BARBACANA.

barbacana

 

 

BARBACANA is documentary that focuses upon the life of wolves but does this in an unusual way. It successfully weaves together three separate stories, and brings them together to showing us the importance of the wolf in Iberian ecosystems. We see the birth of cubs and get to know the day to day occurrences within the wolf family. The wolf is a creature that has loomed it seems forever in folklore and is also an animal that can produce emotions of fear, hatred and love within humans. The three stories are cleverly put together and filmed by director Arturo Menor and his vision and images are wonderfully supported and enhanced by the music of composer Javier Arnanz. The score for the movie, because that is what it is, being far more than a documentary is lush and emotive, dramatic and poignant and powerfully haunting. The music is largely symphonic by the sound of it and the composer from time to time adds flourishes of synthetics to bolster the conventional instrumentation, with some interesting percussive pieces punctuating the duration of the soundtrack, these manifest themselves within cues that are of the action variety as in THE HUNTER, ON THE HUNT and SICK DEER. This is a soundtrack of the highest quality and a score that one can listen to over and over without tiring of it, In some ways it has to it a Barry-esque sound, I think because of the composers use of choir and horns that are also supported by lavish and highly melodic strings at times. There are a number of moments within the work that for me evoked John Barry’s epic score for THE LAST VALLEY, as in the cues, THE FLIGHT OF THE CRANES, WOLVES PLAYING, BARBACANA (main theme) and JOSEPH AND MARY. The composer subtly combining lilting strings, delicate piano solos and soft sounding tone poems with faraway horns and a choir that creates a near celestial atmosphere. The comparison I make with John Barry is an honest one and I am also of the opinion that Arnanz creates some beautifully written melodies which are performed by solo violin and cello that are not a million miles away from the work of Morricone and Frizina. There are also performances for solo voice that add depth atmosphere and substance to the work. BARBACANA is a delight and also a surprise, it is one of those scores that one would probably flick past in a browser in a music shop, as I am not certain it received a release outside of Spain. When I say I recommend this score, I truly mean it, it is a work that you will return to many many times, filled with delighting musical themes, emotive and tender nuances and its fair share of commanding and exciting musical sequences.

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