Tag Archives: Laurent Eyquem

CLASH OF FUTURES.

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Movie score Media is a record label that I really adore, not only do they champion lesser known composers, but they also release soundtracks by composers that collectors are familiar with that ordinarily would not see a digital or CD release. One of the labels recent releases is the score from the television series CLASH OF FUTURES which has a stunning soundtrack composed by Laurent Eyquem. Laurent is a composer of note as far as I am concerned, he has written the music for many movies and been associated with television productions, you may be familiar with his music via films such as COPPERHEAD, MOMENTUM, NOSTALGIA and the excellent USS INDIANAPOLIS-MEN OF COURAGE. It is I think somewhat unfair that a composer such as this does not seem to get the adulation and the focus from collectors that is so richly deserved. His music is varied and innovative the composer consistently producing scores that are of a high quality and filled with rich and vibrant themeatic material.

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This latest offering from the composer is an intense and entertaining listen, it is overflowing with themes that are lush and haunting as well as having its fair share of darker and more sinister sounding material. In CLASH OF FUTURES one can hear the style and the individual musical fingerprint of Eyquem, drama and action being conjured up by the smouldering and tense music. Most of the score has to it an apprehensive and slow building persona, but it does at times break into a more grandiose and driving symphonic style at times surprising the listener with a richness and lavishness that can be breath-taking. The score also possesses a more intimate side that for me evoked the style of composers John Barry and Ennio Morricone muted trumpet and what I think could be flugelhorn play against a kind of rippling piano solo feature as do strings and percussive elements, all these components combine and fuse together to create a sound and style that is infectious. I love the way in which the composer fashions brooding and slow building pieces throughout, layering strings and enhancing these with percussion, adding to the instrumentation as the cue develops to construct an effective and affecting sound, he also utilises Soprano voices at key moments which give the work an almost otherworldly sound that is haunting and mesmerising, with choir also being utilised effectively.

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As is the way these days in contemporary film music the score does have synthetic support but this blends and fuses seamlessly with that of the symphonic. Laurent Eyquem is a composer who has the talent and ability to create wonderful tone poems that enhance and support every project he is involved with, and as well as serving the images and storylines the composer also manages to create music that is enjoyable to sit and listen to away from those images and scenarios. There are no highlight moments within the score, because each track each piece and each theme is a highlight itself. The combination of sorrowful but attractive cello and piano at times is memorable and enriching.  Original sounding orchestration and imaginative use of brass instruments is noticeable, and as I have mentioned can be likened to the style of Morricone, a style and sound that  catches the listeners attention throughout. One for the collection, one of the best scores thus far this year.  Available as a digital download and later will be released as a physical CD on Quartet records.  Highly recommended.

 

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MOMENTUM 2015.

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MOMENTUM has been a score I have been waiting to be released for a number of months now, I was privileged enough to be invited to the sessions at the famous Abbey road studios in London back in the January of 2015. Right from the start I realised that this was a special score, filled with great melodies and also one that had a driving and somewhat relentless persona and also one that contained an original and individual sound and style. Composer Laurent Eyquem has created a musical tour de force for this violent and hard hitting thriller which is fast paced and unyielding in the action department and I know will have the watching audience on the edge of their seats in the cinema. I think the composer first came to my notice when I heard his score for COPPERHEAD, after hearing this haunting soundtrack I sought out more of his works and was never disappointed when listening to each new discovery from this obviously talented and highly gifted music- smith. Watching the sections of movie that were being scored at Abbey road was in a word mesmerizing, the composer is like many film composers a perfectionist and each and every section of the film he worked on was scored with not only dramatic and at times romantic sounding music but music that suited and fitted the movie like the proverbial glove. At last the score gets a release on the Varese Sarabande label and we are treated to Eyquem’s high octane themes which are a mix of symphonic and electronic, with both of these elements complimenting each other and gliding seamlessly along together, segueing into each other or at times one acting as a support to the other. The composers music underlines the intense action of the movie but also brings to it a richness of thematic material and contains one of the most infectious themes that I have heard in many a year. This central theme first manifests itself in track number 5 on the compact disc RUN AWAY, this is a rather subdued snippet of the core thematic substance for the score but gives us a hint of the marvelous material that is to follow. There is a scene in the movie which is a particularly graphic torture sequence and one which we viewed a few times at the sessions, the composer scored this sequence with somewhat light and delicate sounding music compared to remainder of the score, it was in some ways almost romantic but saying this the music worked so well within the scene.

