Tag Archives: movie score media

THE LION WOMAN.

Notes for the Kronos/Movie score media CD release.

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Composer Uno Helmersson, has written a particularly, fixating and captivating soundtrack for THE LION WOMAN, his musical score being, highly melodic and filled with a rich and luscious sound that is haunting and extremely beautiful. The score is overflowing with fragile and delicate tone poems that weave in and out of the proceedings creating emotive and poignant musical moments. The score also contains a handful of cues that are much darker and even at times ominously foreboding, the composer fusing both symphonic colours and synthetic textures together to fashion a shadowy and at times unsettling musical persona. THE LION WOMAN contains one of the most interesting and hypnotic scores that I have heard in a while. The composer relies in the main on piano, strings and cello to create his light and romantically melancholy musical themes, the cello in-particular has a richness to it that oozes emotion and sadness that is the heart of the score in many ways or at least its soul. Most of the work is light and beguiling, with Helmersson, utilising piano solos or piano and woods in unison that are supported by layered strings that seem to caress and accentuate the core musical themes. The musical score plays an important and integral part to the unfolding storyline and gives it greater depth and certainly more emotion, the score is key to the sensitive content of the movie, the composer creating subtle but effective and affecting motifs and musical passages to underline, emphasise, support and punctuate each scene. The central theme is a combination of solo piano and strings which together form a solid opening foundation, on which the composer begins to build his theme, this musical notion is then expanded and embellished with woodwind and additional strings to create an elegant and lingering piece which grows and builds in momentum purveying a romantic yet strident style. The score is enchanting, and magical, and contains an appealing fragility that shines throughout, it is a soundtrack, the style employed I would say was akin to the sound achieved by composers such as Phillipe Rombi, Alexander Desplat, Georges Delerue and has hints of the romantic sounds of Ennio Morricone and maybe too incorporates touches that are of a Barry-esque quality. Uno Helmersson, was born in, Vasterbotten, Sweden, on March 28th, 1977. As a child his parents noticed his aptitude for music and decided to let him take Organ lessons. As he grew up and entered his teenage years, he began to play in various bands, and it was at this time that he realised that it was music he wanted to pursue as a career. He studied music in upper secondary school and continued to study via various preparatory courses before he was finally accepted into The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, in 2002.

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Whilst he was at college he became friends with Johan Soderqvist, who is one of the most prominent composers of music for film in the Nordics, and after graduating from college Uno began to work as Soderqvist’s assistant. And worked on scores for films such as KON TIKI, LIMBO and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Helmersson got his first solo break into composing for film in 2010 when he wrote the score for the Danish documentary ARMADILLO, and has since then been busy writing music for film and television.
THE LION WOMAN, was written and directed by Scandinavian film maker, Vibeke Idsoe, and was released on September 14th, 2017, in Germany, the screenplay was based on the novel by Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen, and tells the story of a young girl Eva Arctander who suffers from a very rare genetic disorder, which generates hair growth over large parts of her body. Eva’s Mother dies in child birth and her Father attempts to hide his daughter away from everyone, because he feels ashamed of her appearance. Despite all the odds being stacked against her, Eva, has such a passion for life but because of her experiences with people’s bigotry and disrespect she decides to join a theatre group which includes members that also suffer from rare diseases, the movie is her story and follows her from the age of seven and concentrates on her 14th and 22nd years, and is set between 1912 and 1932. It is a touching and somewhat frustrating tale, but also a film that you cannot stop watching, a compelling storyline, with some wonderful performances by the leading actors.

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THE LION WOMAN.

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Again, we must thank Movie Score Media for bringing to us the music of a composer that ordinarily we might have overlooked, either because the movie was not released in our respective countries or maybe the film had a low budget and was overshadowed by bigger more well financed projects. In this case it is the talented composer Uno Helmersson, who has written a particularly enchanting and melodic soundtrack for THE LION WOMAN, the music is rich in melodious passages and overflowing with an abundance of poignant and emotive tone poems that please the listener and linger long within the subconscious. Saying this, it is not all sweetness light and romantic or melancholy sounding pieces, the score also contains many darker pieces, with the composer turning to a fusion of synthetic and symphonic textures and musical colours, these at times can be menacing or sinister sounding, the composer using them to build the tension and lay down an atmosphere that is foreboding and uncertain. However, most of the work is light and airy sounding, with piano solos or piano and woods in unison that are supported by layered strings that seem to caress and underline the main musical themes. The release from Movie Score Media, coincides with the movie’s release in Germany, which was on September 14th, written and directed by Scandinavian film maker, Vibeke Idsoe, the films storyline was based upon the novel by Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen, and tells the story of a young girl Eva Arctander who suffers from a very rare genetic disorder which generates hair growth over large parts of her body. Her Mother dies in child birth and her Father attempts to hide Eva from everyone, because he feels ashamed of his daughter’s appearance. Despite all the odds being stacked against her, Eva, has a passion for life but because of her experiences with people’s bigotry and disrespect she decides to join a theatre group which includes members that also suffer from rare diseases, the movie is her story and follows her from the age of seven and concentrates on her 14th and 22nd years. It is a touching and somewhat frustrating tale, but also a film that you cannot stop watching, a compelling storyline, with some wonderful performances by the leading actors. The musical score plays an important and integral part and is key to the emotional content of the movie.

