Category: Sleeve Notes.


IL GIOVANE GARIBALDI.

kg24

 

Maestro Carlo Rustichelli was without a doubt one of Italy’s most prominent composers of film music. He not only scored Italian made movies but was also sought out by film makers outside off the realms of Cinecitta to work on their movies, he worked on a number of Hollywood productions and on every occasion rose to the challenge not only supporting the drama and action on screen but also infusing the motion picture in question with a sound and style that was unmistakably Italian. His use of the more traditional sounding Italian flavoured compositions being a huge hit with cinema audiences all over the world. Rustichelli was for sake of a better description an old school composer who began his career in film scoring at around about the same time as Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Mario Nascimbene and Nino Rota and like Nascimbene he became a  much in demand composer by non Italian filmmakers to score their movies. He worked on Tragedies, Sword and Sandal Epics, Comedies, Romances, Horror, Police Thrillers, Tales of Adventure and mystery plus he was also very active scoring Italian made westerns.  The composers take on western scoring was slightly different from the sound that was being achieved and  utilised during the period of the 1960,s through to the 1980,s by other composers when the cruelly nicknamed SPAGHETTI WESTERN was at the height of its popularity and that is why his music not only stands out but has also become memorable and enduring. Rustichelli often adopted a more classical or operatic approach when writing for the western and created a sound that was probably more akin to the traditional sound of the Hollywood sagebrush saga as in the romantic and sweeping the composer often combining the grandiose sound of symphonic with a scattering of more upbeat styles and sounds, introducing choir, organ, electric and bass guitar to the equation if and when required giving his scores a more upbeat and contemporary style. Rustichelli was also known for including a circus or comedic sound to his western scores as in BOOT HILL or within the fabric of his music for the excellent REVENGE AT EL PASO. The majority of his western scores contained a strong epic style as in his soundtracks for RIDERS OF VENGEANCE (also available on Kronos records) and BLOOD RIVER which he penned under the alias of Angel Oliver Pino. Rustichelli also provided a strong and deeply emotional sounding score for MAN, PRIDE AND VENGEANCE which although not a western has up until recently been categorised as one by collectors and critics alike. But it is probably the composers non western music that he is best remembered for such as his infectious music for movies such as AVANTI, DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE, SEDUCED AND ABANDONED, ALFREDO ALFREDO, KAPO, SIGNORE E SIGNORI and many more.

 

saggaribaldi

Rustichelli’s music contained a lush and lavish sound that was not only full of drama but filled to overflowing with passion and a high level of romanticism and melody, his sweeping themes  being the mainstay of his film music work. In many ways his music was more akin to the music of the golden age composers of Hollywood, rich in thematic material and bursting with opulent and lavish leitmotivs. Rustichelli was born in Capri (Modena) on Christmas eve 1916, he studied music in Bologna, where he gained his diploma in pianoforte and then continued to study in Rome where he graduated in composition. He began to write for film in 1942 and soon established himself as a composer of note that possessed a true talent with a gift for melody and originality. He composed the music for IL GIOVANE GARIBALDI   which was an Italian movie made for television that was aired in two episodes in 1974. Directed by Franco Rossi the mini series starred Maurizio Merli in the title role and Philippe Leroy who were supported well by good performances from Luigi Pistilli and Giulio Brogi.  Selections of Rustichelli,s score were released on a stereo C.A.M. long playing record in April 1974 (SAG 9058) but these 14 selections had a short running time which added up to just over 30 minutes. KRONOS RECORDS have for this release assembled a fuller and more expansive representation of this magnificent soundtrack allowing us to experience for the first time the full effect of the Maestros score. The film or series itself is sadly overlooked and also grossly underrated and at last this release will act as a fitting tribute to the wonderfully haunting music that Carlo Rustichelli penned to enhance and support it. During his illustrious career Maestro Rustichelli composed the music for over 250 motion pictures as well as writing the scores for a number of television projects, he was truly a giant in the world of music for film. He passed away on November 13th 2004 in Lazio Italy aged 87.

