Eric Demarsan is a composer I have followed for a fair few year now; his music is always of a high quality and there is always something that manages to become outstanding within his works for cinema. In my opinion he is an important composer, and on a par with French Maestro’s such as Legrand, Sarde and Jarre. It has always amazed me that there have been times when I have mentioned his name in conversation, and no one had heard of him let alone listened to any of his scores. One of the composers most recent scores is ROMANCE for the French TV series entitled WONDERLAND, the composer provided music for all six episodes. This is a classy set of scores, lyrical, romantic, infectious and mysterious are all words that I think describe this work.  Demarsan is masterful at creating delicate and fragile sounding themes and bringing to fruition atmospheric and ingeniously haunting pieces that tantalise and intrigue. The music is no way complex, but instead is rich with melody, filled with inventiveness and oozing with a lavish and luxurious sound. The composer makes effective use of solo piano and underlines this with woods and strings to create this lavish or opulent style, it just seems to purvey a mood that is gracious and melodious.



I love the use of a solitary horn in the opening cue, it sets the scene wonderfully and immediately gains the listeners attention. Track number two L’APPARITON is also a striking piece,  it begins in a slightly jaunty manner, with strident but slightly subdued strings, to which he composer adds wistful sounding woodwind and solo piano, before introducing the string section via a subtle percussion rumble, with the strings then taking on the core thematic part of the composition until the tracks conclusion.  All I can say about this release is that it is an essential purchase, it is a release that you will return to so many times, and one that I think you will also treasure.  Available on compact disc from Music Box records and also on digital platforms such as Spotify and Apple. Recommended.


MP3_Anne Nikitin - The Trial of Ratko Mladić (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)_iTunes_Plus_AAC_M4A


The subject of the war in Bosnia many years ago now is something that I think is burned into the memories of many who were alive at this time, it was a brutal war, a sad and totally devastating war. I have friends who experienced those dark and frightening days and it is I know still too painful for most of them to talk of it. There is a new movie released entitled THE TRIAL OF RATKO MLADIC, who was dubbed THE BUTCHER OF BOSNIA, it was a war unlike any other we had witnessed, so many people lost their lives men, women and children. Ratko Mladić is a Bosnian Serb, a former military commander, convicted war criminal who led the Army of Republika Srpska during the Yugoslav Wars. In 2017 he was found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. More than 20 years after he was first indicted by an international war crimes tribunal, and a year after the closing arguments in his case, Ratko Mladic appeared in court at The Hague to hear the verdict against him. In a typical outburst, he railed against the judge and insulted the court, which resulted in him being taken out of the courtroom, In, his absence, he was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. Ratko, was it seemed on the front lines throughout the war, he was respected by his soldiers as a man of courage, Mladic oversaw an army of more than 180,000 troops during the Bosnian war of the 1990s.

In 1992, Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats voted for independence in a referendum boycotted by Serbs. The country descended into war, Bosniaks and Croats on one side and Bosnian Serbs on the other. Along with the Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, Mladic came to symbolise a Serb campaign of ethnic cleansing that left tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Mladic was and still is without a doubt an evil and manipulative individual, cruel, uncaring, un-merciful and un-repenting. All such individuals should be incarcerated, locked away or better still executed.  But that as they say is my own opinion.


So no more talk of the subject of this movie, or the vile abhorrent and ghastly atrocities he carried out, instead let us turn to the score for the movie which is the work of British composer Anne Nikitin, again this is another work of high quality from Nikitin, She is in my opinion more than just a rising star, but is more like a shining light within the film music community,  her score for the movie is a sensitive and touching one, but has to it a dark and sombre air, it is filled with emotion and rawness, overflowing with a sense of melancholy and has a highly charged and atmospheric is a fusion of electronic  and symphonic by the sound of things, the composer utilising strings to create wonderfully effective nuances and interludes.


The score too is sparingly utilised, which makes it even more appealing and effectual within the movie, but this is something that also becomes alluring and attractive away from the images, there are occasional dramatically laced pieces as in the cue MASS GRAVE, where the composer uses subtle but at the same time powerful sounding strident strings, which are joined by cello and piano to create an urgent and more up tempo piece. I love the style of this composer and also enjoy the various atmospheres and moods that she creates with the varying colours and textures that she paints with. The affecting FOUR FOOTBALL FIELDS is heart breaking and overflows with an irresistible surge of emotions again created by strings and solo violin. Make sure that you check this one out.






The first time I encountered the music of composer Sergei Stern was for a 2018 documentary entitled THE BOATMAN, although this was a brief score, it was still filled with a sound and style that was haunting and mesmerising, its delicate colours combined with fragile nuances and elegant but at the same time melancholy textures that combined to create a beautifully atmospheric work.



A year later the composer wrote the score for the movie THE FARM which was more or less the opposite in its musical style and persona, but I like it when a composer does this, it displays that composers versatility and also their inventiveness. THE FARM was an edgy sounding musical work, at times not that thematic but instead dramatic and even when it purveyed a sense of disjointed and disturbing moods it was still entertaining simply because of its innovative qualities. Qualities that were experimental and utilised voice, live instrumentation and sound design that became the platform or were the foundation for a score that although unconventional was effective and affecting.



The composers most recent work AK 47 has been released digitally by Movie Score Media and later this year (September) will receive a physical compact disc release on KEEPMOVING RECORDS. AK 47 again is different from the composers previous works, it is a rich and lush sounding symphonic work, that has to it airs and sounds that I personally associate with what can be referred to as the Silver age of film music, when composers such as Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry were A listers. AK 47 is a dramatic work, and also a polished and extremely compelling one, the composer has fashioned powerful thematic material, which is filled to overflowing with melodies that purvey perfectly dark and light, lilting and foreboding and also have to them an urgency, and at the same time ooze poignancy. The score is a triumph in my opinion, with a wealth of lavish and intriguing material on offer. Although AK 47 is essentially an action based work, there is also to it a more personal, intimate, calm and low key side, the composer creating haunting and effectual themes via solo piano and subtle strings that at certain points  evoke the likes of both Basil Poledouris and Thomas Newman. I found that I wanted to listen to the score over and over, it has an abundance of colourful and commanding compositions that seem to rise from nowhere and develop and become totally absorbing. The composer also uses solo guitar and more solo piano to create moments of melancholy and romanticism, it is in many was a simple sounding work, as in easy to listen to and even easier to like, and the simplicity and the little nuances of fragility as well as its rich themes, make this a score to return to many times after your initial listen. Highly recommended.