ARTIFICIAL.

Sleeve notes for the Kronos records soundtrack release.

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As a genre of film and indeed as a genre, whether it is in book form or even a comic book, Science Fiction can either appeal to many or be either loved or loathed but the public at large, yes of course blockbusters from Hollywood as in Star Wars and Close Encounters of the third kind, are examples within the genre that obviously sat well in the eyes of the cinema going public. But, examples such as these are or were few and far between and many SCI-FI films as in shorts or low budget productions do tend to attract something of a niche following. The production values and standards of many being a little shaky to say the least, which is probably due to the budget the film manged to scrape together. The Sci Fi movie when produced correctly and written well is in most cases an enjoyable experience, both visually and cerebrally, often thought provoking and engaging and at times is a journey of discovery, escapism and enthrallment. It is a genre that can create moments of true brilliance within cinema and literature. ARTIFICIAL, is a short film which runs for less than thirty minutes, produced in Spain in 2015 and directed by filmmaker David Perez Sanudo, it is a tale of a man who arrives at a job interview full of hope that he might get the position, but what he does not realise is that he has already been selected and his potential employers make him an offer of 80, thousand Euros to agree to take part in an experiment where he will be cloned. The musical score is by Spanish born composer, Jorge Granda, who has created a highly atmospheric soundtrack via the utilisation of an entirely electronic score, synthetic sounds are at times grating and non-musical when not handled with care and expertise, I am happy to say that this is certainly not the case with this score, the music is pleasing and also very melodic and filled with delicate notations and motifs that trickle along at a steady pace to relay a sense of calm initially, but after a while these calming sounds become a little more tense and begin to alter and transform into something that is slightly more dark and uneasy, let us remember this is a short film which has a duration of just 20 minutes, so the composer had very little time to establish his score and also to expand it into themes or something that remotely resembled thematic material. In a feature length motion picture, the composer has sometimes nearly two hours to enhance the proceedings and is able to introduce more than just one central theme having the luxury of a longer running time in which he create themes for certain characters, in the world of the short film, the composer has an infinitely more difficult job as he must enhance, support and underline the storyline but has very little time in which to do it in, and invariably a smaller budget. For ARTIFICIAL, composer Granda, has worked a little bit of musical magic, he has fashioned a score that is contemporary, synthetic and one that works well with the images and scenarios on screen, but he has also managed to infuse emotion and fragility into the work, which is as we all know rare in electronic soundtracks.

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Composer, musician and producer Jorge Granda was born on December 14th, 1985, since the early part of 2010 he has focused upon the composition of music for films and media. He has been involved in the writing of over 30 scores for short films, and has also worked on documentaries and other visual projects. His sound or style is not dissimilar to that of the combined styles of Vangelis and British musician and composer Mike Oldfield, where he combines both synthetic colours and musical textures with conventional instrumentation such as, Guitar, piano and percussive elements alongside samples, fusing these effectively to produce attractive and effecting musical moods and atmospheres. Many of his albums are available on various music sites and he has in a short space of time built up a wonderfully diverse and original sounding body of work. Thanks to Kronos records, we can hear the alluring and haunting sounds that the composer created for ARTIFICIAL.

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THE LION WOMAN.

Notes for the Kronos/Movie score media CD release.

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Composer Uno Helmersson, has written a particularly, fixating and captivating soundtrack for THE LION WOMAN, his musical score being, highly melodic and filled with a rich and luscious sound that is haunting and extremely beautiful. The score is overflowing with fragile and delicate tone poems that weave in and out of the proceedings creating emotive and poignant musical moments. The score also contains a handful of cues that are much darker and even at times ominously foreboding, the composer fusing both symphonic colours and synthetic textures together to fashion a shadowy and at times unsettling musical persona. THE LION WOMAN contains one of the most interesting and hypnotic scores that I have heard in a while. The composer relies in the main on piano, strings and cello to create his light and romantically melancholy musical themes, the cello in-particular has a richness to it that oozes emotion and sadness that is the heart of the score in many ways or at least its soul. Most of the work is light and beguiling, with Helmersson, utilising piano solos or piano and woods in unison that are supported by layered strings that seem to caress and accentuate the core musical themes. The musical score plays an important and integral part to the unfolding storyline and gives it greater depth and certainly more emotion, the score is key to the sensitive content of the movie, the composer creating subtle but effective and affecting motifs and musical passages to underline, emphasise, support and punctuate each scene. The central theme is a combination of solo piano and strings which together form a solid opening foundation, on which the composer begins to build his theme, this musical notion is then expanded and embellished with woodwind and additional strings to create an elegant and lingering piece which grows and builds in momentum purveying a romantic yet strident style. The score is enchanting, and magical, and contains an appealing fragility that shines throughout, it is a soundtrack, the style employed I would say was akin to the sound achieved by composers such as Phillipe Rombi, Alexander Desplat, Georges Delerue and has hints of the romantic sounds of Ennio Morricone and maybe too incorporates touches that are of a Barry-esque quality. Uno Helmersson, was born in, Vasterbotten, Sweden, on March 28th, 1977. As a child his parents noticed his aptitude for music and decided to let him take Organ lessons. As he grew up and entered his teenage years, he began to play in various bands, and it was at this time that he realised that it was music he wanted to pursue as a career. He studied music in upper secondary school and continued to study via various preparatory courses before he was finally accepted into The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, in 2002.

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Whilst he was at college he became friends with Johan Soderqvist, who is one of the most prominent composers of music for film in the Nordics, and after graduating from college Uno began to work as Soderqvist’s assistant. And worked on scores for films such as KON TIKI, LIMBO and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Helmersson got his first solo break into composing for film in 2010 when he wrote the score for the Danish documentary ARMADILLO, and has since then been busy writing music for film and television.
THE LION WOMAN, was written and directed by Scandinavian film maker, Vibeke Idsoe, and was released on September 14th, 2017, in Germany, the screenplay was based on the novel by Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen, and tells the story of a young girl Eva Arctander who suffers from a very rare genetic disorder, which generates hair growth over large parts of her body. Eva’s Mother dies in child birth and her Father attempts to hide his daughter away from everyone, because he feels ashamed of her appearance. Despite all the odds being stacked against her, Eva, has such a passion for life but because of her experiences with people’s bigotry and disrespect she decides to join a theatre group which includes members that also suffer from rare diseases, the movie is her story and follows her from the age of seven and concentrates on her 14th and 22nd years, and is set between 1912 and 1932. It is a touching and somewhat frustrating tale, but also a film that you cannot stop watching, a compelling storyline, with some wonderful performances by the leading actors.