is a large-scale work, which is written for full orchestra and includes many choral performances throughout that are themselves bolstered and supported by various synthetic sounds. I was immediately taken with the composers grand and epic approach to the movie, his rasping and growling brass flourishes instantly grabbing one’s attention, these alongside and fused with driving strings that are embellished by thundering percussive elements are imposing and at times fearsome. I have always been a fan of Tyler, and particularly enjoyed his rhythmic yet grandiose approach to IRON MAN and his epic and powerful score for THOR THE DARK WORLD, he has this knack of creating fantastic film music that fits the movie like the proverbial glove but at the same time stands on its own as just a great and inspiring piece of music. With Brian Tyler you at least get a score that is filled with real themes that develop, breath and grow throughout the score, there are none of these electronic unlistenable grating compositions, if indeed these are compositions that have graced or disgraced block busters over the past few years, by composers who we will not mention now. Tyler’s score for THE MUMMY is a class act, it will enthral and delight film music fans and for me as always Tyler evokes many memories of the style of the late Jerry Goldsmith with also a nod in the direction of Bernard Herrmann. In many way’s this is a score that is written and performed in the same fashion and passion as good old fashion film music which sadly seems to be a thing of the past these days, it is a work that is commanding and at the same time mystically emotive, although poignancy is at times rather scarce, the composer often introducing a cue with something that is not at all action orientated but transforming a lilting motif into something rather more sinister, melancholy and calm more often than not falling by the wayside when things really get going, this is a nonstop, no holds barred action score that has real heart and character and will I know be returned to many times after an initial listen. Tyler hits the spot on every occasion, each time stepping up the mark and enhancing, underlining, punctuating and supporting. His artistry creating a soundtrack that is at times as foreboding, and virulent as the MUMMY itself.

One to add to your collection, a real rollercoaster ride with so many twists and turns it may well send you dizzy. One cue that particularly evoked Jerry Goldsmith for me was track number 24, FORWARD MOMENTUM, swirling strings and timpani supported by brass, woodwind and a scattering of percussion create a wonderfully tense and fraught mood, with the strings carrying along the remainder of the instrumentation on a surge of excitement that is unrelenting and unstoppable, propelling the listener into a volatile and frenzied situation. The same can be said for SANDSTORM another piece that is a showcase for the string and percussion sections, this time supported by choir and brass that together generate and electric atmosphere. So highly recommended.

 

WONDER WOMAN.

 

 

As you are probably aware I at times do say that modern film music is nowhere near as good or as thematic as material that I grew up with written by Goldsmith, Bernstein etc, the recent glut of superhero films have been disappointing both as movies and in the musical score or sound design department, let’s face it and say it, Zimmer’s Superman scores were pretty uninspiring and recent contributions from other composers seem to have fallen flat and become instantly forgettable, in fact they were forgettable as soon as they began to play in most cases. So, with WONDER WOMAN I thought yes, a glimmer of light in the musical expertise of Rupert Gregson Williams, I liked his work on TARZAN and THE CROWN too showed some little glints of light musically speaking, but sadly alas NO, WONDER WOMAN the music is not worthy of the film it is intended to enhance. Harsh I hear you say, well that’s how I hear it anyways. The movie itself I think is probably the best superhero movie to hit the screens since, ummm let me think? Oh well anyway its very good. I was disappointed in the fact that the composer really did not infuse any real originality into the score, this could be a soundtrack penned by any number of Hollywood film music composers and it just oozes with the influences of Zimmer, with its brooding strings its gradually building themes if you can call them that and its lumbering percussive elements. It is in my opinion a score that never really develops, it is always bubbling under if you see what I mean, the composer does on occasion let fly with something that approaches action or superhero stuff, but again where are the themes where are the central and core musical moments and the real foundations of the score on which great or super themes can be built, I worry about the future of film music, it seems to be stuck in the doldrums and just very occasional we get a treat, WONDER WOMAN is a very entertaining movie, well made and well-acted but the music certainly is not WONDER-FULL. I think Hollywood, has to get away from using certain composers for certain types of movies, maybe even not think HANS ZIMMER straight away, after all there are far more competent and original composers out there, maybe even think outside the box and get someone in that is fresh and new, just a thought. This movie is good, with a more substantial and vibrant score it could have been great.

