LOST AND LOVE was released in 2015, it tells the story of a father who is searching for his Son and a boy who is searching for his family. After his two-year-old son goes missing, Lei (Andy Lau) begins a fifteen-year quest looking for his missing child. Whilst on the road, he makes a stop at a repair shop where he comes across a young repairman, Ceng (Jing Boran), who tells him that he was kidnapped at the age of four. Robbed of the life he was meant to live, Ceng can only vaguely remember fragments of his home life which include – a chain-link bridge, his mother’s long braids and bamboo trees. Lost And Love or Shi Gu is a beautifully uplifting tale of two lost souls who begin to forge a friendship and, although they seem to be staring in the face of a hopelessness and despair, manage to inspire courage and perseverance in one another and because of their relationship remain hopeful that both of them will one day be re-united with the family they have lost. The musical score for this drama and tale of hope is by acclaimed composer Zbigniew Preisner, like all of the composer’s film scores LOST AND LOVE is filled with highly emotive and poignant melodies, each of them having a life of their own but also working as one to create a score that is filled with fragility and emotion. The opening cue LULLABY is a calming and mesmerizing piece, the composers light and delicate touch shining through to create an elegant and haunting sound. I love the way in which the composer uses strings, sometimes fleetingly but also effectively, they enhance and support without being intrusive, but at the same time take command of the composition purveying a poignancy and an atmosphere that gets right to one’s emotional core. This is evident throughout the entire score for LOST AND LOVE, there is a hauntingly beautiful musical entity present from the start, the composers abundantly melodic and heartrending tone poems filling and overflowing into each other. At first it seems as these are unassuming and simple pieces of music, but they have the ability to fixate and almost hypnotise the listener. There is a slightness and tantalising aura to them and a style and sound that it is impossible not to notice or be affected by. I dare anyone to sit and listen to this or indeed any other score by Preisner and fail to be moved. The way in which he orchestrates the work too is impressive and inventive, woods and enhanced and punctuated by subdued piano in the cue, MEMORIES FROM THE YOUTH and this is a style that is also employed in the cue FRIENDSHIP, piano again taking centre stage with the composer adding light touches from harp, subtle strings and little nuances via guitar.
The cue WOMAN IN THE RAIN is also pleasing and rewarding, it is a soft and yet powerful piece, which opens with a music box effect or sound that is childlike and charming, Preisner underlines this with fleeting strings and also brings into the equation a woodwind solo which seems to appear from nowhere and a delicately performed guitar solo which adds even more poignancy to the proceedings. The combination is stunning, there are a few darker moments within the score but nothing that I would say is atonal or crashing as every cue holds a melody or a theme or at least highly thematic properties. This is one I recommend without reservation, it is entertaining, rewarding and totally absorbing. On listening to this I know you will straight away return to the beginning and listen again and again. Within the score there are obviously traces of other scores by this talented composer, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, FAIRY TALE A TRUE STORY, THE SECRET GARDEN etc, but that is no bad thing as his beguiling works are amongst the most attractive that have ever been written for the cinema. Available now from Caldera records.
At last WILD GEESE 2, has been issued on to compact disc, not only is this a fantastic action score, but it is issued on a label that I have much admiration for, CALDERA. It is presented so well with in depth notes courtesy of the informed writer Gergely Hubai, art work by Luis Miguel Rojas and some great pics to, it also includes pictures of excerpts from the handwritten score and a detailed biography of the composer, the CD has a lovely audio clip with Sylvia Budd talking as-well, plus a nice picture of the composer on the front cover sitting at the piano as always smiling in a way that only he could. The productions values on the release are amazing, the sound is so clear and full, so crisp and fresh, another big pat on the back for CALDERA and another thank you for bringing us this wonderful score. WILD GEESE 2 was a sequel of sorts to WILD GEESE which had been released in 1978. The original movie which starred Richard Burton and Richard Harris along with Roger Moore and a cast of familiar actors also giving support was a success at cinemas so the second movie was planned and was written with actor Burton returning as the Faulkner character he had portrayed in the previous picture, but sadly he passed away before filming started and sections of the screenplay had to be re-written.
