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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Music by Guy Farley & Various Artists
Silva Screen Records SILCD1278 (UK)
21 Tracks 51:51 mins

Cashback is a small, but imaginative British film, which some of you may not have even heard of. It started out as a 19-minute short in 2004, which did incredibly well at international film festivals, winning award after award and eventually gained an Oscar nomination for best short. It then launched on iTunes, becoming one of the top downloads for two years, before it was expanded to feature length in 2007. It was critically acclaimed and became popular for its great visuals, care of its writer/director Sean Ellis, once a leading fashion photographer, and for the stunningly beautiful and often naked females who populate the dreams of its young art student protagonist.
Another key element is the film's soundtrack, which features a score by another man some of you may not have heard of, but who has written some excellent music in recent years, for films which have often flown under the radar, like Modigliani and Madre Teresa. For his Cashback score, featured on 12 of this album's 21 tracks, Guy Farley utilises the London Metropolitan Orchestra, with Simon Chamberlain featured on Piano and ethnic percussion care of Paul Clarvis.
The score opens with the suitably bleak "Break Up," the mood continuing in "Photos," before matters take a fresh turn with the more propulsive "Suzy," which becomes ever more sweeping as it proceeds. It's back to more introverted fare for "Frozen," with solo piano giving an appopriately cold feel to proceedings, and continuing on into "Sharon." The instrument does however take on a more hopeful, almost magical feel in the subsequent "Drawing." By complete contrast, the Celtic tinged opening to "The Challenge," which could easily have come out of Trevor Jones' Last of the Mohicans score, gives way to a familiar hymn, before proceeding to its inspirational conclusion. After this welcome interlude, its back to the bleakness again with "Someone There?" with its disturbing ending, that wouldn't be out of place in a horror film. The brief piano solo "Saturday School" follows, and then the more hopeful "Pittsburgh" recalls the theme from "Drawing." "Dust" returns us to the cold piano solo, but the score concludes with another revisiting of the theme from "Drawing," bringing this mostly quiet, low-key listening experience to a close.
The remainder of the disc is given over to contemporary numbers by Grand Avenue, The Concretes, Bang Bang, The Gypsies, Evil 9 and Malente; as well as Jeni Bern's performance of Bellini's "Casta Diva," and light music in the form of Trevor Duncan's "Enchanted April."
The accompanying booklet features stills from the film, full music credits, plus a note from director Sean Ellis. Order your copy from


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