 

rustichelli_carlo

SEGUIMI.

These are MMI,s contribution to the sleeve notes on SEGUIMI,(follow me) released on KRONOS RECORDS.

56879

To say that composer Marco Werba’s music for the psychological mystery SEGUIMI is haunting and atmospheric would be something of an understatement. It has about it a presence and a persona that is given greater impact because of the composers use of layers of sounds and a somewhat sparse but at the same time attention grabbing style, the composer fuses electronic instrumentation with ethnic and conventional orchestral performances to create a soundtrack that immediately engaging. It I think is probably one of the Maestro’s most accomplished and innovative works for cinema. It is a score that is rewarding and interesting to listen to, and one that compliments, supports, and enhances the scenarios that are being played out on screen. I would not say that this is a score that is laden with rich or lush sounding themes in fact they are more steamy and sensual, but nevertheless it is a work that will hold one’s attention whether listening to it on compact disc or experiencing it in the cinema when watching the movie. The balance created by the composer is perfect, with subtle and understated woodwind at times leading and on other occasions acting as punctuation or underlining violin passages. The composer also makes effective use of short but simple piano flourishes at certain points within the score, with a sense of solitude and sadness being relayed via a heartrending cello performance. Throughout the score there is a re-occurring five note motif which can be heard in a number of variations, but no matter what instrumentation or synthetics are utilised to convey the theme it remains chilling and apprehensive. The score is filled with musical textures and colours that often just fleetingly hint or introduce and suggest senses and moods, it is  a work that is oozing with an acoustic fertility which purveys sensuality, uneasiness and even discomfort. A masterful creation and one that will delight and enthral connoisseur’s of movie music.

marco_werba

Marco Werba was born in Madrid, Spain on July 27th 1963. He studied piano and harmony in Italy, and composition and film music at the Manes College of Music in New York. Plus, conducting which he studied in France. As well as being a composer he also teaches film music in Italy and gives tuition on how to score films. He was always interested in cinema and as a young child began also to direct movies himself, making super 8 movies which he would track with music by composers such as Williams and Goldsmith. It was after seeing LOGANS RUN and discovering the rich score by Jerry Goldsmith that Werba decided that he would study music and become a film composer. The composers first scoring assignment was ZOO, directed by Cristina Comencini, which featured a 13-year-old, Asia Argento. The composer sent the director a short adagio for strings entitled THE SURVIVORS, which resulted in him being offered the movie, at first the director wanted to score the film with classical music and a handful of original themes, but in the end Werba wrote forty minutes of music for the picture, which was applauded by fans and critics alike.
Since those early days, the composer has written the music for many motion pictures and has established himself as one of Italy’s most original and talented composers of music for film, being nominated for,  and winning numerous awards.

 

 

56878

 

The French film industry in the past ten or twelve years has somewhat improved its output in horror movies and there have been several examples that can, I think be deemed as mini classics. Several the more prominent examples have focused upon the guts, gore and gratuitous violence and sadistic aspects of the horror genre, maybe mirroring the Hollywood productions that have been presented to cinema goers in recent years hoping to attract audiences. LIVIDE however, concentrates more upon the traditional jumps and starts of the horror film and it is the atmosphere created by lighting, camera, actors and storyline that make the watching audience uneasy and uncomfortable rather than any full-blown violence or grotesque acts of bloodletting.  Its storyline begins with three young people who decide it might be a good idea to break into an old mansion after they hear that there is a great treasure hidden there, after all what could possibly go wrong, well for starters its Halloween and the house is inhabited by an old woman, who was a ballet teacher and is in a permanent comatose state, but other than that it will be fine. The trio of would be thieves, however, come across a lot more than they had bargained for. As soon as they enter the house a night of uncanny and unsettling events begin to unfold. The movie is a combination of sub genres that we associate with the Horror movie, it is in theory a haunted house movie, filled with all the uncertain dark passages and the creaks and noises that are unexplained etc. There is also a certain aura of the Fantastic mixed into the plot, but again this is certainly not a fantasy film. As I have already stated LIVIDE relies on the atmosphere created by its suitably dusty and eerie sets, the dark and unwelcoming house watching the horrific and frightening events as they unfold.  Released in 2011 and directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, who together brought to the screen the disturbing and harrowing horror’s, INSIDE (2007) and AMONG THE LIVING (2014), which were both successful at the box office. Composer Raphael Gesqua has written a wonderfully atmospheric and chilling score for LIVIDE, his music is more than supporting to the scenario unfolding upon the screen, in fact I would say that the score is responsible for making the movie so effective and disconcerting in places.