Directed by Peter Hunt, the storyline of the movie focuses upon and around top-level Nazi Rudolph Hess portrayed by Laurence Olivier who has important information on prominent political figures. Ruthless TV executives Michael and Kathy Lukas played by John Terry and Barbara Carrera, want to get him out of his prison cell to appear on a live television broadcast. Faulkner played by Edward Fox declines their offer to lead a mission to break Hess free, but recommends Lebanese/American turned mercenary Haddad (Scott Glenn) as a substitute who takes on the mission, which very quickly turns into a nightmare for everyone involved. The film also featured performances by Stratford Johns, Ingrid Pitt and Patrick Stewart
As soon as the opening track on the soundtrack begins it is so obvious that this is the music of Roy Budd, his unmistakable rousing style for pictures such as this shining through straight away, and establishing immediately a tense but stalwart sounding atmosphere. The composer even includes a little snippet of the original WILD GEESE theme, to further grab our attention, and although this is just literally a micro second it is instantly recognisable. WILD GEESE 2, is in my opinion one of the composers most accomplished action scores, it is brimming with highly dramatic music and has about it a rousing and patriotic sound which every so often raises its head. There is an anthem like central theme that is the foundation on which the composer builds the remainder of the score, it is a relentless and full on work that is performed magnificently by The London Symphony orchestra, conducted by Roy.
WILD GEESE, was and still is a Roy Budd signature work, along with other scores such as SOLDIER BLUE and GET CARTER, simply because it is a score that has so many themes and brilliantly fashioned musical passages, WILD GEESE 2, is more of a contemporary sounding work which not only is memorable for its use of tense and exciting cues, but also for its more up-beat and funky sounding tracks that are cleverly woven into the fabric of the fully orchestral score.
I think if I was asked to describe the sound achieved by the composer on WILD GEESE 2, I would probably liken it to his score for WILD GEESE plus it has attributes and quirks of orchestration that can be heard within WHO DARES WINS or THE FINAL OPTION as it was entitled in certain territories. Plus, there are nods of acknowledgement to composers such as John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith and Jerry Fielding, who Roy admired and respected. With that funky sound the composer employed in some of his other film scores, such as FOXBAT, THE CAREY TREATMENT etc, becoming a driving force within the work. The composer keeps up the musical momentum throughout never taking his eye off the ball and creates a score that is just exhilaratingly uplifting and enthralling. The composers use of a funky but apprehensive sound is more evident in track number 4, MOVING ROUND SPANDAU, which has a somewhat easy-going background to begin with, performed on percussion with electric bass punctuating proceedings, this soon develops into something much grander and continues to build and gain momentum, with some truly wonderful brass flourishes acting as musical stabs or mini fanfares of sorts giving the cue greater effect both within the movie and away from it.
Like all Roy Budd soundtracks WILD GEESE 2, has a life of its own away from the images it was intended to enhance, and I must say it is a truly invigorating and rewarding listen. This is a score that is grandiose in the main, but also has some beautifully written quieter moments as in track number, 6, THE ROMANCE BEGINS, which is a delightfully haunting piece that begins with solo piano, which I am guessing must be Roy, this is then joined by light and airy strings which take on the 7, note melody that was initiated by the piano.
Budd was a gifted pianist as well as a composer as we all are aware, and he was a master at creating what some would call sugary sounding love themes, but I like to refer to these as melodic and memorable tone poems. There is also a vocal version of this cue which Caldera have included at the end of the album, performed by German singer Peter Hoffman, it is too an enjoyable listen. The soundtrack was originally released on a CBS long playing record back in 1985 (CBS 26462), and CALDERA RECORDS compact disc release is the same track line up. The reason for this being that CALDERA wanted to use the composers own master tapes but sadly these had been damaged in a flood and were un-useable, so they contacted Sony music to see if they had any tapes available of the score, fortunately they did but only the LP masters, so it means that the complete score won’t be issued, unless of course someone has copies of the masters safe and sound somewhere, so this means that the music released both on the LP and now the CD is approximately 10 minutes short of being the complete score, but with music of this high quality I am sure we as collectors will not mind at all, as any Roy Budd release is always welcome.
