LE LYNX ET LA FRAISE – Anthony Touzalin

The Doñana National Park is a nature reserve in southern Spain. It has a unique biodiversity and is an important home to a number of endangered species, including the Iberian lynx. However, the park (and the lynx) is threatened by the numerous strawberry farms surrounding the reserve because of the farms’ depletion of groundwater reserves and their significant pesticide and plastic pollution. La Lynx et La Fraise (The Lynx and the Strawberry) is a 2017 French documentary that highlights the management of the nature reserve and the threats it faces. The music is composed by French composer, Anthony Touzalin, who has composed some wonderfully catchy music that is surprisingly different from what you would expect when considering the film’s subject.

The short album opens with an arresting flute sequence that immediately grabs the listener before the track launches into the aforementioned catchy music: a toe-tappingly pleasing riff of acoustic and electric guitars propelled along by a strong beat (“Felinae”). Pizzicato strings add to the airiness of the whole composition. It’s a track that would brighten any dark mood and the melody acts as a bold bookend for the album. The score’s enthusiasm is maintained with the next couple of tracks. More pizzicato strings, strong rhythms and guitars play as Touzalin juggles the various elements in a frivolous manner with another infectiously memorable musical idea (“Le Lynx et La Fraise” and “Bienvenue à Doñana”). Bobby McFerrin-styled vocal effects, alongside clapping and slide guitar (“L’Or Rouge”), and the surprising appearance of a dreamy synth sequence (“La Terre Plate”) maintain the light feel before the album comes to an end with the theme that opened the album.

Le Lynx et La Fraise is a little score that features some great tracks and can’t help but put a smile on your face, especially the opening and closing tracks. I do wonder how the music is used in the documentary and wonder at the film’s whole tone and approach bearing in mind the style of the music. Perhaps the music featured on this album is only a selection of what was written. The album’s running order seems to vary depending on whether you listen via Bandcamp or Spotify: I prefer the Spotify version as it gets you straight into that infectious theme and bookends the album (and it’s the version I detail in this review). As you may gather, Touzalin’s score comes with a strong recommendation.

The album can be purchased HERE on Bandcamp and is available to stream.

Rating: ***½/*****

  1. Felinae (2:42)
  2. Le Lynx et La Fraise (2:10)
  3. Bienvenue à Doñana (1:48)
  4. L’Or Rouge (0:47)
  5. La Terre Plate (3:34)
  6. Un Goût Amer (1:02)
  7. Le Lynx Ibérique (2:16)

Running Time: 14:19

Anthony Touzalin (2018)

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