There are so many what I call relatively new composers that are writing music for film, the majority of these talented Maestro’s do not sadly receive the recognition that they so richly deserve, one such highly talented composer is Amine Bouhafa. I have been listening to his scores for a while now and with every new assignment the composer seems to introduce another style or level of inventiveness and originality. He is represented well on recordings with a number now being available on digital platforms. Pick any of his scores for TV or film and I mean any one of them and I know that you will find something within it that is attractive, haunting, richly thematic, or alluring. The composer has kindly consented to an interview which we will publish as soon as is possible. So I thought in the mean time why not highlight a handful of his scores.
One of my favourite soundtracks that is penned by the composer is Grand Hotel or Secret of the Nile as it is entitled in some countries. This is a score that simply oozes quality sophistication and class, it is mostly symphonic and evokes the sound and the style employed by seasoned composers such as Patrick Doyle, Christopher Gunning, Trevor Jones, John Lunn and Carl Davies, it is a lush and at times quite lavish and dramatic score, the composer utilizing strings, brass percussion and wood’s to great effect, there is a romantic and atmospheric quality to the score that straight away gets the listeners attention, I love the way in which the composer combines solo cello and violin in some of the cues, The Love Story for example, in which he further enhances those elements with delicate whispers of woodwind adding a scattering of piano that is subtle but affecting and punctuating at times with subtle use of harp.
There are many wonderfully luxurious compositions within the score, plus it is filled with an array of musical colours and textures that purvey so many moods. From luxurious and romantic to emotive stirring and I suppose romantic again, the composers score for The Godfather TV series, which is an Egyptian production, the music again possesses a richness that washes over the listener and straight away has an emotive and striking impact.
The melodious parts of this score are in a word stunning and affecting. Listening to the score is a moving experience especially when you go to tracks such as The Godfather Family Theme, which is filled with not just a haunting and heartrending theme but also contains hints of mystery and apprehension that are laced with a tenderness expressed via the swelling strings and the solo performance on what I think is a cello. He also utilizes female voice to great effect, adding even more depth and emotion to the proceedings. For me this vocal performance echoed the sound achieved by Dulces Pontes when she performed for the likes of Ennio Morricone, and I suppose too the music for The Godfather does have some affiliations with the romantic music as penned by the Italian Maestro over the years, there is a real warmth and also quality to this score.
The composer fashioning sweeping themes that are grand and lavish, but also writing more intimate and personal pieces to accompany the storyline and the characters within it. He also provides a more ominous sounding side to the work in tracks such as The Godfathers Dark Office, which has to it a threatening and slightly sinister aura, overall it is a vibrant and varied work, that I am confident will entertain many times and impress every time you re-visit it. The same can be said about the composers score for Let the Sun Shine, is a lighter sounding score in keeping with the subject matter, I say lighter but not any less heart breaking and effecting, the soundtrack is exquisite, and just develops and expands as it progresses, there are certain scores that do get right to any listeners core, and Let the Sun Shine is one of those scores.
Again I sense a style that has manifested itself in the works of Morricone and also the Maestro’s son Andrea, the strings are at times subtle but so powerful in establishing poignancy and raw emotion. There is a piece on the score entitled Tango of the Sun, which is delicious, strings and accordion combine to create a pleasing and memorable composition, which although brief is one of the highlights of the score for its melodic and quirky sound. The cue entitled How Dare you Leave Me is also outstanding but written in a totally different style, the emotion again is brought to the surface by strings which are accompanied by a delicate solo piano performance which overflows with fragility. Again, highly recommended. Other scores by this highly talented composer include, The First Lady, For the Highest Price, Gabal Al Halal for which the composer employs a wide range of instrumentation and the epic sounding score for Kingdom of Fire. Listening to the music of this Maestro is a pleasure, a delight, and an inspiration.
The score for Place in a Palace is too hugely attractive, o commanding and stridently thematic the composer utilizing solo piano, which is underlined and supported by the string section, which in turn swells at times into hugely thematic passages and via the use of solo cello demands that you listen.
This also something that the composer does in the score for Bab El Khalk, fashioning driving but at the same time theme led interludes for strings, percussion and female voice, it also within this score that the composer creates action led pieces such as the exciting and exhilarating cue The Chase, where he combines the upbeat and driven strings, with percussive elements, brass flourishes, synth stabs, and choral work. The music of Anime Bouhafa, is a listening and emotional experience you should not miss out on. Look out for an interview with the composer coming soon to Movie Music International.