WILD GEESE 2, is probably one of the composers most infectious soundtracks from the 1980, s, as I for one have not stopped listening to it, and every time I take a listen I find more and more inventive writing, more original musicality and even more ingenious orchestration and arranging skills plus a masterful use of a handful of synthetic instrumentation that is skilfully fused with the conventional line up of the LSO. I don’t think any other composer at the time or indeed in recent years has been able to fuse so many styles and sounds together as Roy Budd has and make them work so well. It has a sumptuous and opulent sound to it, as well as a dramatic and intense style, it is filled with musical colours and textures that evoke memories of an age that is long gone within the area of scoring films, it has wonderful themes, it has emotion and it has that funky groove which keeps things moving along at pace and it has the unmistakable musical fingerprint of Roy Budd all over it. This is CALDERA RECORDS 22nd release, and is an important one because it fills a gap within Roy Budd’s discography, and is a fitting tribute to this kind, friendly man who just happened to be able to write some of the best film music ever. One to add to your collection ASAP.
1. Main Title (4:35)
2. Cat and Mouse in Berlin (3:35)
3. Solitary Confinement (3:46)
4. Moving Around Spandau (3:16)
5. The Wall (1:50)
6. The Romance Begins (2:36)
7. Plot and Deceit (2:22)
8. Attempt to Free Hess (8:31)
9. Escape (1:37)
10. End Titles (2:46)
11. Say You’ll Be Mine (4:45)
Performed by Peter Hoffmann
12. Audio Commentary by Sylvia Budd
LAST SEPTEMBER WAS THE FIRST GATHERING OF FANS OF MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES.
This was the brainchild of Mr Tim Smith. Tim along with the help of film music connoisseur, producer, and all round nice guy Mr James Fitzpatrick of TADLOW MUSIC, put their heads together and came up with a fantastic day at ANGEL studios in London, where collectors got to meet and speak to composers, TREVOR JONES, DANIEL PEMBERTON, DEBBIE WISEMAN, CHRISTOPHER GUNNING and MARK THOMAS. The day was a wonderful success and left everyone wanting more, well your requests have been answered, THE SECOND GATHERING OF FANS OF MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES is scheduled to take place on September 9th, 2017 at The ANGEL STUDIOS in London. Details are as follows. Please support this great gathering, you will thoroughly enjoy the day and the experience.
THE GUESTS SO FAR..
THERE ARE SOME GREAT THINGS TO BE WON ON THE DAY.
THESE INCLUDE SOUNDTRACK COMPACT DISCS, PLUS THIS AMAZING DAY IN PRAGUE.
AND THERE IS ALSO THE NOW MUCH SOUGHT AFTER FANS OF FILM MUSIC MUGS.
Adrian Konarski is for me one of the great discoveries within film music, after hearing his score for the movie THE WELTS I was for want of a better word smitten totally by his gift for melody and his haunting and tuneful music. I would like to thank the composer for agreeing to do this interview and also to thank him for his patience and his great effort in bringing it to fruition.
Your score for THE WELTS which I have to say I cannot stop playing, has just been released on CALDERA records were you involved in the compilation of the album, because it also contains music from two other scores which you composed, CITIZEN and DROWSINESS as well as a handful of cues from various theatrical projects and short films?
Thank you very much – I am glad you liked it and because you said this I feel that maybe this score must have something fresh – thank you! Because this was my big screen debut – I noticed that I had some freshness of debut in the meaning that I knew that apart from telling the story, and score serving the movie, it must have been musically very good and fresh material, otherwise nobody would notice it and therefore I might not have had the chance to write for a movie again. So sometimes my intuition was saying to tilt the scales a little from letting the film tell its story to allowing the music to tell the story, to construct musical themes that are interesting to listen to away from the movie and also to write music that would hopefully be remembered and appreciated in the future. We had to do additional editing and cuts as I was scoring the film, later syncing this music with the movie but I think it was a good idea to just follow my heart. Generally, it is my golden rule that no matter how much music serves a movie it must be interesting by itself, when you want to release a CD after even 10 years, which I hope watermarks me from other composers – I write MY nice melodies and MY harmonies or my dark or not nice melodies (if a movie tells me to write darker or maybe more sinister music) however music I think should always act as servant to any movie I score. As for selecting the music for release yes I was involved in this, it was my dream to add some more music, because I loved the idea of Caldera to produce so beautiful CD with a beautiful booklet inside. I appreciate their work. I simply told them that you do so nice work, that it would be a sin to not to add some more… But the selection was based on a key of emotionality of this music…
THE WELTS is a highly lyrical score, which you perform the piano solos on, do you also work out your musical ideas at the piano, or do you use more contemporary tools such as samples, computers etc.?
