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I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER…sleeve notes.

Sleeve notes for the soon to be released soundtrack of I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER by Federico Jusid on Kronos records.

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Composer Federico Jusid was born in Buenos Aires in Argentina in 1973, his interest in music began very early on in his life and from the age of 7 he would begin to study music. His love of music was kindled by listening to his Mother play piano when he was a child, the composer would often take to the piano at the family home and attempt to play it whilst he was a youngster. His Mother Luisina Brando was also an actress and his Father Juan Jose Jusid was a well known film maker in Argentina. I asked the composer what musical education he had received. “ Well once I started to torture our poor piano at home my parents decided to take me to a wonderful teacher. He not only taught me how to play piano but also we worked on improvising. Soon I started scribbling my first attempts at composition. Unfortunately I was not as gifted as Mozart when I was his age but at least I had an attempt at composition. After this I went on to be tutored by the excellent piano teacher Claudio Espector at the Municipal Conservatory of Buenos Aires. It was here that I received my Piano Teacher Bachelor of Arts Degree, when I was 21 I was given a scholarship which allowed me to relocate to New York where I finished my Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music. It was there that I took classes in both piano and also composition which included film scoring. After this I was awarded an Antorchas Foundation Scholarship which allowed me to travel to Europe where I continued with my musical education in Brussels and I received the Diploma de Execution Musicale”. I asked the composer had he always been attracted to the idea of writing music for films? “ My family are in the movie business, so I always was around the shooting stages, editing rooms and also the music studios, which was a blessing as I could witness the excite from film making quite early” So what did the composer think was the purpose of music in film? “ Oh my that is a tough one, There are so many great books written on this subject, I would only dare to say that a music score should find its own purpose with each project, and if we have a great honesty and work ethics it should never repeat itself. Sometimes music becomes a new character, other times an atmosphere or a sense of time or structure, or a tempo, an emotion map etc, to simplify in a shallow way”.

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Federico Jusid is a talented composer and orchestrator but is also an accomplished pianist, did the composer perform on his own scores?
“ I actually perform on most of my film scores, its not a narcissistic exercise but a practical thing for me to do. Of course. If there’s enough time there is always a chance of having someone else perform probably better than I do and that way the music is given a fresh idea”.
The composer has worked on numerous movies and also has scored a multitude of television projects, one of his better known soundtracks is the beautifully emotive work he did on THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES which he co-wrote with Emilio Kauderer, but in recent months he has been applauded by collectors and critics alike for his work on the Spanish TV series Isabel and the Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins thriller MISCONDUCT. There is certainly no doubt what so ever that Jusid is a talent to be reckoned with and I hope that in the future his name will be seen on the credits to many a block buster motion picture. I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER is a score that contains many musical colours, the composer has created a highly emotional work which has at its core a deep and touchingly delicate musical persona that is purveyed by the effective use of woodwind, piano and strings that when combined conjure up an atmosphere and mood that is filled with melancholy and a simple childlike sound. These simplistic thematic notions are affecting and beautiful and work just as a well away from the images on screen as they do with them. There is also another edge or face to the score which is ever so slightly harsher, the composer utilising electric guitar at certain points which is fused with percussion and strings and enhanced further by the use of a scattering of synthetic sounds that do evoke a certain martial style, these harder or darker sounding moments are however in the minority as the majority of the work is filled with effecting and deliciously haunting tone poems, which are intricate and beguiling. We are treated to soaring strings and frail but attractive piano solos which are underlined by woodwind passages that are woven into the fabric of the work. Released in 2010 I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER was the fourth feature film directed by film maker Christian Molina, the film tells the story of eight year old Alex, who seems to become almost obsessed by violent images, he begins to develop communication difficulties with his parents at first after his Mother gives birth to two babies, at first he seems happy to assume the role of the older brother, but soon his outlook changes and he also becomes increasingly detached from the other children who attend his school, he basically hounds his Mother and Father into getting him a Television for his room and then shuts himself away watching violent programmes and becoming more and more caught up with the scenes of violence from all over the world that he is able to see.


He then begins to become increasingly secretive and closes in upon himself and develops a friendship with two imaginary characters one an astronaut the other a cruel sergeant called John Cluster who advises Alex on how he can be a better soldier. The quiet eight year old who dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day has changed into someone who wants to be a soldier and go and fight and destroy the enemies of his country. Federico Jusid’s score underlines perfectly the changes that Alex is going through, it supports, punctuates and enhances wonderfully the storyline without being overpowering and gives the film and its storyline soul and a greater emotional depth.

THE MAID’S ROOM.(liner notes).

Available on Kronos records august 2014.


THE MAIDS ROOM is a richly dark and intense physiological thriller which is set in the affluent area of the east end of Long Island, where the movie was actually filmed. It centres on an attractive Latina immigrant who is as intelligent as she is beautiful. Drina takes a job as a live in maid at the home of the Crawfords who are a well heeled New York family that have a summer home in the Hamptons. The Father and Mother of the family spend much of their time away in the city leaving their son Brandon who is about to start at University at their luxurious summer home. Drina,s duties as live in maid include taking care of Brandon and his pampered friends. Drina’s room is next to the garage in the house and one night she cant help but notice that Brandon returns home worse for the influences of alcohol. The next day she notices that Brandon’s car has damage to it and also has traces of blood on the bodywork. After seeing the local newspaper where a fatal hit and run collision is reported Drina begins to realize that it is Brandon who is responsible. She knows that the Crawfords will literally do anything to protect their spoiled offspring and soon wakes up to the fact that she now has for once the upper hand over her employees. However the scenario that unfolds becomes more and more dangerous for her. This is a tense and intelligent thriller that explores the complex relationships that develop between truth and justice and also the influences of affluence and power. Directed and written by Michael Walker, who had apparently begun work on the storyline some twenty years previous.


The musical score which is at times as dark and also broodingly tense and unsettling as the storyline itself is the work of composer Arturo Rodriguez. The music works on many levels within the movie as the composer provides the film with some beautifully haunting themes that are delicate and emotive, but at the same time these have within them an atmosphere of tension and mystery. Born in Monterrey, México, the composer’s musical studies began at the School of Music of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, and later continued at the National Music Conservatory of México, Texas Christian University, and Butler University. He was selected as a participant for the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in Hollywood, CA in 2003 and the 11th New York University Composer’s Seminar also in 2003. Some of his academic and professional influences include pianists José Feghali and Panayis Lyras the conductor Stanley DeRusha, and composers such as Blas Emilio Atehortúa, John Corigliano, and Richard Bellis.

He has acted as orchestrator and also as conductor for numerous film and media projects these include, ASSASSINS CREED IV BLACK FLAG-FREEDOM CITY, THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, DOS, ELEMENTAL and THE KIDS GROW UP.

THE MAIDS ROOM is an accomplished and polished work which works so well with the images on screen but also has the ability to stand alone as just music to be listened to savoured and enjoyed. Rodriguez is almost lulling the listener into a false sense of security and well being with his richly emotive theme for Drina with its delicate piano solo and plaintive woodwind that are punctuated by harp, the music radiates an even greater warmth as the string section are ushered into the piece but still retains a fragility that is mesmerising.


This central theme is heard throughout the score either fleetingly or in more sustained arrangements and becomes not just the theme that accompanies the films central character but also the foundation of the score. The composer weaves his simple but effective motif for Drina into the fabric of the score and it acts like a musical adhesive that binds the remainder of the soundtrack together. This I hope will be the first of many soundtracks penned by Arturo Rodriguez to be released, his talent is immense and his gift for melody is outstanding.

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