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The central theme is a combination of solo piano and strings which create a solid opening foundation, on which the composer begins to build his theme, expanding it with woodwind and additional strings to create an elegant and haunting piece which grows and builds in momentum purveying a romantic yet urgent mood. The score is a delight and one I know will once listened to will be returned to and recommended by many. The style employed I would say was akin to the sound achieved by composers such as Phillipe Rombi, Alexander Desplat, Georges Delerue and has hints of Morricone and maybe touches of a Barry-esque quality, especially present within the writing for woodwind and strings. The sorrowful but attractive Cello solos within the score are particularly alluring, and the composers gift for melody is stunning. It is sad, dark, emotive and dramatic, a combination that we as film music collectors cannot complain about. I found that it was a totally pleasing listening experience, which I recommend highly.

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MY NAME IS LENNY.

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MY NAME IS LENNY, is a compelling and fixating story about the life of Lenny McClean, who was a leading figure in the bare-knuckle fraternity in the UK, THE GUV’NOR as he liked to be called was said to have taken part in over 4000 fights and moved in circles that included the more notorious and seedy sides of the London criminal underworld. Directed by film maker Ron Scalpello, MY NAME IS LENNY stars Josh Helman in the title role, Helman of course found favour with cinema audiences in his acting roles in movies such as MAD MAX FURY ROAD and turned in a convincing and memorable portrayal of Commander Stryker in the newer editions of the X-MEN pictures. McClean became an iconic figure within the British fighting fraternity and even made an appearance in Guy Ritchie’s LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, where the fighter made the role of Barry the Baptist his own. Ron Scalpello’s movie shows us the story and background of McClean the man, and the legend he became. Composer Ian Arber has created a musical score that is just as powerful and riveting as the movie itself, Arber is a rising star in the world of film and TV music and has already fashioned memorable and commanding soundtracks for numerous projects which include, documentaries, such as I AM BOLT and SIR MO FARAH (Mo Farah no easy mile). He also acted as musical assistant to Joe Kraemer on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE-ROGUE NATION, and provided the music for BBC 2, s QUACKS. MY NAME IS LENNY, contains a soundtrack that is a combination of conventional instrumentation and synthetic or electronic sounds and samples. The opening theme, on the release MY NAME IS LENNY(suite) has to it a style and sound that is not unlike Hans Zimmer, now we all know how I feel personally about Zimmer’s scores of late, but in this case, I am using him as an example to describe to you the construction of this particular piece, it is basically a four or five note motif that is repeated over and over, with momentum gathering as the composer flesh’s out the theme adding textures and layers giving the piece a commanding persona and a sound that is powerful and haunting, the theme builds and builds gaining volume, then as quickly as it reaches its crescendo of sorts moves into a quieter and more calming interlude, in many ways it has affiliations with Zimmer’s TIME theme, from INCEPTION. As in it begins low and brooding and then opens out into an expansive piece, which, has the ability to make one want to return to it as soon as it has finished. The remainder of the score is constructed from mainly electronic performances of the composer’s compositions, which are for most of the time tense and quite urgent sounding, but there is a guitar solo and plaintive piano present at key points which adds a certain amount of melancholy and emotion to the proceedings. This hint of a theme accompanies Lenny’s girlfriend Val in the movie and is an acknowledgement of her influence upon the fighter.

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There is also a rock sounding segment, with fuzzy sounding guitar, enhanced by percussion, both of which work in unison in the cue COME BACK TO ME, the two being hard to separate at times as they are complimenting each other so well. The composer does make effective use of percussive elements throughout the score which at times we are told were made up of the sounds of boxing gloves hitting their target, which is an ingenious and highly creative move on the part of the composer, I suppose this can be compared to Jerry Goldsmith’s synthesised percussion in HOOSIERS that mimicked the sound of a bouncing basketball in many of the on-court scenes that the composer enhanced. This percussive support in MY NAME IS LENNY, punctuates and underlines various instrumentation, both conventional and otherwise, giving it not only support, but also adding depth to the work as a whole and in my opinion becoming the driving heart of the soundtrack. There is a mood or atmosphere of apprehension and darkness throughout the score, that is maintained via the use of a simple guitar rift if that is the correct terminology, the composer also making affecting utilisation of distorted sounds and a grossly distorted cello which represents Lenny’s abusive stepfather, these elements add even more tension and uncertainty to the style and sound of the music, thus adding more colour and more layers to the work. The opening theme returns briefly in a few cues but does not fully develop until we reach track number, 11 THE DECIDER, when it is a more triumph sounding version, and again in the final cue THE GUV’NOR, which is slightly more subdued and emotional, piano adding a tinge of sadness and giving the final track a low key melodic foundation. Overall, I did enjoy listening to the score and discovering the musical colours and textures of Ian Arber, the composer seems to have a unique approach to scoring movies and works with a varied line up of artists, which have included the hip hop performer NAS, and David Rowntree the drummer from BLUR on his score for I AM BOLT. I look forward to more of his work, soon. Soundtrack available on Movie Score Media.

http://moviescoremedia.com/my-name-is-lenny-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/

BLOOD FEAST.

