BORN TO SPY.

PRE-RELEASE REVIEW.

Born to Spy is a Children’s action-adventure TV mini-series that is produced in Australia by Aquarius films for the ABC. Season one of the series which comprises of ten-episodes follows two siblings Yu Na and Min Park (Hanna Kim and Ocean Lim respectively) who decide that they want more excitement in their lives but get more than they anticipated when they discover that their parents who they thought were ordinary and boring are international spies, who have mysteriously disappeared. The series is created by Justine Flynn and produced by Naomi Just, Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford. Writing duties are courtesy of Tiffany Zehnal, Michellle Lim Davidson, Tristram Baumber, Melissa Lee Speyer, Andrew Lee, David D.S. Park, Sophia Chung, Alice McCredie-Dando, Hyun Lee and Justine Flynn. It was directed by Chase Lee, Hyun Lee, Darlene Johnson, Neil Sharma, and Justine Flynn.

The music for the series is the work of Diego Baldenweg, with Nora Baldenweg & Lionel Baldenweg,  a composing trio of siblings who have in recent years wowed fans and critics alike with their own creative and  alluring style of film and TV music.

The scores for Born to Spy are in a word excellent, and if I say every track every composition in fact, every note is just breath-taking I would not in any way be exaggerating. I cannot say just how entertaining, inventive, and appealing this music is, because I think I would be hard pressed to find the words. What the composers have done is written original music but have also interwoven sounds and styles that we as film music fans will obviously recognise as being associated with the genre of the spy movie, as in James Bond, Matt Helm,  Mission Impossible etc, there is a jazz influence throughout, but also colours and textures that are linked to the big band sound, flourishes of mystery, slices of action, and cheeky interludes that are filled with a comedic air. The orchestration is brilliantly done, brass and woods combining and being driven along via strings and percussive elements keeping the score interesting and, in a way, unrelenting as each cue is an innovative work on its own. There are references to composers such as John Barry with bombastic brass and breathy woods featuring, and hints of jazzy interludes all’a Lalo Schifrin, and Elmer Bernstein, then there are more contemporary components woven in with these creating something that is certainly special. A retro sound is present which is very evocative of a number of 1960’s and 1970’s spy thrillers, and at times reminiscent of the American TV shows from that era such as The Man from Uncle, and I Spy.

What the composers have done successfully is create a contemporary score and given it a retro twist. This is noticeable from the off with the exciting and pulsating main theme creating the pace and setting the scene immediately, percussion, brass, electric guitar, strings, woods, dramatic stabs, and keyboards combining to purvey a solid theme that will I am sure become recognisable from day one.  Fast paced, swift moving and most importantly instantly entertaining.

The score is due for release on, February 25thand will be for now available as a digital release only. Maybe this will change if the series proves popular (which I am sure it will) and a compact disc or even an LP record might see the light of day. There is so much to this work, its crammed full of effective themes and brimming with upbeat and haunting compositions that ooze excitement, mystery, and excellence.  Born to Spy the score was born to entertain. Recommended.

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