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

Saturday, February 17, 2007

CD REVIEW - Perfume & News from Costa Communications

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Music by Tom Tykwer & Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil
EMI Classics 0946 3 69535 2 6 (EU)
18 Tracks 70:03 mins

I have to agree with fellow film music scribe Jeff Bond, who I believe picked this as his score of the year. I certainly haven't heard one better, and was enthralled from start to finish of this lengthy album. I now can't wait to see the film, where I hear the music is equally brilliant in combination with the visuals.
Perfume is an extremely popular novel in Europe, Australia and Japan and was long thought unfilmable, but from all accounts German director Tykwer has succeeded and the music is an important element in that success, for how does one approach a film where the sense of smell is key? Well, as the director explains in the notes (in three languages) in the colourful accompanying booklet "the analogy with music, also stressed in the novel, positively leaps out at us because the entire vocabulary of perfumery derives ultimately from music theory. In the perfume business, you also talk about chords and notes."
The film deals with very dark subject matter, a young man with an extremely keen sense of smell, who goes around in 18th century Paris, killing young virginal women for their scent, but the music is in fact largely quite magical and beautiful, wonderfully brought to life by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, the State Choir Latvia and various sopranos, for the reason that it actually follows the protagonist's point of view.
Tykwere obviously placed a huge amount of importance on the music, composing themes as he worked on the screenplay and bringing in his musical collaborators of choice very early on the project. So early in fact that the first demo was recorded way back in 2004, and subsequent demos were then produced and used on set to help with performances.
What amazed me was that, not that I am overly familiar with their work (though I did find Run, Lola, Run effective), the composers, with and without the director's input, have previously been known for their electronic and/or ambient music, and this is splendidly symphonic. I could find no credit for an orchestrator on the album, but one was admittedly used, and one has to wonder the extent of his contribution.
Whatever, this is magnificent music; haunting, magical and quite beautiful for the most part, though there are more dramatic and powerful moments. Overall, it is melodic, a rarity in these days of functional film scoring. I cannot single out favourite cues, because every one has something to offer. It's just stunning music from start to finish!

From Costa Communications

JOHN FRIZZELL SCORES "THE REAPING" Warner Brothers Pictures Release March 30

(HOLLYWOOD, CA)- Composer John Frizzell scores the upcoming supernatural thriller release "The Reaping." The film, starring Hilary Swank, is directed by Stephen Hopkins and produced by Joel Silver. Frizzell has previously worked with producer Joel Silver on such films as "13 Ghosts", "Ghost Ship," and "Cradle 2 The Grave." Warner Brothers Pictures is set to release the film March 30.

In the film, Hilary Swank plays a former Christian missionary who lost her faith after her family was tragically killed, and has since become a world renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena. But when she investigates a small Louisiana town that is suffering from what appear to be the Biblical plagues, she realizes that science cannot explain what is happening and she must regain her faith to combat the dark forces threatening the community.

For his most recent release, "Primeval," Frizzell spent weeks submerged in the world of African music, listening to over 20 hours of traditional recordings and mining vintage Smithsonian film footage in order to gain a holistic understanding of the art form.

Frizzell has written scores for a variety of genres and has proven his musical talent, creativity and versatility. For "The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio," starring Julianne Moore, Frizzell recruited Newgrass band Nickel Creek to play on his Americana score.

John Frizzell's other credits range from comedies such as "Beavis and Butthead Do America" and the cult classic "Office Space," to the dark comedy "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" and the sci-fi drama "Alien Resurrection." Recent credits include "Gods and Generals," and "First Born," starring Elisabeth Shue.


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