Film music has in recent years become shall we say a little predictable, but this I think is something of a trend that is happening with film music from America more than anywhere else. Scores from Europe and from Asia have become the works to look too for any kind of innovative writing. This is for me predominantly from Spanish movies or scores by Spanish composers who have worked on American or British films. Many of these scores have been outstanding in the past five or six years and it is thanks to the sound, the style and the inventive writing of many composers from Spain that collectors have begun to investigate more examples of these composer’s works in film. Moving away from the big Hollywood music-smiths. It seems that sometimes the more obscure the movie or the composer the music is richer or more alluring and original. I am not saying however that better known Spanish Maestro’s are not as innovative, but it is always good to discover a score or a composer that one is not familiar with, and I think this makes the discovery even more of a rewarding experience, because as you begin to discover the music of this composer I also think that you begin to maybe get to know them via their music. Recently I was introduced to the music of a composer from Spain which literally took my breath away and also completely to me by surprise in a nice way. His music I think is superbly written, wonderfully orchestrated and magnificently performed. Arturo Cardelus, is a composer who I know will become much in demand, his melodies are wonderfully melodious and uplifting where they have to be, and can also be dark and sombre again when required to be so. There is a beauty and pureness about his music that just envelopes the listener and completely mesmerises them, the thing is his melodies and gracious tone poems are quite simple, I do not mean this in any way to be a negative, because they are to the untrained ear probably complicated, but the simplicity of his themes are so attractive, it gives the listener a chance to actually appreciate the richness and the sheer beauty of the music rather than being swamped with racing musical passages that really do not register because they are harsh or vastly complex. I first heard his music to two documentaries, ALTAMIRA THE ORIGIN OF ART and SWIMMING IN THE DESERT, both are sublime and haunting. However even these two scores pale in the presence of the composers score for BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF TURTLES. This is an animated movie, which itself looks impressive, the score is a triumph and a wonderous example of just how images and music work together. In certain places within the score I was reminded of the music of both Nicola Piovani and Nino Rota and maybe touches of Morricone and Delerue, again the simplicity of the themes shines through, the composer utilising solo piano, woodwind, Cello, solo soprano, strings and choir throughout, many of the cues possessing an almost celestial sound which is delicate and fragile but on occasion can alter to become sinister or dark.
The composer also makes effective use of pizzicato strings which add a kind of mischievous aura to the work. There are also a handful of solo guitar performances which are stunning and vibrant. To isolate one or two tracks within this score as being outstanding, would be an impossible task, as every cue has to it a gorgeously captivating persona. The central theme that the composer employs in several the cues, is one that will stay with you long after you have finished listening to the score and it is presented in various musical guises, i.e. romantic, melancholy, energetic and even in a comedic fashion.
But for me the attraction of this score is the numerous captivating fragile sounding moments, which even when listened to away from the images will I know bring emotions to the surface. I know it is very early in the year (2019) but for me this could be the score of the year, it has so much poignancy and emotion, I have to say I love it.