 

livide-10

It is Gesqua’s music that punctuates and underlines every move that the three intruders make and it also stabs and jumps as they head into a more uncertain and dangerous situation. The composers score is at times like a soundscape of effects that for me became the voice of the house, an ominous and breathy sound being utilised and underlined with dark sounding percussive elements and combined with a sombre and somewhat sinewy sounding violin which is highly effective when combined with a spidery and deliciously fragmented piano. It is a score that at one moment is slightly melancholy and subdued, then in an instant it erupts and screams at you. It is dark and brooding, tinged with a virulent persona and contains an urgency that at times is filled with dread. The combination of the photography, acting, storyline and music is literally startling.

 

136030

I spoke to the composer about his music and also about LIVIDE and other projects.
I think I am correct when I say you began by scoring a great number of video games, how did you begin working on motion pictures and what would you say are the main differences between scoring a feature film, a short film and working on a game?
Videogames led me to film scoring, as the first person from the movie business I met, Julien Maury, had been introduced to me by a common friend who had known my work in the videogames industry since a long time, and had moved from videogames to movies. The difference between videogames and films music is much less now than when I started about 23 years ago. At the time, it had to do with the inherent technical limitations of each machine. For example, just on the PC, it had to deal with on compatible MIDI sound cards. Except that everyone was free to have the sound card of their choice. Thus, it should be considered that the same sequence sounds good for the PC of each player. A real challenge. Moreover, at the consoles, it was again each composition as often as existing consoles, because each had its own sound system, it should be used as a small very limited memory and number of channels synthesizer. This led to these synthetic records that irritated both parents and marveled fortunately their children, and finally, today, these same children pay tribute to the music of yester year games by composing themselves in the synthetic style that became thus a style of its own. Today, there is no technical limit, in composing for videogames, but there still is a difference: whereas in films you just work on a total linear sequence, in videogames you must kind of anticipate all situations where the player can find himself in.
Also, you can work on real-time interactivity, by using, for instance, multi-tracks scores, with add/remove instruments system depending on player situation.20 years ago, on “Fade to Black”, for instance, I was kind of proud being named by some journalists as “one of the first interactive music composer”. However, when you work on cinematic sequences of a videogame, it is the same as in cinema.

 

1002004013002051

You scored LIVIDE in 2011 for Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, how did you become involved with the movie?

I decided to search for young directors making short films, as I thought it would be the best scoring school, instead of already trying to reach “big” feature films directors, which I though wouldn’t work at all. A friend of mine then told me about a guy in videogames business who had gone to movies business, and he also knew and liked my work.  So, we met. And then, he introduced me to a young director making a short comedy-sci-fi horror film. That was my first contact with director Julien Maury (of the “Maury and Bustillo” famous film duo). I did his two short films soundtracks, he seemed to love them, and so, naturally, when he managed to direct his first feature film with Alexandre Bustillo, “Inside” (“A l’intérieur”), in 2006, he offered me to do the soundtrack. That is how it began. Then came “Livid” (“Livide”), “Among the Living” (“Aux Yeux des Vivants”) and “The ABCs of Death 2” (“X” segment) still with the 2 directors. Now we are real friends, which turns it even more fantastic to work with each other.