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ScreamWorks Records invites its listeners to a Blood Feast, which is an  official remake of the 1963 horror by Herschell Gordon Lewis. This new version of the gory story was co-written and directed by Marcel Waltz and tells the story of Fuad Ramses (Robert Rusler), an American entrepreneur who moves to France with his family in order to open an American diner. With business going slowly, Ramses also works night shifts in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture. Tortured by visions from the Goddess Ishtar (Sadie Katz), Fuad starts to spice up his meals with unlikely ingredients….

The musical score for BLOOD FEAST, comes courtesy of German born composer, Klaus Pfreunder, who has created a harrowing and commanding work via sounds synthetic and symphonic, or at least I think there are some conventional instruments within the score as it is hard to distinguish between electronic and symphonic as the work fuses them both flawlessly. The opening cue entitled THE BEAST, (INTRO) is a piece which sets the scene perfectly for much of what is to follow and immediately grabs the listeners attention, with the composer utilising the sounds of a beating heart and over this we hear the sounds of what I can only imagine to be the beast referred to in the track title, there is a growling and shrieking effect within the opening of the cue, that is edged with sinewy sounding icy strings and jagged brass stabs, with the composer adding a woman’s scream but distorting it to great effect, the heart beat continues and becomes faster and more pronounced as the cue progress’s and develops gaining momentum and becoming more virulent and menacing. The composer fashions an uneasy and uncomfortable composition which can only be described as taught and intensely harrowing, filled with tension, darkness and foreboding. Track number two, NEW DAY is somewhat more low key, and opens with piano underlined by strings, in fact it evoked memories of Christopher Youngs wonderful opening theme for THE HAUNTED SUMMER, with delicate piano taking centre stage and given support by light and romantically laced strings, but the mood of the cue very soon alters as the piano becomes more urgent and the strings also change course becoming apprehensive, there is also a sound in the background that reminded me of BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW, this haunting and fearful cue establishes an atmosphere that is edgy and richly shadowy, but at the same time retains a mood that is tinged with a fragile but melancholy air. The music for BLOOD FEAST is probably not going to be everyone’s idea of a good score, but I liked it and loved the way in which the composer integrated Edvard Grieg’s wonderfully evil and mischievous sounding THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING from Pier Gynt, into one of the main cues, track number 9, THE FEAST. Synthetic or symphonic does not matter really, it is a score that is deliciously powerful and a work that oozes a sound that is affecting and disturbing. The score also includes a handful of songs, by artists such as, Chilli con Curtis and Nici Rox, the latter sounding very much like LORDE who have been doing well recently in the music charts. As I say maybe not for everyone, but check it out you never know you may just like it.

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ALBION-THE ENCHANTED STALLION.

 

Not sure how to put this. But, you know when you have heard the work of a composer on a handful of projects and one thinks to yourself this is very good, and it can’t get better than this, can it? Then along comes one score and it just hits you as being superb, well this very thing happened this week when I heard the score for ALBION THE ENCHANTED STALLION by composer George Kallis. It is if you like a coming of age score for the composer or that is how I would describe it, because there seems to be a seasoned and more profound sound to this work for whatever reason. Although I must say his other film scores are all very good indeed. All I know is that it is an excellent work, that is filled to overflowing with a richness and vibrancy that is emotive and exciting. There is a delicate and fragile air to the score as well as a wonderfully melodic and inspiring sound that purveys not only a romantic aura but oozes dramatic content and relays an atmosphere and mood that is a delight for the ears. Symphonic sounds are combined with synthetic support and some stunning choral performances and solo Female voice that seems to be the heart of the score. It is a lush work that has within it a hint of the melancholy, but never seems to get to syrupy or sweet, it also possesses a lighter and more comedic side, which is expanded on and displayed openly in the crazy sounding SPLIT PERSONALITIES and raises its head at various points within further cues, WALL CREATURES AND A LITTLE GIRL, for example. There is an abundance of strong thematic material within the score, soaring strings, faraway sounding horns, subtle woodwind, and a scattering of piano and percussive elements all combine seamlessly to create a soundtrack that is just so entertaining and mesmerising. There are also featured solos from cello, violin etc, which just melt one’s emotions. The cue THE TWO TRIBES is a piece that displays a varied style with dramatic and emotive atmospheres combining intertwining and eventually fusing to work beautifully. It is also a score that right from the off one just knows that it is special, the vocal THE STRENGTH TO LIGHT OUR WAY is highly emotive, and although relatively short, certainly hits the spot straight away, every cue has within it something that will appeal to even the most finicky collectors, this is a contemporary score which has the heart and soul of what film music was all about back in the day. The entire soundtrack is a sheer delight and one which I have returned to numerous times already, please check this out, you too hopefully will be mesmerised, beguiled, and entranced by this magical, mystical, and hauntingly enchanting work.

 

Available on Movie Score Media.