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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.

lionwoman

 

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.

bigOriginal

 

 

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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