I was going to include my thoughts on the score for the movie Traces of Madness within a soundtrack supplement extra, but on hearing it I decided that it deserved to be given prime position in a review dedicated to it alone, because with a score such as this one just wants to shout out LISTEN TO THIS EXCELLENT MUSIC…
So a bit of background on the film first, The central character James is affected by bi-polar disorder and suffers from significant memory losses and his mind is confused by foggy memories. In the effort to save his marriage with his wife Stephanie and through the help provided by a Doctor Bryant, James will do everything in his power to make sense out of his troubled past. That’s the basics of the outline of the story for the movie Traces of Madness.
The score is by composer Riccardo Marchese, and in a word, it is Excellent, this is one of those soundtracks that as soon as you hear the first few minutes of the opening themes you inherently know that it is going to be something special and something that will remain with you for a long time. The haunting melodies and beautiful musical poetry that is created by the composer is stunning, the themes being emotive, poignant, and affecting in every way. It has to it a richness and a deep sensitivity, which at times is intricate, delicate and touching but above all it is a rewarding and enriching listening experience. There are so many alluring and exquisite compositions within this score that it is impossible to single out any one cue from the work.
I was not at any point tempted to skip through the track list, because I was enjoying the music so much and I did not want to miss anything. Every cue is mesmerising, each note placed with passion and care, considering the subject of the storyline there are darker moments within the duration of the score, but even these have that magnetic attraction, the composer utilising symphonic and synthetic elements throughout and getting the balance right each time. This must be another contender for score of the year, I say another because I think in the last few weeks there have been a handful of soundtracks in the running for this title, however Traces of Madness is at the top of that list for me, the composers use of fragile sounding piano at times is heart-rendering, making the music totally absorbing and wonderfully melodious.
There is also effective use wordless female voice, which the Maestro underlines, compliments and enhances with luxurious sounding strings, that are sweeping and romantic adding depth and creating levels of what I would refer to as musical excellence. Effective usage of voices, subtle brass and woods all go to bring to fruition a great score.
Take a listen please to the cue, Stephanie’s Suite, and tell me you do not instantly adore it and are not given goose bumps on hearing it. The same can be said for all the tracks on the soundtrack release, each one being haunting and deliriously lush and moving. Highly recommended and available on digital platforms. Superb, breath-taking, and flawless. Do not miss this one…….