Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2019 August 26 • Monday

Archer the animated series is over and I’d probably buy a soundtrack release for it if I came across one. But since I haven’t, the 584th Soundtrack of the Week is Jerry Goldsmith’s music for another TV show called Archer.

Today’s a busy day for me, so suffice it to say that it’s almost all an exploration of one theme, a swinging number that’s in sympathy with Goldsmith’s music for the Flint movies, making use of flute and electric guitar, the latter adding a wah-wah pedal to the tremolo effect.

Synthesizers also make a significant contribution in various tracks. “A Matter of Judgment” is one of the departures from a variation on the main title music and offers a very delicate and restrained use of synth tones to bolster an atmosphere of suspense and tension.

The synthesizers are also used to enhance the rhythmic feel of the main title and other cues, stretching over spaces occupied by bass, rhythm guitar and percussion.
2019 August 19 • Monday

The 583rd Soundtrack of the Week is a compilation of music from different films, Rétrospective Jean Musy.

First up is the theme from La Boule Noire. It's Ethereal and lyrical with angelic qualities to the sound, created by celeste or glockenspiel or some other percussion instruments.

The "Thème principal from Les Innocents is a lovely and slightly melancholy waltz whose main theme is played on what sounds like viola.

Nuit du 17 Octobre 2017 "Thème 7" sounds like some of Zbigniew Preisner’s music, lots of space and precision and a gentle but not delicate quality. Starts very quiet but slowly builds in volume and intensity.

"Thème 8" from the same movie has some long tones played by strings while a restless piano line pushes things forward.

Jusqu’à L’enfer is a showcase for the tenor saxophone in a bluesy jazz atmosphere.

Mon Frère Bien-Aimé combines strings and piano again for a lushly textured cue.

From the movie L'Ange noir,"De Feu Et De Sang (Inédit)" is a tense and urgent-sounding cue, in 6/8 or something like it, and has an insistent pounding quality conveyed mostly by strings but with what sounds like some electronic percussion added.

And from the same title, "Il Cuore Addolorato" is an almost eight-minute classical sounding vocal piece sung by Claire d’Asta, another composition that combines strength and beauty.

Le Temps du Silence's "Thème 22" is a piano waltz with considerable but subtle support from strings and perhaps glockenspiel or something like that, while "Thème 36" is a more sombre cue that sounds like it’s for an emotionally heavy scene.

From Chanel Solitaire, "L’Adieu Au Père" sounds almost like Nino Rota in its use of the clarinet but has shape and movement that belong to Musy, based on what you can hear on this CD. The "Finale" cue is a stirring piece driven by piano but with the unexpected edition of rock drum kit about halfway through.

"La Valse Arc-en-ciel" from Le Voleur D’arc-en-ciel is a medium tempo piano piece with strings, another haunting melody with a rich texture.

Les Anges Exterminateurs's "Femmes Simples" is a more modern-sounding piece that either blends strings with synthesizers or gets that effect with only acoustic instruments. A calm and measured melodic line from the strings floats above harmonic pads of sound.

Calliope music or organ grinder or something similar is what you hear in the main title theme for L’Escalier De Fer.

The main title for Malgré-Elles starts out with a nod to that famous Bach organ piece but once other instruments come in, Musy creates several different pocket atmospheres in this short cue.

"Miserere" from the same film is a gorgeous vocal chorus piece with considerable depth and space in it. And then the end title music has a sad and beautiful piano piece that’s fleshed out by other instruments and at least one other piano.

Claire De Femme's "Thème Principal" used wooden flute, perhaps pan pipes, as the main voice with backing from acoustic guitar. Fans of Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in America music will enjoy this.

And then there's yet another different kind of cue, a tense rock/pop vocal number from the movie Pause-Café, with Véronique Jannot as the singer. The song is called “On Entre Dans La Vie").

The main title theme from the same movie is simpler, a sort of rock piano instrumental, kind of reminiscent of Billy Joel.

Also from that movie is another song from Véronique Jannot, a dreamy and moving number called “Tous Les Enfants Ont Besoin De Rêver”. If you like the Angelo Badalamenti songs for David Lynch projects, you’ll probably like this.

A sprightly and cheerful piano piece, again in combination with strings, picks things up a bit in the main theme for La Mort d’August. The end title for the same film starts out with a lonely-sounding solo cello before letting the piano and other strings come back in.

Another seamless blend of electric and acoustic instruments creates the atmosphere for the main title of Noce Blanche, a longer than usual piece that has a wide dynamic range.

From the same movie comes another heart-stirring piece for piano and strings, "Thème De Mathilde".

The beginning of the main theme for Papy Fait De La Résistance is shockingly aggressive compared to everything that came before it. It’s loud, tense and propulsive without respite for the first minute and a half, before it chsnged gears to a calmer string part.

The end title, “Libertas”, reprises the pounding of the main title theme but when it switched gears this time, we get a powerful and soaring vocal performance by a woman with an opera-quality voice.
2019 August 12 • Monday

Mario Nascimbene's score for Estate Violenta is our 582nd Soundtrack of the Week.

It starts with pounding percussion and blaring horns, very dramatic and heavy. Then strings come in with a thick but lyrical melody, also very dramatic and romantic-sounding.

Unsurprisingly, this melody gets played in lots of different ways. A lovely piano and classical guitar version with wonderful string backing is called "Primo Incontro".

There's also "Canzone di Rossana", a devastatingly sultry and smoky late-night jazz piece that uses the main title as a point of departure and is perhaps my favorite track on the CD.

"Tema di Maddalena" is also a lovely piece with a lot of space and an air of mystery, featuring the harpsichord.

"Scena d'Amore" is another nice take on the main theme, with classical guitar again.

There are numerous alternate takes and other arrangements of these cues as well as a selection of dramatic underscore pieces and source music.

2019 August 07 • Wednesday

Dark Phoenix beer and Dave Matthews Band wine.

2019 August 05 • Monday

The 581st Soundtrack of the Week is John Williams's music for The Cowboys.

The main theme, which is a rousing Americana uptempo sort of march-like piece, similar to one of the major cues Elmer Bernstein wrote for Stripes, gets a workout here, appearing in various arrangements and settings.

There are also some eerie and menacing cues that use dissonance and space very effectively, such as "Long Hair's Threat" and "Afraid of the Dark".

While there are some less typical Williams tones here and there, mostly it's of a piece with his other work, displaying the effortless-sounding lyricism and his fondness for certain orchestal colors.
2019 August 02 • Friday