The music for STILL LIFE is the work of acclaimed British composer Rachel Portman, her melodies and themes have always attracted the attention of film music collectors and critics alike. She in my opinion like Debbie Wiseman and more recently Pinar Toprak and Annette Focks has the ability to create beautifully harmonious music and also has the talent and expertise to write wistful, dramatic, exciting and emotive music that fits perfectly any scenario that might occur in film. STILL LIFE is certainly no exception to the many other film scores that she has written in the respect that is a wonderfully touching and highly poignant and emotional work which serves the movie it is written for but also has life away from that movie and stands alone as just music that can be listened to for pure pleasure and enjoyment. The way in which the composer is economic with the music within the movie seems to lend much to its storyline creating an intimacy and also a melancholic and unassuming atmosphere which gives the images on screen greater meaning, emotion, depth and dramatic impact. Written for a handful of instruments, i.e., harp, guitar, piano, clarinet, violin and a small ensemble of strings etc rather than a large symphony orchestra the composer treats the listener to an abundance of haunting themes that stay with them long after the compact disc has finished, based around a simple but effective central theme which Portman skilfully uses as a foundation to the remainder of the work, serving up the core composition in various guises and on each outing is successful in creating something that is vibrant, entertaining and melodic.
'STILL LIFE” which is a film by Uberto Pasolini centres on various aspects of life, love and also the hereafter. A Meticulous and organized to the point of obsession council worker, John May wonderfully portrayed by actor Eddie Marsan is responsible for locating the next of kin of people who have died alone. When his department is destined to become the target of cuts and is to be downsized May, has to increase e his efforts on the final case he is involved with, which leads him to a journey that will allow him to begin to live his life finally. Although Portman’s score is relatively brief in duration running for just 38 minutes, it has a surprising impact and presence to it; it is a work that I know fans of the composer will adore and also is a work that although meagre in the quantity department is huge when it comes to quality. This release from Kronos is the labels 50th title and is a welcome and bright addition to their varied and already glittering catalogue.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Erika
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