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The composer utilising a hint of a female vocal that is underscored by layered strings that introduce a solo performance from cello with this itself giving way to lilting and emotive piano solo that adds a subdued touch of melancholy to the proceedings, he underlines this with a sorrowful sounding cello that brings forth a feeling and atmosphere that can only be described as heartfelt pity for what you are witnessing on screen, more forthright strings are then introduced into the piece giving it an even more romantic and lush sound. THE TORTURE (track number 19) is one of the longest cues on the album, and within it we hear fragments of the central theme that rise and then fall away before actually establishing themselves fully. It is a poignant and touching sound that the composer creates and one which works so well for the sequence, the actual scene being horrific, shocking and graphic, thus the music being scored in an opposite style or fashion enhances and elevates the scene giving it a greater impact for audiences. When at a session the scenes from the film obviously do not run in the order that they will eventually appear, the composer working on certain scenes depending on what musicians are present etc on the day. I was lucky enough to be present when the string section was playing their parts and also in the afternoon the brass parts were performed. Listening to the compact disc I was instantly transported back to Abbey road on that rainy day in January, watching and listening to the music being scored to the movie, it’s a day I will not forget. The soundtrack album commences with THE OPENING, which is a percussion led composition and one which certainly succeeds in getting the adrenaline running, fast paced and relentless it makes a powerful opening statement in a very short period of time. Track number two, THE BANK is again a fairly powerful piece and at first slowly builds into a percussion and string combination that is ruthless and exciting, these elements fade away and give way to a more subdued mood but this too alters and reverts back to a more action orientated cue, with brass, strings, percussion and electronics combining to create a tense and vigorously alluring composition which when combined with the images succeeds in building the correct ambience for the sequence.

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Track number six, GET RID OF THE EVIDENCE, I particularly remember because the composer asked the brass section to be more aggressive in their playing, the brass being played in unison with electronic stabs underlined by percussion and laced with strings, the brass and synthetic stabs acting as punctuation to a particular scene within the movie, again the music and the images fused as one, the music in my opinion becoming an important part of the scene and the action or an extension of the scene as it were. This is a soundtrack that I would say any self respecting collector of film music should have, it is one of those scores that work wonderfully within the film it was composed to enhance, but also has a life of its own away from the images on screen, I personally feel it is a return to the old style of scoring as it has real themes and motifs that are developed upon as the work progresses giving the work consistency, MOMENTUM is pulsating, brooding, exhilarating and above all entertaining. Available from Varese Sarabande one to add to your collection NOW………

MOMENTUM-SCORING SESSIONS JANUARY 2015.

COMPOSER LAURENT EYQUEM.
COMPOSER LAURENT EYQUEM.

Set in South Africa MOMENTUM is an action packed movie that by the look of the few scenes I was lucky enough to see at the recording session contains some of the most edge of the seat and fast paced situations that I have seen in recent years. The thriller which stars Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, James Purefoy and Scot Cooper is a tale about modern crime and begins with a complicated and risky heist that goes badly wrong. Kurylenko’s character Alex Faraday is a strong headed and beautiful woman who is as ruthless as she is attractive who after the heist is at risk of being caught by the authorities she also witnesses one of her fellow heist gang members being murdered viciously by members of an international syndicate, he escapes the scene of the murder but is seen by a Mr Washington (James Purefoy) who with his henchman embarks on a hunt to track her down thinking that she might have the information that her murdered colleague would not give them. It is an intriguing and highly entertaining plot which is at times violent and traumatic.