What size orchestra, ensemble or selection of synthetics did you use for LIVIDE?

No orchestra was used on Livide. Only hard work with computers, with the only great real instrument, the sweet voice of Florence Martin Giovannelli, for the “Soul Sisters – Final Lullaby” ending theme.

Did the directors/writers Bustillo/Maury have any specific ideas or instructions for you regarding the way in which the movie should be scored?

Yes, at the beginning, they asked me to put some “classical melancholy” to their film, as the main musical direction.

How much time were you given to score LIVIDE ?

I think I worked for about 2 months on the film.

What would you say is the purpose of music in film?

Film music is like a second storyteller making the audience feel something else that just what they can see on the screen. If the composer has nothing more to say in a scene than the director, then he should stay away from the scene. Of course, sometimes, music’s purpose is only to reinforce a feeling, especially in action sequences or some scary ones…But I do like better music adding information than only underlining it…and sometimes, silence is better.

What musical education did you receive, and what areas of music did you concentrate upon?

I’m kind of a self-made composer, which means I didn’t have the opportunity to study music in an “official” way. All I learned (and still am learning) comes from what I’ve listened to and “studied” by myself since my childhood. I can say for sure that it is my passion for movies and videogames that led me to turn my attention to music. I remember, as a child, always being listening to synthetic videogames music, sometimes instead of playing the games themselves, and annoying my parents with those “beep” sounds they didn’t understand at all. I even composed some music on 8-bit computers like “Amstrad”, on which there was no musical tools, and so you had to be a real computer programmer, even for composing music. But around 1987, a personal computer called “Commodore Amiga”, opened new horizons to me, as it enabled the perspective of using samples with a different way as synthesizers: the so-called “sound-trackers”. Then I began to involve myself in composing music, at the point that someday, came the emergence of a new period called “demo scene”, where computer geeks started unite their talents to create video clips on computers and spreading them on floppy disks and modems (there was no internet, back then)), each clip involving, mostly, a programmer, a graphic artist, and a composer. I had the chance to be quickly well appreciated by international “scene members”, at the point that I entered directly classified to the first place of what was called “The Euro charts”, a periodic class of best programmers, graphic artists and composers from the demo scene, for which everyone in the world could vote. From this time, I still didn’t plan to make music my full-time job, probably by lack of self-trust. But one day, a very good friend of mine told me “Raphaël, you are talented, and if you don’t try to reach videogames companies, I’ll do it for you! As I can tell you, you WILL be a videogames music composer!” A couple of weeks later, I had a phone call from 2 great videogames companies: “Ocean Software” and “Delphine Software International”. It was amazing, for me, as one of those 2 companies produced games I even used to skip school to play them. So, imagine my feelings, when Paul Cuisset, the company director, called me to work on his future productions. A dream coming true…A few years later, the same friend told me” Now that you’ve done videogames music, I can assure you will compose for feature films!” And he was right too, about that. Many years after, however and to be frank, I must confess I still can’t read a musical score, today, and I’m still working with computers, as I always did.

 

 

tho1xyzhj1

KM 31. (SLEEVE NOTES FOR UP AND COMING RELEASE).

