SPRING – Torin Borrowdale

Spring is a short, animated film produced by Blender Animation Studio which has been produced to showcase the capabilities of Blender’s open-source computer graphics software. The movie follows a shepherd girl and her dog as they come face-to-face with some ancient spirits. Director Andreas Goralczyk (who also wrote the story) has created a world that looks gorgeous and which has a feel of folklore running through it and mystery and a sprinkling of humour added for good measure. The film is strongly supported by a score written by Torin Borrowdale (who previously scored the 2018 thriller Searching).

Borrowdale’s music adds much of the fantasy feel of Spring with wordless female vocals, Thomas Newman-esque piano, expressive fiddle and celeste. The solo fiddle is the strongest aspect of the score and gives a Celtic feel to Spring’s world. [Read more…]

MINE 9 – Mauricio Yazigi

Mine 9 is a survival thriller that follows a group of miners who work two miles under their Appalachian hometown. The miners know that conditions underground are not safe but they must risk their lives for the sake of a job or starve. Film reviews have noted director Eddie Mensore’s vivid depiction of the hardships faced by the workers as well as the dire claustrophobic conditions they must endure. A methane explosion below-ground traps the 9 men and they have limited time to make their escape as oxygen levels dwindle. The film’s soundtrack features a number of traditional and newly-composed songs that help to give the film a sense of place, but this review focuses on the original music score written by Chilean composer, Mauricio Yazigi.

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CURIOSA – Arnaud Rebotini

A stylized French historical drama set at the end of the 19th century, Curiosa tells the story of a love triangle between Marie de Régnier, who reluctantly marries to pay off her father’s debts but who loves another: Pierre Louÿs, a poet, photographer and erotomaniac. First-time director, Lou Jeunet, tells the story from Marie’s point of view and documents her journey as model for Louÿs’ photographs from victim to taking her destiny into her own hands. The director’s decision to provide a modern twist to the story is echoed in the music which is by French musician Arnaud Rebotini who is probably best known for his work with the French band, Blackstrobe which fuses electro and synth-pop of the 1980s with the techno and electronic dance music of the 1990s. Rebotini mixes electro, techno and dance music beats with a small ensemble of orchestral instruments including percussion, woodwinds, harp and strings to create a fascinating aural journey.

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POLTERHEIST – Umberto Gaudino

Set in the North of England city of Bradford, Polterheist has two dim-witted gangsters desperately trying to find a stash of drug money stolen by their boss. However, to complicate matters, they have just murdered him, and they must therefore kidnap a local psychic medium and force her to contact the dead gang boss. Unfortunately, they only succeed in unleashing an evil spirit seeking revenge. Primarily a gritty British gangster comedy, Polterheist adds a supernatural horror element that gives the movie added entertainment value.

The score for Polterheist is by Italian composer Umberto Gaudino. Since finishing his Masters at Leeds College of Music, Gaudino’s main credits include composing and arranging music for fashion shows for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana. Polterheist is his first feature. [Read more…]

BEYAZ BALİNA – Cenk Erdoğan

It’s interesting to hear how a composer approaches a score when he limits himself to predominantly one instrument. This is the case with Cenk Erdoğan’s score for the 2017 Turkish family drama, Beyaz Balina (White Whale), where he uses acoustic guitar as the main instrument.

Beyaz Balina is a story about two young boys. Ali moves to his grandfather’s village after the death of his father. He meets Vahap, who has always lived in the village. Although there is initially conflict between them, the boys interest in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is a common element that may be the catalyst for a developing friendship.

The composer studied guitar, specializing particularly in the fretless guitar and his proficiency in both instruments is ably demonstrated in this soundtrack. [Read more…]