I am always performing piano on all my music unless something is so technically difficult that I am not able to play it. I used to play Liszt Piano concerto with Philharmonic Orchestra when I was finishing my secondary school, then I started more to compose rather than practise the piano, so I am not technically as good as before… But maybe because of the composing I learned to play simpler phrases… But this is mostly about feeling and emotions this is more important for me than an ability of playing fast passages. I am not composing for an effect or for things to be difficult but to underline the emotions within the film, so I am writing from the heart. There were no samples at all in music for THE WELTS as I worked on the movie in 2004 and the use of samples was not that common at this time, but NOWADYS there are more possibilities and samples sound more beautiful than many years ago. I listen to a lot of film music and I feel that I do not want to sound the same, and what I like in music the most – is something imperfect in performances that has a value. Sample libraries sometimes sound too perfect and too clear. European cinema music is more chamber and because of this I think you have more of a chance to be yourself and not become a part of an industry as much as it happens at times in the United States. Nowadays though I do use more samples, and I achieve things which just a few years ago, one would not have believed to be possible. Sometimes I even compose on a sampled piano not on a real one because it is simply more comfortable with all cabling in a studio etc. Now the business requires everyone to do things so quickly and the way that you compose the music exactly to a timeframe – to not to use any faders on a final sync mix. I think now there is no place for a composer who is able only to write with a pen, paper and candle… Although it is so romantic…
THE WELTS is your debut score, was it something of a daunting task for you, was it difficult to work on the movie or was it a film that inspired you from the first time that you saw it?
I felt so much that I was ready for my debut, I was very confident and knew I could handle everything – I felt an extra power within. I knew that even if I make errors there will be a lot of heart within the score and music is all about heart. And yes, the movie inspired me from the first time I saw it.
Staying with THE WELTS, as I say it’s a highly lyrical work, and contains some beautiful themes, do you think that film music has altered in recent years so we hear less thematic material on soundtracks and there is a more atonal or sound design approach?
I am glad you asked me this question because I am constantly thinking of how people receive music and understand music nowadays. Also, about musical education of listeners. I do not think there is less thematic material on soundtracks – maybe – but I also think – maybe because in my heart there is something between a song and classical music and my music aims West but it always has an eastern European feeling, some roots. I have also a feeling that many composers do not have so much need of melody in their heads. I am always winning with my melodies although because of an around world constantly altering it is not always easy to persuade that melody still has a value. Sometimes people simply believe that the best is strange, people need stories that this music is so original because a moment before composing composer ate a bouquet of green daffodils… For me music it is all about heart, sensitivity and not being able to stop composing.
Magdalena Piekorz, made her directorial debut with THE WELTS, did She have specific ideas about how the music should sound and what style of music should be utilised?
Sincerely I started to score this movie from a scene about Windmills which constructed the father and the son. I felt it and it was my trampoline. Magdalena only wanted a theme that I wrote one summer – CONFESSION OF LOVE, I wrote it when I was thinking of one girl cello player, she went somewhere to Japan for holidays and did not even know I was thinking about her.
What size orchestra did you employ for THE WELTS and how much time did you have to compose and record the score?
There was an orchestra like 30 people and among this me playing the piano, bass player, and djembe player…
You have recorded mainly in Poland, what studios do you like to use when you are recording a score for a movie?
Such story does not happen to often but I had recordings twice.
I wanted to debut but producers did not want to give me any orchestra.
I had to gather an orchestra myself – of musicians of Academy of Music in Krakow. My desire to debut and write music in a shape that I really wanted caused that there were no impossible things for me. Then when they realised that the film had power and that my music was good enough, they hired a Polish Radio Orchestra to record more music – and we were recording this in Warsaw in a Polish TV studio.
