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Thursday, May 21, 2009

CD REVIEW - $9.99

Music by Christopher Bowen
MovieScore Media MMD0004
17 Tracks 30:18 mins

Yet another new name to me, that of Christopher Bowen, is brought to my attention by MovieScore Media with the label's release of his score for Tatia Rosenthal's award-winning stop-motion animation $9.99. The film, which has already been released in France and will hit US cinemas on June 19th, focuses on several inhabitants of a Sydney apartment complex as they each search for meaning in their lives.
Bowen, who previously provided the score for the acclaimed drama Jellyfish, has provided quite a minimalist score, largely featuring piano, string quartet and electronics, which gets off to a beat-driven, purposeful start with "The Sunshine Coast." The following "A Buck's Worth" is a repeating atmospheric piece, which reminds a little of Morricone's suspenseful Italian Western cues. "The Truffle Shaves" is another minimalist track, featuring repeating piano and plucked strings. "Like Smoking Chewing Gum" is a brief, lonely piece, with the equally short "A Girl Only Prettier" bringing a lighter touch, which bleeds into "The Meaning of Life," in which the quartet becomes the dominant feature. Much of what follows consists of largely variations on the same, dominated for the most part by flowing and somewhat quirky plucked strings, and quieter moments of loneliness and despair. With the exception of the final cue, "Happiness," a weird variation on the opening theme, it's all highly effective and, if you're a fan of minimalism, or just like to hear what a composer can do with modest resources, it's worth checking out.
$9.99 is available for download only. Go to for details.


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