STEPHEN S. CAMPANELLI
STEPHEN S. CAMPANELLI

Stephen S. Campanelli makes his directorial debut on MOMENTUM but is no stranger to the world of motion pictures as he has been involved on numerous major movies as camera man, these include AMERICAN SNIPER, THE CHANGELING, VANILLA SKY, 50 FIRST DATES, SUM OF ALL FEARS, MYSTIC RIVER and MILLION DOLLAR BABY to name a mere handful, a protégé of actor director Clint Eastwood, I am sure this will be the first of many films that Campanelli will helm. The music is by Laurent Eyquem, who although may not be that familiar with collectors as yet has scored numerous TV productions and motion pictures, he first caught my attention with his haunting score for COPPERHEAD and then also his beautiful music for WINNIE MANDELA, but once I had discovered his music I began to look at articles and also his web site and discovered a wealth of beautiful works which he had penned, Laurent was awarded the IFMCA breakthrough composer of the year title in 2014 and has in recent months become one of the industries leading figures in scoring motion pictures. The score for MOMENTUM is a powerful one and contains all the elements that a great action picture needs to support it and also to embellish and enhance each and every scenario, but what struck me about the work and watching the composer put his score to the images was that it also contained a great deal of emotion and at times melancholy, which he at times applied to scenes that contained quite graphic violence, which I think will give the audience a real connection with each character. The music which was performed by players from a number of leading London orchestras was recorded over two days, January 7th and 8th at Abbey road studios, studio 2, Director Campanelli was also present.

COMPOSER AND DIRECTOR WITH ORCHESTRA.
COMPOSER AND DIRECTOR WITH ORCHESTRA.

The hard hitting compositions for the films many action scenes are striking and driving with the composer fusing electronic support with that of the conventional instruments of the orchestra, what also struck me about the score was that although the majority of the music was action led, it also contained wonderfully thematic material and a great asset to the work is that it actually contains what I call a MAIN THEME proper, by this I mean that the composer took me back to the days of when movies opened with a central theme that was not only melodic but also said to the audiences ok the movie is starting sit back and enjoy, and I think that when MOMENTUM opens (sometime in march 2015) audiences will love it and hopefully will also notice Laurent’s excellent powerhouse of a score. The score is performed in the main by strings and brass. The latter making a massive impression and giving the work a fearsome and relentless sound which one cannot fail to be gripped by. The strings add the melodies and give the work heart and a sweeping lushness that again one cannot fail to notice and love. The score is for me one of the best I have heard for a few years and I am not just saying this because I was present at the recording, straight away I knew that the music was not only good but it was magnificent, it is dark, tense, sad and moving, it all the qualities of an excellent motion picture score and I cant wait for the film to be released and then the soundtrack to get a compact disc release. Watch out for MOMENTUM and also Laurent Eyquem.

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My thanks to Laurent Eyquem and also to all his team and Abbey road staff for their hospitality, also special thanks to Eleni Mitsiaki (ifmca).

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THE RED TENT (2014)

