After the festivities of Christmas and new year which seem to have faded even swifter than they normally do, I think we need something to give us a little lift and prepare us for the long month of January, I am glad to say that Movie Score Media have done exactly that with four new releases so far, but it is one in particular that I am drawn to and after listening to it a number of times I can say whole-heartedly that it sounds good and it does you good to listen to it and savour its many differing styles and sounds. SHORT CUTS 2019, is a wonderful compilation of cues taken from short films and these are written by an array of composers who we all have at one point encountered via their film scores, plus maybe a few who we may not be familiar with but I am confident will be if their contributions to this excellent compilation is anything to go by. Pantawit Kiangsiri for example who wowed many of at the end of last year with his score for THE SECRET OF IMMORTAL CODE makes an appearance with music from, WINTER OLYMPIC DREAM, which is a proud and vibrant piece that evokes memories of Jerry Goldsmith, the eight minute cue is not just action led and dramatic but also contains a more melancholy and gentle side, which perfectly complements the more robust opening and conclusion. We also as I have said have familiar names from the world of film scoring in the form of Christopher Young who, s offbeat music for FANBOY is aired here, Rachel Portman too is included in the more than impressive line-up with her music for ARCHIE, which has a somewhat quirky opening that leads into those trademark Portman melodious strings and woodwinds posses a Gaelic spirit and sound. Frederick Wiedmann too is in the line up with his music for BURNING BRIGHT, initially this has a mysterious atmosphere and even for me evoked slightly a James Bond mood, but this soon alters and has a change of direction with the composer building a tense and tense atmosphere via strings and brass that is supported by percussion, the piece builds then reverts back to a quieter but still tense atmosphere, strings being the main stay of the composition. But then the tempo is picked up and we are back to a more sinister and apprehensive configuration, with an almost Herrmann-esque style glinting through.
Composer Kevin Smithers is represented on three separate occasions within the compilation, each section being different from the other and showcasing perfectly the composers talent and versatility, these sections being from BRUISED, DON’T CROAK and KNITCROMANCER, the latter I think being my own personal favourite of the three, but saying this they are all well written pieces. Joe Kraemer, Bear McCreary, Rob Simonen, Joan Vila, Chad Cannon, Laura Rossi, Michael Nielson and Daniel Alcheh all make an appearance. Each cue is a shining example of great film music, and how talented each of these composers are. I am confident that with composers such as this film music is in safe hands. This is a wonderful compilation, put together with much thought and enthusiasm, it contains fifteen cues which are all entertaining in their own very special way. Certainly, one to add to your collection and because of the variety here there is no danger whatsoever of becoming bored, it’s a collection of themes that will wash over the listener and engage them from start to finish. Soon to be available on Quartet records compact disc.