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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Least Among You
Music by Mark Kilian
Lakeshore Records (US)
23 Tracks 43:51 mins

Lakeshore Records has released, as a digital download only, Mark Kilian's (Tsotsi) score for the feature debut of writer/director Mark Young, The Least Among You, which is based on a true story and earned the film's star Cedric Sanders an NAACP Best Actor Award for his portrayal of wrongly convicted Richard Kelly, who was sent to an all-white seminary following the 1965 Watts riots. The film is available on DVD in the States.
For his score, Killian incorporates instruments from all over the world, combining them with gospel organ and choir, fiddle and more traditional western orchestra. Overall, the music has a typically southern gospel feel, opening soulfully in "Surrender" with wordless female vocal, piano and synth-strings. "Class Struggle" bubbles along, somewhat Thomas Newman-like, with things turning sorrowful in the violin-lead "What Did He Say?" There's a dose of good old-fashioned southern blues in the brief "Reading Petition," before things take a dark, atonal turn in "Broken and Healed," though a gospel choir offers redemption at the close. The following "Sam's Story" is somewhat spare, with guitar solo, before "Proclaim or Serve" offers percussion-based motivation.
Solo piano and strings, joined by choir offer a touch of down-home sentiment in "Time Alone," with "Dean's Montage" opening with a somewhat spiritual feel, complete with male vocal, before giving way to violin-lead sadness.
The remainder of the score continues largely in the same vein, with standout moments, for me, being the warm horn solo that leads "Welcome Speech;" the reprise of the "Time Alone" theme in "Leaving Footprints;" the tender oboe-lead opening of "Burning Cross" (before it builds to a hellish crescendo); the warm, violin-lead "Lending a Hand," and piano-lead close of "What Do You Dream About?" There is however an uncharacteristic rock groove to "To the Seminary," which sticks out like a sore thumb. The closing "Called to Act" ends the score with horn-lead nobility.
To conclude, there's nothing here to get excited about, and many of the tracks are quite brief, but if you like a touch of southern gospel-influenced sentimentality, you will probably find this music much to your liking.


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