|2.||Colour Shop And Market||1:34|
|6.||Long Time Ago||0:20|
|13.||Lashed To The Mast||1:11|
|15.||The Fighting Temeraire||1:22|
|19.||On The Jetty||1:37|
|20.||Old and New||2:10|
|22.||Part 1 A Running Jump||5:21|
|23.||Part 2 A Running Jump||1:32|
|24.||Part 3 A Running Jump|| 1:58|
|25.||Part 4 A Running Jump||0:46|
|26.||Part 5 A Running Jump|| 7:47|
|27.||Part 6 A Running Jump|| 2:39|
|28.||Part 7 A Running Jump||3:01|
|29.||Part 8 A Running Jump||4:43|
| ||56:16| Submit your review
If there were ever a fight to be master in modern British cinema, then surely Mike Leigh would be a major contender. Father of the inimitable “kitchen sink realism”, his work inhabits a side of British life represented in few other places. Past works such as Life is Sweet, Another Year and Secrets and Lies all have a quiet truthfulness to them, displaying the ordinary lives of normal people in a somewhat extraordinary way. Leigh’s understanding of the banal intricacies of life is largely unchallenged in cinema. If his films highlight one thing, then it is his interest in the human condition, no matter at whom it is he is looking.
Leigh’s most recent offering is the remarkable Mr Turner, a biopic of sorts depicting the later years of Romantic artist J. M. W. Turner. True to Leigh’s form, the film’s major events are packaged as somewhat ordinary events: A death is met with grief, relationships come and go, society moves forward. The film works so well precisely because it presents events as they would have happened, not feeling the need to enhance moments for cinematic effect.
Working with Leigh, then, is no small matter. You have to be distinguished enough to match his unassuming grandeur and quiet enough to brush it all away with the stroke of a hand. Fronting the score for Mr Turner is Gary Yershon, the British composer who has worked with Leigh before on films such as Topsy-Turvy and Happy-Go-Lucky. For the most part, Yershon’s career has been centred in theatre and live music and therefore his work offers something different to the world of cinematic composition.
In Mr Turner, Yershon entirely contains Leigh’s film world in music. The compatibility between film and music in Mr Turner is remarkable, one which only comes when director and composer have a mutual and unspoken understanding of their crafts. Yershon’s instrumentation is the real star of the show. Predominantly using a small string section alongside a waning oboe, the sound is small, eery and entirely representative of Leigh’s film world. Opening cue ‘Mr Turner’ contains many of the soundtracks individual elements, brought together in a sort of preliminary prologue. The oboe line works particularly well, its glissandi and trailing off into nothingness somehow marking Turner’s offbeat and abrupt personality before anything has even begun. What’s more, the oboe seems to be a marker of Leigh himself, a trope taken from a number of his other cinematic scores. The tone of the piece is incredibly hard to pin down; unusual, haunting and yet undeniably warm, it is a musical representation of the man himself.
Soon, the piece ventures into a small string motif, repeated elsewhere in the soundtrack. The brief melody is fleeting and tentative and, still, warm and rounded. Yershon’s music continually and simultaneously contradicts itself and seems always to be something other than it is.
Much of the soundtrack consists of small musical vignettes, formed from individual elements of cue ‘Mr Turner’. Track ‘Long Time Ago’ is perhaps the briefest of all, consisting of a single string motif, drawn out by an extended drone note. The cue, whilst repetitive of earlier themes, works so well in the soundtrack because it is so functional. The briefness of the sound seems akin to a fleeting memory, or an image passing through Turner’s mind. For the shortest of moments, he is transported to a place entirely different and it is through the music that we are able to experience the same thing.
Additionally, Yershon has composed a number of pieces for Leigh’s short film A Running Jump, placed at the end of the Mr Turner soundtrack. Whilst entirely removed from the sound of things from the previous score, the pieces are remarkable and truly show Yershon’s musical dexterity. ‘A Running Jump 1’ is particularly dexterous, posing a swift piano melody alongside interjecting brass and a ticking hand drum riff. Much like the music for Mr Turner, it is relatively pared down when it comes to musical texture, however, this only serves to highlight the loveliness of the melodies Yershon has constructed. When they come together, things only become better.
The music is somewhat more humorous than the Mr Turner soundtrack, depicting the brief and frantic lives of a British family. Like that of Mr Turner, it is coherent, fitting to the image and a sheer delight to listen to. Like Leigh, Yershon clearly understands both people and cinema and is able to manipulate his music in order to speak the things the characters are unable to tell us. Both Mr Turner and A Running Jump are truly wonderful pieces of musical scoring; Gary Yershon should be a name we look out for with anticipation.
Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.
Composer Gary Yershon, who has scored all of Mike Leigh’s films since Happy Go Lucky, returns with another triumphant work. Their collaboration continues with the short A RUNNING JUMP (2012)Short movie , whose score is also included on this release.
: Best Original Score (Nominee)