Weekly Recommendations – w/e 27th August 2021

Here’s a round-up of recommended scores released over the previous week (w/e 27th August 2021).

To Tokyo (2020) – Trevor Jones (Contemporary Media Recordings)

A young woman runs away from her past: a past dominated by the abuse she experienced at the hands of her step-father. Trevor Jones’ score oozes a dreamy atmosphere that’s very unsettling to listen to. The score is dominated by ‘traditional’ female voice(s) and – at times – more unusual and eerie female vocalisations. It’s a low-key score with an Far Eastern feel but this subtle grounding allows the human voice to take centre stage and to exert its effect to maximal effect.

The Red Orchestra (2021) – Eloi Ragot (Reality Bites)

The so-called “Red Orchestra” was a resistance group that were a group of Berliners who helped to undermine the Third Reich and aid Jews persecuted in Nazi Germany. French composer Eloi Ragot’s thematic score for this documentary focuses on the human side of the story, using various parts of the small orchestral ensemble to accentuate the people involved. Piano and cimbalom feature prominently with the latter providing a ‘film noir’ flavour to the musical landscape.

The Glass Menagerie (2014) – Stefan Gregory (Stefan Gregory)

Stefan Gregory’s score, written for a 2014 Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney, Australia) production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, uses a string ensemble to create a score that conveys an oppressive and stifling feel that has echoes of the strings-heavy scores of Bernard Herrmann; scores such as Psycho and his music for the television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The score runs to just over 16 minutes but leaves a lasting impression.

Blood Nor Water (2021) – Mike Pettry (Mike Pettry)

Blood Nor Water is a tactical strategy video game where you take control of a band of fighters/knights who are trying to survive the war around them. Pettry’s score is appropriately martial (bold percussion rhythms) with a hint of the medieval about it (harpsichord). The action scoring is grand and adrenaline-fueled and the more emotional parts add variety and it all comes together for a listening experience that’s confident and very listenable. A strong thematic score.

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