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.

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