Nainita Desai, is undoubtedly one of the most talented composers I have heard in recent years, and she just consolidates my views and thoughts about her composing prowess with her latest work for the documentary UNTAMED ROMANIA. Right from the opening track one just knows that this is a score that will be something special, the majestic sounding opening theme sent chills through me, it begins it is powerful and commanding but also has to it a with subtle strings and choral enhancement, and gradually builds into a wonderfully melodic and vibrantly lush piece which invades one senses and tantalises with its gorgeous and lavish sound that is brought forth via soaring strings, percussive elements and a rich and beautiful use of brass and woods, that are underlined with choral flourishes and opulent and stirring brass lines. Music in documentaries has come a long way in recent times and music for documentaries and docu-dramas is I have to say a rich source of inventive and highly original sounding soundtracks. UNTAMED ROMANIA is no exception and is a score that is overflowing with poignant, dramatic and at times fragile and intricate sounding thematic properties. Track three for example A CHRYSALIS AWAKENS is a delicate and haunting piece, with a yearning and heartfelt solo violin creating the core theme for the track and punctuation from female voices, that are enhanced by strings, it is a delight and pleasure to listen too. Then within the following cue WILD BOARS we are treated to a darker and more unnerving sound, which is an introduction to a dramatic and quite hard-hitting composition, that is given life by percussion and strings and strong brass. With track number five SPRINGTIME IN CARPATHIA we hear again the fragile and lighter persona of the score initially, but then the cue alters for a few seconds and segues into something that is more stirring and powerful, the composer creating and fashioning a sound that is highly appealing and certainly filled with splendour. Do I need to say anymore, No not really, based on the opening five cues I would buy this straight away, powerful, eloquent, vibrant and above all beautiful. The composers stunning music changing and adapting for each scenario and each instalment, very much like the seasons within the film, Recommended.
Available on Silva Screen. records.
Nainita Desai, is one of the UK’s leading award-winning composers working in both film and television music. She is the recipient of a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit award in 2016 and has written several memorable musical scores for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5, HBO, SKY, Discovery, PBS, Nat Geo, Smithsonian as well as for most of the leading independent UK film companies. She has established herself as a talented and versatile composer working on many varying genres of film and storylines. To say that she is innovative and inspiring would be an understatement, with each assignment the composer maintains a fresh and vibrant musical identity. Several of her scoring projects have won or been nominated for awards, these include: OSCARS, BAFTAs, EMMYs and RTS Awards. She has been nominated for an RTS Best Music Award 2014 for THE DAY KENNEDY DIED, RTS Best Sound Winner: Vinnie Jones: Russia’s Toughest (Nat Geo) and won the MUSIC+SOUND AWARD 2016 for the score for the movie, THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK.
Her score for TV series, THE EQUATOR FROM THE AIR is stunning and compliments and underlines the many visually beautiful moments within the series, supporting them without being obtrusive. One of her recent motion picture scores ENEMY WTHIN has caused more than a ripple of interest within the film music collecting fraternity. Released in 2019 ENEMY WITHIN, which is based upon true events, relates the story of a WWll Japanese pilot who crash lands in the sea off the Hawaiian island of Ni’ihau, it is an Island which the Japanese believe to be uninhabited, but has a small community who live off the sea as their ancestors have done for many years. The islanders rescue the pilot from drowning and bring him ashore. At first the locals treat him well and also afford him the hospitality that they are well known for. However, after they discover he was one of the pilots that were part of the force that attacked Pearl Harbour things begin to change. The film deals with many issues that arise from the rescue of the pilot and the divisions that begin to occur between the islanders because of him. The movie shows us the beauty of the Island and compares this with the unrest and eventual violence that erupts between people who have lived together for many years until the consequences and reality of war descends upon them.
The score for ENEMY WITHIN is one that tantalises and haunts the listener, its many themes invite us into a world that sounds exotic but at the same time is tinged with apprehension and melancholy. The composer turning to ethnic instrumentation on occasion to purvey a sadness or a sound that is subdued but at the same time powerful and emotive. The soundtrack is made up of conventional, ethnic and synthetic instrumentation, which guitar and violin solos making an appearance in many of the cues. The composer fusing together eloquently and wonderfully each component, with each of these working in unison complimenting and supporting each other. It is a score that is melodic and haunting, and one too that contains dramatic and commanding musical passages. Interesting, entertaining and compelling.