I understand you began to play piano at the age of just four, did you come from a family background that was musical?
My twin sister also plays the piano, she plays Chopin so beautifully, it is the same Sister who is singing on the CD… My mother she is a professor of Psychology but she plays the piano…I remember before primary school I was able to make a replacement for a teacher of music and to play songs on the piano when she was not there…
What musical education did you receive?
I finished Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland – department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music, and before Primary and Secondary School on a piano.
I think your music is so haunting and has a beguiling and enchanting effect upon the listener, do you orchestrate all of your own scores for film and do you conduct at all or do you prefer to monitor the proceedings from the recording booth?
Thank you very much for this. Yes I do orchestrate myself. I do not conduct, I understand that whatever I do I need some distance while recording and quickly switch from being a composer to the point of view of a film director, I am always at the recoding booth… But whatever I am telling about music and heart, and no matter how much a composer „loves” the music himself – it is always necessary in film music to remember that what is really important is the film and story not your music. And conductor for me is a necessary link that allows me have some distance….
Your music is for me personally like a breath of fresh air within the world of film music, it is not only wonderfully melodious and emotive but also has a lingering and affecting aura about it, what composers would you say may have influenced the way in which you write or approach a film score, or inspired you?
Thank you for this: Zygmunt Konieczny, Pat Metheny, Ennio Morricone, Philip Glass…
When working on a movie, do you like to see the film once before getting any ideas about the score, or do you return to the movie on a number of occasions before you make any decisions about what type of music you will write and where it will be placed to best serve the film?
I am always surprised how much power a picture has. I have so many ideas at the beginning when a movie impresses me that I would like to write very quickly, most of those first ideas are often the ones that are the best solution for the score. But I am always trying to slow down the spontaneous way of working because film is more about understanding what, why and first of all where not to write music at all, to remember about silence. But there is an opposite thing, film is almost always holding off your musical madness, because there are time frames. When improvise to a picture for a long time and do not know where to go sometimes I make a break and set my sequencer prompt where there is no picture at all and try to play what I am thinking ABOUT the movie. This restores a voice to my music and is sometimes a great idea.
Do you find when scoring a documentary or a short that the process varies a great deal from when you are working on a feature film, or is it mainly the budgets that are different, so you cannot do as much on TV as you can for a motion picture?
Usually you cannot write huge music to something that is documentary because who believes the story then…It is as an oversized suit.
If you are working on a TV series which is more than six episodes in duration and the schedules are beginning to get more demanding, do you ever re-cycle themes or sections of the score from for example episode one and re-use it in episode seven?
I do not have a big experience with TV series, but you know in each story there is something that happens spontaneously, hopefully a composer has a great power of doing different tempos, this makes a different music. Recently I was at a gathering where five composers did a Q and A session with fans of music from the movies, I was wondering how do you see the role of a film music composer, do you think that writing music for films is an art or a craft or maybe a combination of the two and in your opinion what is the purpose of music in film?I was telling before about heart necessary for music, and that you generally need to be inspired to do something good and know how to find this inspiration. For me it is a combination of those two and first of all it is about ability of having very quickly a distance to what you wrote a moment ago and an ability of understanding a film director’s way of story telling
You use female voice on a number of your scores to great effect, I was reminded when listening to the music contained on THE WELTS compact disc of a number of composers, Morricone, Preisner and also Komeda, when you write a score and decide that a voice will be used do you write with a particular performer or soloist in mind?
Yes, I am most of the time thinking about particular voice or vocalist, I like female voices, voices are special kind of instruments for me.
Do you have a set way of working when scoring a movie, by this I mean do you like to write and develop a central theme and then base the remainder of the score upon it, or do you compose various themes and then develop the central theme from these, additionally do you start with the larger cues first and then when these are written concentrate on the smaller sections of the score?
It is difficult to say, each score is a big adventure, this is why I like it so much. No rules here. But there is something in it that usually some small scenes make so big impact on me that I treat them as a starting point. And what is maybe very mine I love giving my musical fragment titles myself, like Windmills and Holy Figures or Cooking of Hallucinogenic Herbs – and I usually need only a few seconds to invent titles based on a story that I am scoring. It helps me being creative. Maybe because poetry and literature song is so important for me…
Have you ever given any concerts or performances of your film music?