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The Red Tent we all probably know as the title of the 1970 movie which starred Sean Connery and Claudia Cardinale and was scored by the Italian Maestro Ennio Morricone. Recently however there has been a highly praised Lifetime TV mini series of the same title, the subject matter of which is completely removed from the aforementioned motion picture and its storyline. The series stars Minnie Driver and is directed by Roger young, the mini series runs for two episodes. The music for the film is by the highly talented and gifted composer Laurent Eyquem who was responsible for the scores to the motion pictures COPPERHEAD and also TOKAREV plus numerous other film scores that are not high profile but in my opinion should be because they are so well written and have to them a haunting and highly attractive persona and sound. The composers talent for creating romantic and dramatic musical soundtracks for both TV and Cinema is obvious and with each assignment his command of enhancing and supporting images seems to increase and become more accomplished, his scores becoming an integral and also an important component of each individual project. His score for THE RED TENT is a varied and alluring one, the composer utilising, strings and woodwind to great effect and adding to these elements female voice and ethnic instrument performances that infuse the right amount of authenticity into the proceedings, underlining each and every scenario that is being acted out on screen and creating the correct ambience, mood and atmosphere for the storyline. The central theme is a simple but an effective piece of writing, the composer employing sorrowful cello in the first instant of the opening bars on track one of the CD, the cello is soon joined and underlined by restrained strings, these however soon melt away and a piano solo is introduced that is enhanced and elevated slightly by understated cello and then further embellished by the string section. Piano becomes the principal instrumentation of the cue, with emotive and heartrending cello remaining its companion mirroring and augmenting the piano, the composer also recalls the delicate strings to the composition and adds a fleeting female vocal which is successful in evoking an almost ethereal atmosphere to the proceedings, it is a lilting and melancholy sound which is created by the combined instrumentation but at the same time has a power to it, that culminates in bringing forth a beautifully restrained and elusively fragile theme that becomes affecting and moving as it develops. The theme can be heard throughout the score, and appears and manifests itself in various arrangements being performed by strings, piano and other instruments.

I have to say I am a fan of this composers music and his style, his works ooze romanticism and also have the ability to enhance dramatic and action situations, on listening to each new score or indeed some of his earlier works I hear a freshness and a zestful and vibrant style that I know will be attractive to other collectors. THE RED TENT is an epic score that has many attributes, filled to brimming with rich thematic material and elegant and lavish tone poems. Highly recommended.

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The first time I heard Laurent Eyquem,s music was for the movie COPPERHEAD, which got me hooked straight away, well I say hooked more like interested and fascinated that a composer such as this I had not heard of before. I then heard a few more of his works that were for in the main movies produced in South Africa and the composer very kindly sent me a download of his score for WINNIE MANDELA, this led to an interview with him and then I realised just what a great talent he was. One of his latest assignments is RAGE-TOKAREV which is a tense action thriller starring Nicholas Cage. Cages characters daughter is kidnapped and he turns to his old acquaintances in the criminal world and reverts to his old ways to try and get her back. The score for this drama is a multi coloured and varied styled score which seems to encompass an entire palette of sounds and musical textures during its running time. Poignant and touching tone poems are accompanied by nervously tense and highly combustible tracks which have at their core thundering percussive elements that drive headlong at a break neck speed to create that edge of the seat tension that is required in movies such as this as in track number 2, THE KIDNAPPING and track number 3, TRYING TO UNDERSTAND which are veritable smorgasbords of sounds both symphonic and synthetic, but the composer fuses these in such a way that they compliment and embellish each other to heighten the drama and create a thrilling and relentless composition. I was struck by the fact that even the more robust and action led cues remain musical and melodic throughout, the composer creating dramatic and powerful cues that are dynamic and pulsating but have solid thematic properties. I must admit that it is the quieter moments within the score that attract me personally more than the action material; the composer has the ability to create haunting and subtle musical phrases that are highly emotive and in a word beautiful, as in cues such as BODY FOUND, THE PAIN and the plaintive and emotive BOX FULL OF MEMORIES. The composer also utilises female voice within the work which adds a fragility and delicate tone to the proceedings. Solo piano features large within the score also and it purveys an atmosphere which is calming but also at the same time is filled with melancholy.

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The score does have a particularly attractive central theme which is at times performed by piano and also is give a fuller and more expanded work out by the string section who give the theme a sweeping, luxurious and lavish sound.
This is a score that I recommend you add to your collection, and while you are listening to it make sure you have your pc on to go to one of those well known sites that sell music because as soon as you hear the artistry and the richness and the freshness of Laurent Eyquem, s music you will be looking for more of the same. Presented well by Caldera records with informative notes by Gergely Hubai and eye catching art work by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was produced by Stephan Eicke and John Elborg.