Three releases coming from Movie Score Media, and all very different. Each score has its own sound, style and individuality, which in the world of contemporary movie music is a good thing, with so many scores sounding similar to one another at times and soundscape stepping in for melodies on so many occasions. Listening to these latest releases makes one realize the unfaltering dedication of labels such as MSM to bring to the soundtrack fan a diversity of musical wares. First up is the latest score from composer Tim Wyn, who may recall worked on Freaks, Total War game videos, and the televisions series Mech X4 and Supernatural. One of the composers more recent scores is The Legend of La Llorona, his music for this horror shocker is atmospheric and affecting, the composer creating a dark, sinister, and foreboding work, that is a disturbing and effective listen, that along the way also contains hints of less fearsome themes and a handful of nuances and passages that are not quite as chilling, having to them a romantic otherworldly air. Right from the opening one is aware via the apprehensive tone of the music that this movie is not for the feint hearted, the composer fashioning and establishing an uneasy and unsettling mood, via sinewy strings and echoing percussive elements that act as a background to a macabre sounding melody of sorts, the atmosphere created in the opening few minutes of the score sets the scene perfectly for much of what is to follow.

The second cue The Weeping Woman is more of a comfortable listen with soft classical guitar performing a beautiful and lilting theme that is underlined by strings and then later is joined by solo female voice adding to the proceedings a ghostly yet soothing persona to the piece. This is a small island of tranquillity within what is a sea of dark and at times urgent sounds that weave a musical web that is dramatic, chaotic and above all edgy. It’s a score that you must take a listen to, as it is innovative and inventive, the composer realising beautiful but at the same time fear-provoking moments. Check it out available on digital platforms on July 8th.  

Sinjar is the next score and is the work of composer Gerard Pastor. Born in Barcelona in 1984, Gerard Pastor began his musical training at the age of 4. He studied piano at the Sabadell Conservatoire under Monica Buxo; (piano) and Miquel Pardo (composition) where he was awarded the Premio de Honor for Piano. In 2007 he obtained the higher diploma in piano from the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, where he studied under Maria Jesus Crespo. Since then, he has continued his piano studies at Musikeon under Luca Chiantore and studied orchestral conducting under Jordi Mora.

In addition to his regular studies, he has also participated in various master classes in Spain under teachers including Jose; Vicente, Ignasi Terraza, Iramar Rodriguez, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Eric Heidsieck and Luca Chiantore. He was the winner of the 11th Fundacion Arjau Competition (Barcelona, 2006) and his compositions have been performed by major orchestras both in Spain and abroad.  Sinjar is a 2022 drama that focuses upon the real-life stories of three women living under ISIS and their horrific consequences. Directed by Anna Bofarull, it is a harrowing, emotive, and compelling story. The music will be released on digital platforms via Movie Score Media on July 1st. The score is realised by mainly electronic instrumentation, but it has depth and real soul to it, the tantalising compositions are well structured and add much to the drama. Although not an expansive or over thematic work it is still an enjoyable and an affecting one.

Phoenix is the third release coming from MSM in July, and I think it is probably my favourite of the trio in this review, its an understated score, delicate and at times filled with fragility, the composer creating hints of themes, and traces of light but affecting nuances, which keep the listener interested and focused. Music is by Patrik Andren who worked on the TV mini-series Tsunami and the TV series The Bridge in 2020 and 2018 respectively. This is a beautifully written score that is mesmerising and haunting, the composer balances both light and dark colours and textures wonderfully and it has to it varying layers of music which interweave and intertwine to realise a stunning yet simple musical presence. The score also includes some really great jazz tracks, which are an unexpected and entertaining bonus. Available soon on digital platforms from the ever-industrious Movie Score Media.