249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla.

released soon on KRONOS RECORDS.

 

Thanks once again to Kronos records we can savour and enjoy a film score that ordinarily might have been overlooked and not released on any form of a recording. The music from 249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla, is courtesy of Spanish born composer, Jose Sanchez Sanz, who I do not think will be that familiar to many collectors of music from movies, but, he is a composer who has already a number of film scores to his credit. The score for this documentary is a varied one, the composer successfully fusing both the conventional instrumentation of the orchestra with that of the synthetic and electronic aids that are utilised nowadays by composers and musicians. These two mediums however never clash or overpower each other, the composer has combined them in such a way that they complement, enhance and most importantly support each other and together create a work that is not only innovative and compelling but also a work that is entertaining. Strings and piano are merged with various percussive elements and a subtle scattering of woodwind, these elements jointly purvey superbly a sound and style that is tense, fearfully hesitant and dramatic, although saying this the score also has a slightly less serious side with glimmers of melancholy and nuances of warmth shining through. I suppose one could say this is a brooding soundtrack and a slow burning score, as it has three musical personas, the sad and slightly romantic face being underlined by a richly dark and unsettling side that itself is given more power and credence by the composers fertile and imaginative orchestration skills, that make the work sound larger than it is. Then we have the delicate and fragile character of the work which percolates through the shadowy and nervous material, the composer at one point adding a fleeting and ever so subtle accordion sound that is not that pronounced or prominent but still gives the work that something more, making the listener take even more interest in what is building musically. At times, I was reminded of the Morricone, Nicolai or Cipriani of the 1960, s, mainly because of the use of a somewhat ominous sounding piano which was embroidered by woodwind and strings, although together they create a tense and at times uneasy mood they still manage to be melodic in a strangely attractive and charming way, there were also occasions when I was reminded of other composers such as Dave Grusin, which cannot be a negative thing. The composer builds layers of music and as the work progresses adds various colours and musical notions at key points, these generate a delicious and riveting collection of themes and sub themes, that become almost addictive as the work grows. This is a score that initially sounds European, which given the composers origins is a somewhat accepted conclusion, but then we have another sound or style that begins to filter through and intertwine with the already established Euro sound, this gains momentum as the score develops and has affiliations to the Hollywood thriller score of both today and yesterday.

 

 

 

It is a soundtrack that figuratively oozes sophistication and quality, a work that is innovative, lingering and exciting, but moreover one that is entertaining and rewarding. I am sure that once heard it will also be a work that will convince collectors and connoisseurs of film music that this is a composer who’s name we should be aware of as a talent within the genre of movie scoring and also should look forward to more of his music being released. Jose Sanchez Sanz was born on July 4th,1970 in Madrid Spain. He is known for his work on the movies, I,LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (2003), H6 DIARIO DE UN ASESINO (2005) and THE SYMMETRY OF LOVE from 2010 which contained a jazz influenced soundtrack that was haunting and appealing. As well as scoring feature films the composer has also worked on a number of shorts, television projects and game scores, his first scoring assignment being in 1993 when he worked on EL PRIMERIZO for directors, Francisco de Lucas and David Serrano. His first feature assignment came in 1996 when he wrote the score for MENOS QUE CERO, more short film assignments followed in that year and he scored his second feature a drama entitled BESOS Y ABRAZOS in 1997. The composer has worked steadily since his career in film/TV and media music began and has been involved with over 60 projects to date, his most recent being the short film, VELATORIO (BARROCO) for director Aitor De Miguel in 2016. The composers style is not a uniformed one, in fact his musical style seems to alter each time and he is able to adapt to each project he works on and is successful in fashioning a unique and singular musical voice for every storyline and scenario. I know it is a term quite freely utilised these days, but Jose Sanchez Sanz is quite literally chameleon-like in his approach to writing for film and creates music that enhances and embellishes, giving support and depth to certain characters and underlining situations that are unfolding on the screen. He does this without being intrusive or overbearing, which is as we all know the way in which good film music should work, I am also pleased to say that he also invents some great melodies along the way. The film 249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla, tells the story of the night that the entrepreneur reappeared after being kidnapped by ETA. Told in documentary form with a duration of 77 minutes, it is an interesting and at times a thought provoking piece of cinema, directed by Luis Maria Ferrandez.