We very often forget that composers that work in film etc also work in the theatre and provide stage productions with original scores, I admit to only reviewing a handful of such scores, and I hope to rectify this. I was sent this week two scores for theatre and one soundtrack for a radio production. All three are the work of Norwegian composer Eirik Myhr. The first score I listened to was MIO, MIN MIO, which is a beautifully written and performed score ,hearing the music has made me want to go and see the production on stage, because to be honest if the music is this good then the production itself must be outstanding, plus I want to see how the music and the production interact and how the music supports it. There are so many themes within this work, all of which are fresh, vibrant and wonderfully melodic. The composer I think uses a fusion of symphonic and electronic for this soundtrack. I say I think because I cannot be 100 percent certain of the percentage of symphonic and synthetic as the sound is so good. But there are definitely some sections that are executed synthetically, however, all that matters is that the music is effective and supportive of the production and of course it sounds great. Strings are utilised to great effect with faraway sounding horns acting as a background and support to embellish and enhance further the effectiveness of the strings, which emphasises the beauty and haunting quality of the music. It is a grandiose sounding work in places, and it has for me the goose bump effect when it at times peaks with a gloriously romantic theme. I have to say I returned to the score three times after my initial listen. The only thing that is a negative is that it is only twenty-eight minutes long, but as they say less is more and this is certainly fitting into that category, but of course that does mean you can start all over again which is not a bad thing.



The eloquent and vibrant themes ooze quality and a rich and alluring aura, they can at times be highly dramatic. and purvey an atmosphere of apprehension and darkness. But, are mostly filled with a delicate and fragile persona, that is pleasing and also soothing. As I say I have not really taken a lot of notice of scores for stage productions, but after taking a listen to this I think maybe I should start to sit up and pay attention. Especially for tracks such as RIDDER KATOS BORG, which is a powerful and rousing piece where the composer employs driving percussion laced with urgent and strident strings, whilst also introducing choral elements and melodious string flourishes. The score is inventive and entertaining and relays an atmosphere of adventure and excitement in every note. Recommended.







Music in film, what is it all about and why is it actually there? Well composers have varying answers to that question, but as a person who loves movie music but sadly cant write a note I feel that music in film is all about creating atmospheres, fashioning moods and working to elevate and support the images on screen and I suppose if you manage to hit on a tune that is popular that is a bonus. After all, how many times have you sat in a cinema and watched a movie and thought that is a great tune, but it does not really go with the action in screen? I bet you can count that occurrence on both hands and feet and still need more digits. The film composer comes into his own when he or she are not only supporting the film but also creating music that will squeeze more emotion, melancholy or even tension out of it and also make scenes look better via atmospheric and vibrant musical passages. Well atmospherics are very important to a movie and sometimes it is the music solely that can bring a certain mood or an atmosphere to a scene, because maybe it is a little lacking in the acting or dialogue departments. The consequence is that the score when released onto a recording does not always sound as good as it did in the cinema, simply because one is listening to it as just music, without the images that you were focusing upon whilst watching the movie and at the same time hearing but not hearing the score if you see what I am saying. Many composers comment that the best film score is the one that the audience are not conscious of whilst they watch a movie, but it still affects them and also helps them take in the emotions that are unfolding upon the screen, because it is highlighting these emotions or delicately enhancing them. Apparently if you leave the cinema thinking that was a great score, then the music has somehow overpowered scenes and scenarios and become forefront rather than supportive. So, I suppose the best way to savour film music is when you are watching the movie, but if you are able to hear it then it is supposedly not good film music, but music that has swamped the film it is intended to enhance. Confused, well just a little bit. Anyway, lets take a listen to a score that works on screen very well, but has the bonus of being interesting and innovative when listened to on its own just as music.THE HUNTRESS RUNE OF THE DEAD is a new Swedish movie, which at first glance looks like a traditional medieval Viking tale, but wait, because this is certainly no traditional telling of a story, the action, horror drama, is set in 811 AD, it focuses upon a family who are living in the woods isolated from any real settlement.



The closest thing to civilization is a town which is several days travel away. The family are poor folk and rely heavily upon fishing and hunting for themselves, but of late the hunting has been sparse. To help things the Father and head of the family decides that he will enlist to go on a Viking raid, in the hope that he will get enough from this to feed his family. When he does not return for many weeks the daughter Runa takes over his duties and toils for the family, which includes hunting for food. As she hunts and goes into the forests and wood’s she begins to sense an evil and something that is abhorrent and malevolent. Whilst in the forest she finds a warrior who is laying bleeding she helps him and takes him back to tend his wounds, it soon becomes apparent that this warrior has been sent to protect the family and he also brings news of her Father. The musical score is the work of composer, Simon Kölle who has created a wonderfully atmospheric work in which he utilises conventional and synthetic instrumentation and bolsters this with voice on occasion. There are also additional music cues written by Per Runberg, who performs, Bowed Harp, flutes, fiddle, hardingfele, mouth harps and Cows Horn on the score. There is a dark and deep almost guttural pulsating and ominous sound to the score, with even the more melodious moments including an underlying sense of uneasiness. The composer also gives the work a folk or rustic sound via the instrumentation he brings into play to create a dramatic but at the same time a pleasing soundtrack. The score also features the work of Swedish Artist and performer who Mohlavyr places her own unique sound upon the work which is ethereal and alluring. The track THE VIKING FAMILY is probably the best cue in which to hear the combined efforts of the composer and artists Runberg and Mohlavyr.  It is a haunting and very enjoyable listening experience, with subtle musical colours and an assortment of textures combining to fashion an attractive and somewhat hypnotic sound. There are numerous sounds and styles within this work, it has to it a subtleness in places, and intimacy and fragility, but there is also a raw, driving and hard-hitting musical entity that raises its head every so often to great effect. The combination of so many sounds and styles make for a soundtrack that is innovative and entertaining. Released on Movie Score Media.