km31-uk-quad-poster

Released in 2006, KM 31 (KILOMETRE 31) is a horror/mystery/ thriller directed by Mexican born filmmaker Rigoberto Castaneda, who’s other credits include NECROFILIA (1997), VOLVO EN UN MINUTO (2007) and BLACKOUT (2008) as well as a number of shorts and television series such as TERMINALES (6 episodes) 2008, PARAMEDICOS (4 episodes) 2012 and most recently HASTA QUE TE CONOCI (3 episodes) 2016. KM, 31, s central character is Agata Hameran (Lliana Fox) who whilst driving along a lonely road hit’s a young boy, she stops and leaves her car to help the boy but is then herself run over by another car and as a result is plunged into a deep coma. Agates twin sister Catalina although not close by feels the pain her twin is experiencing and hears her whispering to her asking her to help. Catalina and Agata have experienced a telepathic link since the sudden and tragic death of their Mother when they were young girls and are able to communicate without having to speak. Catalina and her partner Nuno along with Agata’s friend Omar go to the place where the accident happened and begin to investigate and soon discover that the area is well known for a number of unexplained accidents that many put down to being caused by supernatural forces, many have apparently been caused by the ghost of a woman who lost her son in an accident at the site many years previous. After a while it becomes apparent to Catalina that her sister is not only in a coma but is trapped between the land of the living and the afterlife. The sequel KM 31, SIN RETORNO is in post-production at this time.

 

 

carlescases

 

The musical score for KM 31, is the work of the highly talented composer Carles Cases. Born in 1958 in Sallent, Barcelona, Catalonia Spain. He began his career as a film music and audio/visual music composer in 1989 and has in recent years been responsible for some of cinemas most interesting and original sounding scores as well as acting as a producer for other artists. Yet it is probably true to say that he remains virtually unknown outside of his native Spain and outside of the film music collecting fraternity for his contributions to movies and television. Cases has written the music for a wide range of motion pictures that include, comedy, horror and westerns. The Maestro excels at creating haunting and highly thematic musical compositions and is easily able to adapt his ample composing skills to any genre of movie, his music not just underscoring or supporting any films storyline and scenarios but enhancing and ingratiating them, giving each and every project he works upon greater depth and higher levels of impact.

Cases trained in pianoforte and Cello at the Conservatorio superior de Musica del Liceu and continued to take further instruction in harmony and jazz-piano at The Hastad Academy of Modern Music, he then studied orchestration and composition at The Instituto Superior de Arte da la Habana. During the 1970,s he became a member of Luis Roviras Big Band and as the 1980,s dawned he formed the Carles Case Quartet and also performed at numerous music events all over Spain whilst being a cello player in a string Quartet.

The composers score for KM 31, is at times quite low key in a sombre fashion yet manages to bring much to the proceedings, it seems to underline sequences with a somewhat forthright sound or just hovers in the background heightening the tension and creating layers of atmospheres which purvey an aura and mood that is filled with mystery, apprehension and fear, it is a vibrant and original sounding score at certain points that serves the movie well and although largely action or atonal lead also has a life of its own away from the films quite harrowing and anxious storyline. The composer’s music is at times also high profile and jagged sounding, with rasping brass flourishes augmenting and punctuating driving strings or virulent and spiteful sounding stabs from the same string section, it is a score that has numerous faces, in it is also romantically laced at certain points, the composer ushering in calming interludes which act as a welcome respite in a sea of highly charged musical compositions that are foreboding and for the most part unsettling. The compact disc opens with CLIMAX, which begins with low strings that introduce a brass fanfare of sorts that is not majestic but urgent and threatening. The composer then introduces a fairly up-tempo background of struck strings that add an even more threatening and imposing sound and atmosphere to the cue, however although the cue can be categorised as action or maybe atonal, there is also present a beautiful sub theme which lingers underneath all of the deliciously thundering elements which include numerous effective percussive sounds and also some fascinating wood and brass combinations that are underlined and supported by swirling strings and unforgiving brass. The tracks on this release are all fairly lengthy in their duration, which I think is a good thing as it allows us the listener to appreciate the full effect of the cue and also lets one hear the composers score building and developing.

