Film music can be many things, it can be romantic, it can make you cry it can also help to make you laugh, at times it is scary at times it makes you hid your eyes or even hide behind the sofa before anything has happened because one can hear that something will be happening because of the style, sound and atmosphere it is creating you become aware that this something is not going to be particularly pleasant. Movie music can also be inspiring, uplifting and totally hypnotic and if utilised correctly can make a good movie a great one.
There are many composers that are Masters at their craft and know instinctively just how much music should be applied and also what sounds or hints of melodies will enhance underline and support what ever is going on up on the screen. There are also moments in movies that are not scored with any music and it is I think the sign of a great composer when they know that not every scene needs music, with certain scenes becoming more impacting because the soundtrack is devoid of music or musical sounds. As I say there are many such composers, but I do adore the way in which Spanish composer Angel Illarramendi creates so many beguiling and mesmerising moments via his subtle, lyrical and lusciously rich melodic interludes. His music infiltrates the mind and the soul of any listener, invading and haunting their subconscious and washing over them in waves of vibrant, delicate and dramatic musical poems that are woven together with care and meticulous perfection to create some of the most attractive musical compositions for the world of cinema.
Even when the composer writes for action scenes he still manages to create beautiful themes and nuances which shine through the action and the drama and entice the watching audience deeper into the storyline that is being acted out. He has a distinct and easily recognisable style, his music being classically grounded and symphonic, in many ways he has a style of writing that can be likened to that of the late French composer Georges Delerue, who also was able to fashion leitmotifs and musical passages that oozed fragility and romanticism. In fact at times Illarramendi has been refered to as the Spanish Delerue. Illarramendi combines the classical styles of great romantic Masters such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov with his own inventive and original style creating contemporary sounding compositions that are laced with tenderness and an abundance of melodious passages.
Thus creating a sound and a style that is appealing and wholly mesmeric. Illarramendi comes from Northern Spain and was born in Zarautz in the April of 1958. He began to become involved in music from a very early age and aged six was already singing at various festivals which were staged in and around the Basque Countryside. At eleven years of age he started to compose his own music and also began to teach himself how to play guitar. It was about the same time that he began his musical studies, where he also undertook lessons on piano with Maria Barbara Aranguren. Five years later he started to study Counterpoint, fugue and composition, with Francisco Escudero and the music conservatory of San Sebastein. His first recording was released in 1978, this was a singer song writer album but also contained a number of instrumental compositions. The recording was successful and it was then that the composer embarked on a tour of the North of Spain. In 1981 he completed his musical studies and initially worked on various compositions for the Basque theatre school, ANTZERTI. He also began to teach and it whilst doing this that he began to write scores for films.
As the 1990,s began the composer decided to cease teaching and concentrate more upon his own musical compositions, dedicating his time to the creation of soundtracks and music for concert hall performance. His film music career has been an illustrious one and Illarramendi has worked with many esteemed film makers including, the noted producer Elias Querejeta.
The composers style in my opinion can be likened to that of Delerue but also contains an almost Baroque style. Illarramendi is a gifted composer who delights and amazes with every composition, his heartfelt strings are powerful and at the same time melancholy, his music easily affects, enhances and elevates any movie or TV project it adorns. His musical flourishes are like soft brush strokes on a blank canvas, bringing Colour, life, character and meaning to everything they contact.