Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Music of Tuomas Kantelinen

Tuomas Kantelinen hails from Finland, where he has written music for more than 30 films, theatre and the concert hall. He has won the Finnish Jussi Award for Best Film Score twice, with two other nominations and among his recent screen assignments, Mother of Mine, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, was Finland's nominee for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award. I am always eager to sample the work of a composer new to me and am indebted to Tuomas for allowing me to check out three of his recent scores, starting with the aforesaid Mother of Mine.

Mother of Mine
Music by Tuomas Kantelinen
Miracle Records MIR-101
22 Tracks 38:23 mins

Klaus Haro's film follows the fortunes of a 9-year-old boy, who was just one of 70,000 Finnish children evacuated to neutral Sweden during World War II and receives a rich, lush-stringed score from Tuomas Kantelinen, which explores the full range of emotions that such a story holds. There are moments of warmth, sadness, passion, tragedy, tension and nostalgia; all beautifully played by the London orchestra, with telling contributions from the veteran Maurice Murphy on trumpet, David Theodore on English Horn and the composer and Simon Chamberlain on piano.
A wonderful introduction to the music of Tuomas Kantelinen.

Music by Tuomas Kantelinen
28 tracks 54:50 mins

The composer shows his versatility with his largely dark and suspenseful score for Renny Harlin's thriller. In truth, this is one of those scores that is hard to appreciate away from the images it supports, owing to its darkness and appreciable lack of melody. It all starts off well enough though, with some exciting, fateful and powerful action writing, featuring electric guitar prominently, but unfortunately this element suddenly disappears from the mix, as the score descends into darkness, with just a few bursts of action and the odd moment of calm before the triumphant final cue ends the score on a more satisfying note.
Not the most comfortable or enjoyable listen then, but I shall no doubt return to those exciting opening cues and hope to hear more of this kind of writing from Tuomas in future assignments.

Lupaus (Promise)
Music by Tuomas Kantaelinen
Miracle Records MIR-102
9 Tracks 21:29 mins

A very brief score for Ilka Vanne's film which follows the lives of three young Finnish women during World War II. Judging by the score, I am sure this must be a pretty downbeat affair, as the music is mostly solemn, with an air of tragedy throughout, featuring some heartrending string writing, and just a little hope and sentimentality peering through here and there.

My thanks again to Tuomas Kantelinen for allowing me to sample his recent screen work. Obviously Mother of Mine made the most favourable impression on me, but I did enjoy the early part of his score to Mindhunters and would certainly welcome the opportunity of hearing more of his future work.

Tuomas Kantelinen is represented by the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

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