The Great Water (Golemata Voda) is a 2004 Macedonian film directed by Ivo Trajkov. A Macedonian politician having a heart attack experiences flashbacks to his childhood in 1945. There, he finds himself in an orphanage, the main purpose of which is to “brainwash” the children in Communism, turning them into “Patriots” against fascism. But the appearance of the mysterious boy Isak is a catalyst for a series of events that will have serious consequences for all. A powerful film, The Great Water focuses on showing how the orphaned children suffer at the hands of those who run the orphanage. The film has a hint of the supernatural about it that revolves around Isak: he has a mysterious influence both on the children and the adults (that is not really explained). The reliance on moody camerawork and meaningful glances rather than large amounts of dialogue places a large onus on the composer to provide support for what is happening on-screen. Composed by native Macedonian Kiril Dzajkovski, the music ably delivers. A prolific musician associated with the fusion of traditional Macedonian music with electronica, Dzajkovski has also written a significant amount of music for theatre, film and television. Using the London Telefilmonic Orchestra (a group of musicians drawn from major London orchestras), as well as ethnic Macedonian instruments, Dzajkovski gives The Great Water a dark, oppressive feel that is punctuated by the required supernatural overtones, emotional highlights and tragedy.
The album has numerous highlights. The music features three or four lovely themes, some dramatic percussion and interesting atmospheric interludes (all featuring subtle ethnic influences). The first few tracks on the album are an excellent summary of the score as a whole. “Chasing Lem” and “Blood Brothers” (and also heard later to wonderful effect in one of the score’s highlights, “Drought Break”) are exciting tracks where ethnic percussion establishes exotic, driving rhythms that are embellished by additional ethnic instruments such as kanun (a type of zither), kaval (rim-blown flute) and screaming zurla (double-reed horns). Read the rest of this entry »