FREAKS is a sci-fi psychological thriller, which was written and directed by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B Stein. It tells the story of a seven-year-old girl, Chloe, who has been controlled and protected from the outside world by her Father. The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was nominated in the category of Best Canadian Feature Film. The musical score is by Tim Wynn, who is based in Los Angeles and has worked on feature films, TV series and video games. The composer began writing for media in 2004 when he worked on THE PUNISHER video game, He studied at USC under the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Buddy Baker and Christopher Young and to be honest all of the influences from these composers shines through at times within the score for FREAKS, but saying that there is also a wonderfully original sound to the work. The score is built around a five note motif which is Chloe’s theme, this is heard throughout the soundtrack in varying musical guises and arrangements, but what struck me about the score was that although there are many dark elements within it, it remains melodic and haunting in an attractive way. The work is a combination of both conventional orchestral performances and synthetic creations, it has a tense and unsettling air to it at times, but as I say this is invariably diluted because of the childlike and playful five note combination which accompanies Chloe in her discovery of the outside world. I can honestly say that there is not one track on the recording that I would skip over, or could I pick out any one track over another as this is a wonderful soundtrack that is overflowing with an emotive and affecting quality. Each and every composition being rich in melody, whether it be fleeting or more pronounced, it is a sensitive and alluring work and I hope one that will be released onto CD soon. Available digitally from the ever industrious and pioneering soundtrack label, Movie Score Media.
A co-production between Amazon studios and Warner Brothers pictures, THE GOLDFINCH.is a motion picture adaptation of author Donna Tartt’s acclaimed novel, for which she won a Purlitzer prize in 2014. She was also awarded the Andrew Carnage Medal for excellence in fiction. The film is directed by award winning filmmaker, John Crowley who also directed the movie BROOKLYN. The story focuses upon Theo Decker who at the age of thirteen lost his Mother in a terrible bomb attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the loss of his Mother causes Theo’s life to alter greatly and affects him in many ways. But throughout all of his grief, turmoil and life he clings to one thing that he holds dear a picture of a Goldfinch that is chained to a perch, which gives him comfort and also hope. The movie has a multigenerational cast which includes Nicole Kidman, Aneurin Barnarad, Sarah Paulson and Ansel Elgort.
The innovative and atmospheric musical score is by composer Trevor Gureckis, the work fuses conventional with synthetic instrumentation, and the composer successfully melds and combines both mediums with ease. The composer studied at Yale School of Music and does not confine himself to writing for film, Gureckis is also a producer and has worked with a variety of artists, including Kanye West and has worked with the likes of Phillip Glass and has written and produced music for concerts. His score for THE GOLDFINCH is a attractive one, with piano being utilised to great effect throughout, it has an overall sound that can be described as being lilting or subdued, but also has a tense mood that sits below the surface which on occasion does become the dominant persona. The composer makes effective use of the string ensemble and bolsters this with an array of electronic sounds and passages which not only support but compliment the symphonic parts of the soundtrack, it is a score that one has to focus upon, so not what I would call an easy listen, in fact at times it is quite involved and complex, but this does not mean it is not a rewarding or an entertaining listen, I personally love scores that are interesting because the composer has orchestrated it in a way that makes us the listener stop and think about what is playing this, or that is an unusual combination, but it works. There is a ominous and dark sound present at times within the score, with the composer enlisting the strings that are supported by percussive elements, but for me it is the piano that creates the more attractive and effective parts, its presence forming a foundation to many of the cues and also purveying a sound that is slightly bitter sweet but at the same time edgy and unnerving. The cue BEAUTIFUL THINGS is well, beautiful, with lavish or lush soaring strings acting as the central elements and a gorgeous piano solo dancing in and out of the proceedings. This is an interesting work that is original and rewarding.