Sometimes but I think I should do much more. I improvise playing to silent movies with my ensemble SemiInvented Trio.
Is there any genre of film that you feel more comfortable working in, or do you adapt easily to most genres?
I adapt early to most genres but people put thoughts into drawers – although I am constantly getting psychological dramas I am dreaming about a crime story now. I would not feel comfortable with hip-hop music.
Can you tell us what you are working on at the moment?
Now I am recording some Christmas Songs to a Polish poetry, which I am going to release on a CD – very artistic and non-commercial work. Apart from that I am writing some orchestral music to lyrics of a famous Polish lyricist Jacek Cygan. But my dream is to write a film musical. and music for a crime series – but for someone who does not need green daffodils and trust me. I am also open to help young directors with their debuts. Listen to my music – thanks to Caldera Records – I would like more people and film and theatre directors discover my work. And my melodies.
Produced by Polish veteran film maker Krzysztof Zanussi, this is the directorial debut of Magdalena Piekorz. THE WELTS (PREGI) is a melodrama which begins with a somewhat shocking picture of child abuse: Set in the early 1980, s in a Poland that is unforgiving and unwelcoming a young boy Wojciech lives with his Father an unpredictable individual who is one-minute handing out sharp, harsh physical and mental violence and the next is attempting to create a bond between himself and his son which never seems to be genuine or long lasting. The film is divided into two parts, the first half concentrates on the childhood days of Wojciech the second part of the drama we see Wojciech as an adult, who is a journalist in his thirties who has in a number of ways grown into a similar human being as his Father, who turns to a woman who for some reason loves him without question and unconditionally. THE WELTS was the official Polish nomination for the Academy Awards(Oscars) in 2004 and the musical score by Adrian Konarski is one of the movies most precious and glowing attributes. The score is released here on Caldera records for the first time alongside music from a number of the composer’s film and theatre assignments, the compilation makes for some wonderful listening. The music for THE WELTS not only does its job within the movie but also simply mesmerises and enthrals when listening to the score away from the images it was intended to support and enhance, saying this however it is also a delicate and highly supportive element within the movie, and I have to admit although I was conscious of the music from time to time whilst watching the picture it never overpowered or intruded. Which I think is what good film music should do, it elevates and underlines but never overwhelms the dialogue or the scenario taking place on screen. Concentrating firstly upon the score for THE WELTS which is tracks 1 to 19 on the compact disc, it is in many ways a piano led score with the piano solos being performed by the composer. Konarski makes effective and affecting use of both strings and woodwind, which complement and accompany the haunting piano playing of the Maestro, who purveys a sense and atmosphere of tenderness, romanticism and delicate fragility with his eloquent and elegant compositions. There is a sound here and to a degree a style that is very evocative of composers such as Preisner, Morricone, Legrand and to a certain extent some of the more classically inspired film scores by Cipriani (Anonymous Venetian for example).
For me the sound achieved by Polish film music composers and in particular Konarski is genuinely beguiling and addictively compelling. Driving but not aggressive strings act as a background or introduction to a soaring woodwind solo in a number of cues which is interspersed and punctuated by attractive and attention grabbing piano passages, harp is also utilised as is a particularly heartrending solo violin which although never in the foreground both add an even more poignant level to the work that is tinged with melancholy and creates a mood that for me conjures up a sense of loneliness and vulnerability. This is an intricate, rich and dramatically emotive soundtrack, that once listened to will be returned to almost immediately, its polished and skilfully written pieces melding together to create a work that is quite breath-taking. The compilation also includes selections from DROWSINESS and CITIZEN in the former the composer makes stunning use of a flawless Soprano which if I have to make comparisons did remind me somewhat of some of the music of Christopher Komeda. I cannot recommend this release enough or tell you how much I love it, it is one of those releases that comes along when you are not expecting it and completely blows you away, please go and buy this asap.
FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD. WITH MOVIE REVIEWS AND NEWS FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE.