Land Of The Blind/Farley

October 26, 2006

Do you ever wonder about titles of films? “Land Of The Blind” could be a science fiction thriller about everyone having gone blind and their survival on earth. Sorry, wrong answer. It’s a political satire/thriller directed and written by Robert Edwards and starring Ralph Fiennes, Donald Sutherland, and Tom Hollander.

This is the 12th release of Movie Score Media Sweden and Mikael Carlsson in his never ending search for new and upcoming composers. In Guy Farley he has found yet another gem in the thrift shop! Varied is the key word for the 14 tracks on this fine soundtrack. There are (5) original ethnic songs performed on guitar (sounds similiar to sitar) by Doug Edwards (related to Robert?) in an Indian/Asian style. Couple that with the (7) quirky and underscore tracks from Guy Farley and throw in a couple of very nice classical Schubert chamber pieces and you have “Land Of The Blind”.

“Maximilian 2” is a wonderful infectious march with the melody being carried by the trumpets and then with no warning here come the kazoos! What a wonderful touch to likely give the film the feeling of a true political satire (haven’t seen the film) but this track is definitely one that can stand side by side with any other track written this year. “The First Lady” is very classical in nature performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London and featuring a really outstanding clarinet solo (no credit given), which somehow reminded me of listening to Debussy in some far away exotic place. It was very well done! “Ave Maria” from Schubert is eloquently performed and arranged for a string quartet featuring Janice Graham on violin. “End Credits (Junior’s Theme)” is a repeat of the march plus the first lady theme less the kazoos. “Thorn Revolution” is a nice solemn performance of the Schubert Eb Trio. In fact if you have yet to delve into the wonderful world of classical music Schubert was quite thematic and his work is performed and used on a regular basis in quite a number of films. “Joe and Madalene” is a nice example of a simple yet extremely effective underscore written for strings, woodwind, and harp. “Junior and the Palace” and “House of Bonaventure” are both variations of Maximilian with the House track featuring a trombone solo again written in a satire style so that one doesn’t take too seriously what you see in the screen. If you have had any familiarity with the group The Canadian Brass this is one theme that could easily be performed or added to their repertoire. The style of the material just seems ideal and a cool brass arrangement would not be too difficult. As a group they just seem to be made for it. “Plot to Kill” is just a plain old fashion underscore track. The material is well recorded but is only available through iTunes at this particular time, although there has been some buzz about perhaps offering releases of all his material at sometime in the future.

There are (6) new releases from Guy in the next year or so including “The Flock” with Richard Gere and “Jonathan Toomey” with Tom Berenger in a Christmas story. Guy is definitely one of Mikael’s flock of new composers to explore. Keep in mind that were it not for his efforts we would never be introduced to the likes of Shore, Davidson, and Farley. If nothing else just download or listen to a clip from “Maximilian 2” with the kazoos as part of the arrangement. You’ll likely want the rest of the soundtrack. Recommended.

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