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Thursday, July 24, 2008


The Irish Vampire Goes West
Music by Vincent Gillioz
Spheris Records CD SR0802 (US)
14 Tracks 43:46 mins

The name Vincent Gillioz first came to my attention when I read a review of this soundtrack in Randall D. Larson's Soundtrax column. What he had to say about it intrigued me and prompted me to check out the composer and his music. Fortunately, Vincent was only too happy to allow me to sample his scores, released on his own label Spheris records, and available to buy through his website at I will therefore be covering all the CDs he kindly sent me over the days to come, starting with the score that first attracted my attention, The Irish Vampire Goes West, the title of which is basically, as Randall pointed out in his review, what the film is all about: an Irish vampire who abducts a girl in LA and takes her back to Ireland, pursued by her twin sister.
Vincent's music for the film is, as one would expect, suitably Irish in feel, with fiddle and pipes, courtesy of Wes Precourt and Les Lannom, much in evidence; and soprano Mashal Arman adding to the mix, as well as flutes, harp and possibly even cimbalom.
There's often quite a lonely, mysterious feel to the music, with the fiddle solos being effective in this respect, but also some quite oppressive and more intense and menacing moments. "The Abduction" is quite a good example, starting out kind of dissonant, but almost ethereal, before building in intensity towards its conclusion. At times, I would almost compare Gillioz's interesting, experimental atmospheres with those created by the great Ennio Morricone for any number of Italian thrillers earlier on in his career.
Somewhat of a different feel is provided by the brief "Requiem for Aunt Margaret," with Ms Arman vocalising with church organ supporting; whilst the lengthy fiddle-lead "Running Through the Emerald Isle" provides some flowing action music to begin with, before turning oppressive and atmospheric again. "Ode to Immortality" is another standout track, with Precourt's violin expressively performing the vampire's theme. A brief, sad flute lament introduces and permeates the intense, powerful "Through the Heart," wherein the vampire finally gets staked (I presume); with Ms Arman's soaring vocals bringing the score to a peaceful resolution with "Pie Jesu."
Of course, no Irish flavoured score would be complete without a rendition of "The Derry Air" and here Lannom does the honours in a brief rendition.
The Irish Vampire Goes West is quite unlike any score I have heard of late, featuring, as Randall D. Larson notes, and I agree, "a rich sound design," which makes for a very interesting introduction to the music of Vincent Gillioz.
You can order your copy of The Irish Vampire Goes West, along with his other scores on the Spheris Label, by visiting, where you can also find out more about the composer and his work, view pictures, read what the press has to say and listen to music samples. Well worth a visit.


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