What I love about film music is that it is unlike so many other genres of music, pop music for example at times can be a little throwaway, by this I mean if its not current then its probably not going to be heard for long, so many songs which don’t cut the mustard as it were, and fall by the wayside being swept away by many. Film music however has more of a longevity to it, by this I mean if I should have a day or a half day where I can look through Spotify for example I can normally come across at least one or two scores I did not know of and composers that may have escaped my radar. This weekend I had a few spare minutes and I was actually looking for a track by Pino Donaggio from the HOWLING, this search was fruitless but it did throw up a cue entitled SHOUT HOWLING, so I saw it was from a soundtrack to a movie entitled THE TIGER, AN OLD HUNTERS TALE, I investigated further and found it to be a South Korean movie from 2015, which contained an outstanding score by Yeong-Wook Jo, this is what I suppose can be described as a happy accident, as I would not have looked for the score or the composer, but this accidental search certainly came up trumps for me. The score is a wonderfully themeatic one and contains some interesting and dramatic writing from the composer. The music is for the most part symphonic, but it also contains synthetic support throughout, but I have to say the composer fuses both medias flawlessly, creating action packed cues that sit along side romantic and melancholy pieces, but these never jar or sound out of place as the composer segues from cue to cue altering styles and sounds with ease. I was surprised that the score was credited to THE SOUNDTRACK KINGS on the internet as were a handful of other scores, but after investigating further and checking credits etc I found out who the true composer was. The soundtrack contains some serene sounding choral work along the way and there is a piece that is utilised as the opening theme that I can only describe as an adagio for voices, it is mesmerising and enchanting and radiates an atmosphere that is emotive and haunting. After reading a little about the composer he is noted for emulating the styles of Zimmer and Morricone, to a degree this is true after listening to TIGER, AN OLD HUNTERS TALE the composer building themes by slowly layering the music and adding more colours and depth as the cue develops and evolves. There is also an imaginative use of wood wind and effective deployment of percussion within the work and I have to admit that there are certain nods of acknowledgement to the style of Morricone, but personally I felt that this was an original score where the composer places his own individual musical fingerprint upon the movie. The composers use of horns and other brass is affecting as is his utilisation of strings. Listen to track number sixteen on disc one of the release, A SON this is simply stunning, choir and underlying strings create a special musical moment that invades the listeners mind and envelops their whole being, the composer utilises rich and somewhat sombre sounding cello and strings to fashion a piece that I defy anyone not to be moved by.
I could compare certain cues to certain composers and liken the sound achieved to others but overall the style and the sound is innovative and also a rewarding and entertaining listening experience. This is a soundtrack that is epic in sound and stature and one that contains a deep romantic sounding emotional core, the composer building his score around this and creating a strong theme laden work. The film too looks an interesting and exciting one and I can’t wait to sit and watch it when the DVD arrives. Seek this out on Spotify first listen, savour and enjoy then buy the compact disc. Recommended.