It is always a delight to hear of a new composer of film music or indeed a composer that I have not heard of before who has been steadily working scoring movies and TV shows. It amazes me at times that young composers these days seem to be creating scores that are so mature and melodic, whilst the established composers seem to be stuck in a rut that utilises sounds and drones which are soundscapes rather than soundtracks. NETFLIX are indeed coming into their own in recent months and have produced a number of series and programmes well worth watching, one of their recent series is Grand Hotel” aka “Secret of the Nile”, is first Arabic tv series to be aired on Netflix. The music for this 30 Episode series is the work of young composer Amine Bouhafa, who I am told is just 32 years of age but writes music which has such power and rich thematic content that one would think this is the work of a seasoned composer who is at least 60 years of age with numerous film scores to his credit. Bouhafa, has fashioned a score that is luxuriously attractive, with a sound that is opulent and appealing, the composer utilises the string section to great effect and also makes effecting use of solo piano, woodwind and harp which punctuate, underline and augment the proceedings.
The opening track on the recording is a feast for the ears, with a wonderful cello solo being supported and carried along by subtle but at the same time driving strings. The score has a grand sound to it, a style that is akin to the great scores of Hollywood and is overflowing with a haunting and highly emotive musical persona throughout. I love track number 4, THE DINNER PARTY, what a grand sounding waltz this is, with shades of composers Richard Robbins and Patrick Doyle woven into it, but there is also an individual sound present, a sound that is equally attractive and just as polished and alluring. The remainder of the score, is magnificent, fully symphonic as far as I can hear, which is rare these days, the composer is inventive in his orchestrations and adds melancholy and emotion liberally via the at times fragile and delicate strings. To say any more would spoil your journey into the music of Armine Bouhafa, please discover this and other glorious gems by this talented composer.