 

Kronos

 

Track number two, INVESTIGACION for example is over ten minutes long, again the composer employing dark and low strings which are accompanied and supported by the use of brass and percussion, the composer also introducing pizzicato strings as a background but then the mood alters and the cue transforms into a more settled sound which is effected by the strings that carry an adagio like melody that swells into a more romantic sounding piece, this mood and sound is also present in track number three, OMAR MUERTO, this is also predominantly a string led composition, with the odd eruption here and there where Cases introduces and brings into the equation brass and a smattering of timpani and icy sounding piano and somewhat urgent woodwind. This is a score that I know you as an aficionado of film music will enjoy immensely, there is so much going on within the work, it twists and turns, jumps and jolts moving along at pace then slowing to weave itself around whatever is happening in the storyline, it calms and even soothes at certain points, creating a false sense of security and harmony, before erupting into a more threatening and disturbing musical entity. As the score progresses you will become immersed and mesmerised by its brilliance, its ingenious orchestrations and also its overall quality.

This will be the second release of the music of Carles Cases on Kronos records the first being THE UNGODLY MUSIC OF CARLES CASES (KRONCD019) which includes music from two movies, THE UNGODLY and DAGON. The latter being a newly recorded selection of tracks from that score. Let’s hope that KM 31, will be the second of many to be released on the Kronos label by this truly gifted and inspiring composer.

k74

 

 

km31_1

Released on KRONOS RECORDS July 2016.

DARK WAVES SOUNDTRACK RELEASE ART WORK.

DARK WAVES SOUNDTRACK RELEASE ART WORK.

DARK WAVES (BELLEROFONTE), is an Italian produced fantasy/horror movie which was released in 2015, directed by Domiziano Christopharo who’s more recent contributions include FLESH MANNEQUINS-TOTALLY UNCUT, VIRUS EXTREME CONTAMINATION and the absorbing Giallo like horror THE TRANSPARENT WOMAN. Christopharo is not just a director in fact one could probably refer to him as an all round filmmaker because he is a writer, cinematographer, producer and also worked on special effects, he has turned his hand to editing and acting as well as being able to compose music. His other credits include DOLL SYNDROME, RED KROKODIL, HYDES SECRET NIGHTMARE and BLOODY SIN alongside many others. Composer Alexander Cimini, has provided DARK WAVES with a highly atmospheric score, there are many moods and colours to the music and the soundtrack elevates and supports the story being acted out on screen wonderfully, the music being unobtrusive but at the same time creating deliciously dark yet romantically laced passages which seamlessly weave themselves throughout the storyline adding a greater impact to it. The composer has collaborated with Christopharo before on SHOCK;MY ABSTRACTION OF DEATH in 2013 but most notably on RED KROKODIL in 2012. Cimini too is an individual that is multi talented within the film industry and although he predominantly works as a composer he also regularly works from behind the camera as a director and assistant director, plus he has also worked as an editor and a producer and as a composer has written the theme music for films such as REGALO A SORPRESA and HYDES SECRET NIGHTMARE. Alexander Cimini was born and raised in Germany, his parents owned a restaurant and he resided in Germany until the age of six. The composer recalled that it was the music of Ennio Morricone that inspired him and he would hear soundtracks such as DUCK YOU SUCKER, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST on the families radio in the car. It was also the piano playing of Richard Clayderman that influenced him and drew him to playing the piano himself. The composers Grandfather was also a composer but sadly he never met him as he died before he was born. The music for DARK WAVES is a score that although being new or contemporary also has to it a sound and style that can be likened to the scores written during the 1970,s by composers such as Morricone, Donaggio and Cipriani. The composers use of a wordless Female vocal (Soprano Monica Boschetti) within the score is affecting and haunting and creates a ghost like mystical musical persona that at times is chilling but also can be mesmerising and beautiful.

ALEX C

This exceptional performance is fused with outstanding violin and cello solo performances by Roberto Noferini and Sebastiano Severi respectively and together these make this score one that should be in every discerning film music aficionados collection. Composer Marco Werba also contributed to the soundtrack by writing a lilting and melodic piece entitled LOVE SONG which is the opening credit theme for the movie, this appears at the end of the compact disc (track 17). This is a score that is delicate, powerful and undeniably romantic with an underlying mood that is fearsome, apprehensive but never overwhelming.

John Mansell 2016. (IFMCA/MMI).