Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Bruno Coulais – Retrospective (Naive)

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 04:57 PM PDT

Bruno Coulais is among the most sought after soundtrack composers in his native France, and this double disc collection of his film work should increase his profile. Listening to these bite sized pieces his work seems ideally suited to the screen, Coulais effortlessly able to evoke mood and setting, and move freely between emotions and musical styles. There’s a touch of Philip Glass in his penchant for arpeggios, and an undeniably Gallic touch, akin to Yann Tierson, in many of these pieces. In more classically arranged works, such as ‘Le Fourgon Rouge’ from ‘The Second Wind’, the sweeping strings initially recall any number of anonymous scores for anonymous films, but Coulais avoids obvious resolutions. The atonal piano clamour of ‘Genesis’, and the Nutcracker pirouettes of ‘La Planete Blanche’, for instance, show a composer unafraid of explore broader musical ideas.

Coulais’s interest in skwed tango rhythms and the jovial bounce of French pop have also endeared him to exciting collaborators, and the finest pieces here are those involving guest vocalists. Robert Wyatt takes over ‘The Highest Gander’, his airy delivery and narcotic cocktail piano well suited to depicting the avian stars of ‘The Winged Migration’. Nick Cave, meanwhile, is at his tenderest on ‘To Be By Your Side’ from the same film, accompanied by marimba, strings and chattering field recording. Worth admission for these tracks alone.

Joshua Meggitt

Bruno Coulais – Retrospective (Naive) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.