The soundtrack for Blood on the Crown is available and shipping now from Kronos records.
BLOOD ON THE CROWN.
by John Mansell. (Movie music international).
Before discussing the history on which the movie is based and the movie itself, I would like to explore the atmospheric and haunting musical score, which is the work of composer Laurent Eyquem. Who has over the past decade or so written numerous film scores that have attracted the attention of both critics, film music collectors and his peers. Blood on the Crown is in my opinion one of his finest scores for cinema, it is a work filled with emotion and drama, where the composer integrates ethnic sounding instrumentation into the symphonic content of the work. His use of bouzouki lutes is particularly affecting as the composer utilizes the instrument in a very different way to how we as film music fans have come to expect. Forget the bouzouki as in the upbeat employment used in film classics such as Never on a Sunday, Zorba the Greek and Topkapi, and think more of the tense and dramatic use of the instrument as displayed in the Mikis Theodorakis score for the movie Z. There is a tense and dramatic air purveyed within Eyquem’s soundtrack and this is at times supported and enhanced further by the inclusion of accordion flourishes and interludes. Again, the composer uses this instrument to convey a darker atmosphere at times, with additional use of strings and percussive elements adding to the depth and atmosphere, the composer also including trumpet I am guessing to accompany the martial elements of the storyline. He also uses accordion and bouzouki in a more traditional fashion when it comes to the less fraught and dramatic sequences within the movie.
The sound realized is instantly attractive and alluringly effective, underlining the storyline as it unfolds on screen. The music becoming an extension of the action and drama that is being acted out on screen, the score interweaving and adding musical commas, full stops, and other punctuation to the proceedings. Becoming an integral component of the production. Affecting Female Soprano voice at times underlines key moments, adding a degree of melancholy. The composer also provides the movie with interludes and sections of score that are more romantic sounding, with solo guitar, piano and strings combining to fashion lilting and pleasant-sounding tone poems which become haunting as in the cue Afternoon Ballad/The Factory. These less tense and dramatic nuances are welcomed and add their own substantial weight and support to the unfolding events within the film.
The composer tells us that the score was realized at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, which meant he had to source musicians and soloists from around the world to perform the parts remotely.
Such as the Soprano, accordion, and bouzouki, the soprano performance I think particularly stands out and brings to the work a fragility, as well as a sound that underlines the vulnerability and the resolve and passion of the Maltese in their attempt to gain basic human rights from the overbearing and cruel overlords as in the British. Female voice is also used effectively in a more aggressive fashion in the cue Burning the Flag. Laurent Eyquem’s score brings much to an already powerful motion picture, and Kronos Records are proud to be able to release it.
The Movie and its History.
The movie Blood on the Crown or Just Noise as it was originally entitled is based upon factual historical events that took place in Malta in the June of 1919. It focuses upon the treatment of the Maltese people by the British just after the great war of 1914 to 1918, when things were very different for the main protagonists in that conflict with countries such as Britain adopting a hands-on attitude to maintain a grip upon the territories and the countries that were within their Empire. Let us not forget this was not a war or a conflict in the true sense, it was not initially to gain independence but started as a demonstration at the price of bread. Which was handled ineptly by the English, who responded to the cries for help with not constructive actions, but instead acts of violence, cruelty, and military force. These actions resulted in the killing of innocent people that included women and children. It’s a period of history that the British attempt to sweep to one side to conceal it, but it is a period of history that should be related to anyone who will listen, it is a story that in this motion picture is told by its producers, truthfully with passion, emotion and above all sincerity. Directed by Davide Ferrario, the movie features actors Harvey Keitel, Tom Prior, and Malcolm Mc Dowell, it also has a strong supporting cast of Maltese actors who give their all. Blood on the Crown is a beautifully crafted picture, but also one that does not hold back, exploring and exposing the antiquated and often draconian attitudes of the British and the events of the 7th of June 1919, or Sette Giungo (in Italian). When British troops fired on a crowd killing four and wounding over fifty, who were not inciting violence but merely asking for bread to made affordable, which is now marked by a national holiday in Malta. It was not however until September 21st1964, that Malta gained independence from Gt. Britain, the country becoming an independent constitutional monarchy with full independence but with Elizabeth ll as the Queen of Malta and remaining as head of State. A period of forty-five years since the days of those bread protests.
Movie music international are proud to be associated with Kronos records.