The power of the internet grows day by day, especially with reviews of films etc, I have to admit I have not seen the move from which this music comes from so I was curious and looked it up THE ADVENTURES OF JURASSIC PET CHAPTER 1, gets a bit of a rough ride from the majority of people who have seen in, apparently it has a lame script and not very good FX, so I guess I wont be buying it any time soon. However I do have to say that the score is superb, it’s a funny thing that at times bad movies spawn great musical scores, I think sometimes the composer can see that the movie is going to need all the help it can get so pulls out all the stops and produces a soundtrack that as in this case is worthy of a far better movie. Released in 2019, THE ADVENTURES OF JURASSIC PET chapter 1, (somehow, I think maybe chapter 2 is on hold for a while, but don’t quote me). Tells the story of a young boy who decides that he will help a friendly dinosaur who is being held by a mad scientist who intends to carry out experiments on it. Perfectly feasible isn’t it? Anyway its a bit of fun, escapism if you will, no need to take it so seriously is there. Anyway, lets concentrate on the score, which is the work of David Stone Hamilton, the composer has been busy this year working on a number of projects, SOLIS being one of them. The score for THE ADVENTURES OF JURASSIC PET CHAPTER 1, is a symphonic and synthetic fusion with the composer creating quite rich sounding themes via strings and brass that are supported by percussive elements, add to this support from the electronic instrumentation line up and we have a pleasing and interesting score, most of which I have to say has to it a comedic undertone, with lots of pizzicato strings that punctuate and underline, but there are also within the work little nuggets of otherworldly sounding material as in track number 5, WORLD OF WONDER, which is charmingly understated and purveys a James Horner type sound which is mesmerising and emotive.
The INCUBATION and THE HATCHING too are wonderfully melodic and mix symphonic elements with synthetic support. The score for me evoked the styles of Silvestri and Horner, with themes appearing as from nowhere the composer utilising horns and driving strings at times to create an atmosphere that is quite Williams-esque at times. It has to it a flyaway sound with wistful string passages that are underpinned by darker sounding strings and enhanced by proud sounding horns. Take a listen to track number, 11, YOU MUST BE HUNGRY, the composer begins in a light mood plucked strings and woods adding a playful persona to the proceedings, this soon alters and swells into a racing and quite expansive sounding piece, with strings and woods being joined by the horns and punctuated by booming percussion. I think this is certainly a case of the score being superior to the movie it was written for, but you never know the film might one day be looked upon as a mini classic. I would have to recommend tracks such as, GOOD TO GO, A FEW TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE and AN OLD SCHOOL GETAWAY as being outstanding for their sheer action entertainment value. Another one for you to check out.
I often think when listening to a new score for a film, well this is a little lack lustre or even ummmm, has it finished already, did it actualy get started, did I miss a theme or a highlight track? The answer is probably no I just did not think it was that good. It’s a sad thing that this is happening more and more nowadays, gone are the big these or even the grand symphonic scores that we would normally associate with Hollywood. Instead we have synthetic sounds some of which are realy great and have fooled me at times, but more often than not the music is something that is considered last by a director or producer. Thus when its time to do the music the budget is almost diminished. So it is then the film maker tries to engage a composer who can not only write fast but also can deliver within what ever budget is available. So it is wonderful when I hear a new score that is symphonic, well not fully symphonic as I think no soundtrack is now because of samples etc, and to be fair the composer must use what ever tools he has at his disposal to make the score sound right and also work within the context of the film or TV project. One score that has come to my notice recently is SOLIS, which is composed by David Stone Hamilton, although the composer does utilise some electronic support the work is in the main symphonic and a treat to my ears. The soundtrack is in many ways a throwback to the 1970.s or beyond in its style and overall sound, and I for one cant, see that being a negative thing. Often if the subject matter of the film is remotely sci-fi then composers invariably attempt to be futuristic with their scores as in bringing into play electronic sounds and droning sequences which are not in my opinion musical although many would argue with that. So, it was with much enthusiasm that I have to say was tinged with trepidation that I listened to SOLIS because it was advertised as a rich symphonic work, which I totally concur with. The composer has fashioned a melodic yet dramatic score with near lavish and luxurious symphonic attributes, yes there are the odd electronic sounds and support which he integrates into the work but these are fused with the symphonic and dare I say it are at times unnoticeable as in not standing out from the rest of the score as being different, I suppose what I am saying is that the two mediums work well together and do not fight or grate on each other, which at times in certain scores can be a problem. SOLIS, I think is an accomplished soundtrack, it is at times quite operatic in its style and overall sound, plus it has to it a tense and at times quite neurotic sound that adds a more harrowing and urgent musical voice to the proceedings.
But, what is appealing about the score for me personally is that even though it is filled with a dramatic and broodingly dark tension at times it still remains thematic which is these days quite a neat and clever trick on behalf of the composer, years ago composers such as Goldsmith, Barry, Bernstein, Morricone etc all managed to maintain a level of thematic content even at the most taught and tense times within their scores and I think that David Stone Hamilton realises this within his score for SOLIS. It is a multi-textured work that boast an array of colours the composer purveying melancholy, drama, fear and also a sense of solitude and fragility as the work unfolds and develops, Stone Hamilton adding tantalising emotional content as he applies his vibrant and varied musical notions to a practically blank canvas, giving the movie greater life and also an identity. I love the energy of the music and the way in which it is orchestrated bringing a vitality and varied sound to fruition throughout. Choir, percussion, woods, brass and strings pull together to create a powerful and commanding score. Highlight tracks, well all of them… Certainly, this is one to add to the collection. Available from Movie Score Media.
Solis (David Stone Hamilton)